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Tavira - Ancient Port with Charm

by Almonds & Oranges          

Tavira town along the river

Did you know?

In 1242, the then governor of Tavira cast a spell on his beautiful daughter. He never returned to break the spell and she remained imprisoned in the city’s castle. People believe that on the night of São João she appears and cries for the spell to be broken. An old legend maybe, but one well suited to this typical Algarvian city.

Why buy property in Tavira?

Often referred to as ‘the Venice of the Algarve’, being in Tavira is like taking a step back in time. It has thirty-seven churches in a weave of old streets and a seven-arch Roman bridge linking the two halves of the town across the river Gilão. Its wealthy past is reflected by the elegant 18th century houses lining the river and the grand mansions around the town’s central square.

A short drive from the Spanish border and from Faro Airport, Tavira sits just three kilometres from the coast in the east of the Algarve, an area enriched by the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve.

Despite the appeal of the area, property prices here tend to be lower than other, more developed regions, making it an ideal choice for investment properties, a permanent home or a peaceful holiday retreat.

Property for sale in Tavira

There is a vast choice of property for sale in Tavira, including many stunning fully renovated properties as well as several development opportunities.

The range of homes for sale includes studio apartments with communal pools, to sumptuous four and five bedroom villas with spectacular views and mod cons. If you want a central location within walking distance of restaurants, shops and other amenities, check out the choice of luxury apartments in Tavira’s historic centre.

Tavira in a nutshell

  • a traditional Portuguese city that remains largely unspoilt
  • lower-priced properties and many investment opportunities
  • easy access from Faro airport
  • natural beauty of the surrounding Ria Formosa Nature Reserve
  • great choice of restaurants and bars
  • a short drive to some of the Algarve’s best golf courses
  • great location for all types of water sports
  • traditional markets, supermarkets, English-speaking banks, pharmacies, local health centres and other amenities
  • plenty of entertainment for the kids including a five-screen cinema showing films in English and a 25 metre swimming pool

Experience Tavira

Tavira has a peaceful ambiance and is a perfect location for all age groups. Older men can often be seen playing dominoes in the shady gardens near the old bridge, while locals and tourists relax at one of the many river front cafes enjoying the idyllic setting.

The ruins of Tavira castle are well worth a visit if only for the fantastic views of the city and the mouth of the river Gilão. Some of the finest churches in the Algarve are found in Tavira, one being Santa Maria do Castelo. Built on the site of a Moorish mosque, it holds the tombs of Dom Paio Peres Correia and his knights. Join in the São João day celebrations on 24th June each year. The city’s streets are decorated, there is music and dancing and the air is filled with the delicious aroma of grilled sardines.

Take the ferry to Tavira Island

Tavira Island is just south of the town. Owned by Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the island’s eleven kilometres of golden sand can only be reached by boat, but a good ferry service is operated to and from the town centre all year round. The stroll to the beach from the dock is along a boardwalk over sand dunes, surrounded by the warm scent of pines in summer. It’s a fantastic spot for a family picnic, but if you’d rather let someone else do the cooking, there are a plenty of good restaurants and bars to choose from. If you were hoping to buy a property on Tavira Island, sadly there are none for sale. The building of houses and the selling of existing homes is forbidden.

Tavira town Roman bridgeGastronomy

Dining out in Tavira? You'll be spoilt for choice. From traditional Portuguese fare to the spices of China and India, you're certain to find a menu to make your mouth water. For the more adventurous palate, travel just west of the city to Santa Luzia, the “Octopus Capital”, where this local speciality is prepared and cooked in a variety of ways.


There are many interesting small shops to browse among the winding city streets and the Gran-Plaza shopping mall has a fantastic selection of stores, places to eat, a cinema and a large supermarket.

The market hall on the river front has been renovated and houses several shops, cafes and restaurants, and a large exhibition area. From Monday to Saturday, the market’s stalls are spilling over with fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meats.

How do I find property in Tavira?

If you're looking to invest in a relaxing retreat in old-style Algarve, Tavira is a good place to start searching for your ideal property.

With the help of our map-based search and excellent property photos, Meravista lets you browse the properties for sale in Tavira from the comfort your armchair. Who knows? You could find exactly what you're looking for with a single click.

Article provided by Meravista.com

Meravista is the world’s largest property portal devoted exclusively to the Algarve. It brings visitors the latest state-of-the art search technology, making it easy to find their perfect property in the Algarve.

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