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Praia de Tavira Beach
The Praia de Tavira Beach is the region’s finest and most popular beach, which is connected to Tavira by a regular and inexpensive ferry. The beach is situated on the eastern most edge of the Ilha de Tavira, a sandbar island which extends for 12km along the Ria Formosa national park. The Praia de Tavira beach is a wide sandy beach with clean, calm sea waters that is suitable for families. On the island there are excellent tourist facilities including numerous cafes, restaurants and a popular campsite.
The marker and sea groyne at the northern edge of Ilha de Tavira
Ferry to the Ilha de Tavira Beach
The Praia de Tavira is connected to the town by ferry and is the only means of transport to the island. There are two ferry routes; the first departs from Tavira town centre and the second departs from the Quatro Águas pier at the end of the Estada das 4 Aguas road, about 2km from the town centre.
The ferry jetty on the Ilha de Tavira
Both services travel to the same jetty on the Ilha de Tavira and it is a short walk (400m) through the pine forests to the beach. The ferry service departs from the town centre is the recommended route as there are scheduled departures during the day while the other service departs when there is demand.
The ferry as it returns into Tavira
There are half hourly departures from June until September with an intermittent service during the low and off seasons. The departures are always clearly marked by the ferry terminal. A return adult ticket costs €1.90, a single cost €1.30 and a child return ticket is €0.90. The journey time is 20 minutes and passes through the Ria Formosa national park.
Ilha de Tavira Beach Services and Facilities
The beach is very popular but the golden sands extend for 7km along the coastline so there is always space to be found. Just a 5-10 minute walk along the coast will leave the busy section of the beach and find an almost deserted section of beach. The Tavira beach is family friendly and there is lifeguard supervision during the summer season. Be warned the sea is shockingly cold even at the height of the summer, this is due to the waters flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean and not fed by the comparatively warm Mediterranean Sea.
The stunning Praia do Barril Tavira, just a 5 minute walk from the facilities
The Ilha de Tavira Campsite
There is a popular campsite on the island, the Camping Ilha de Tavira. The campsite is open from May through to September and permanent tents with electricity can be rented. The campsite is below the shade of the pine forests and has good facilities including BBQs and is highly recommended. For more information see this link and booking.com.
Ilha de Tavira Walks
The continuous coastline of the Ilha de Tavira extends to two further beaches. The first beach, the Terra Estreita beach, is approximately 20 minutes’ walk southwest from Tavira beach. Terra Estreita beach is connected to the fishing village of Santa Luzia by a ferry service. Terra Estreita beach is very similar to Tavira beach except it is much quieter.
The Terra Estreita beach
The second beach, Barril beach is much more interesting and is a 40 minute walk from Tavira beach. Barril beach is a former tuna fishing community and the huts have been converted into stylish cafes and restaurants. The anchors that were used to hold the nets in place during the complex process of tuna fishing have been aligned on the entrance to the beach. This rusting memorial of over a hundred anchors is called the Anchor Cemetery.
The Cemetery of Anchors on the Ilha de Tavira