The vast beach and camp site at Ilha de Tavira is 2km by road, then 100m of water, with regular ferries. There are plenty of cafes and water sports facilities open during the summer months. Ilha de Tavira is reached by ferry from the town. The beach, which is serviced with cafes, toilets and showers, can be reached by train or a short walk across the Ria Formosa. Lovely beaches, children enjoyed getting boats to them, especially Ilha da Tavira and Cabanas beaches. Tavira is a wonderful town and we had some delicious meals, the fish has been the best we have ever tasted.
The official free beach (since 2004) is located on the south side of Odeceixe Beach. There is a second inlet, only accessible during low tide. The island has 11 km of the best beaches in the Algarve , Portugal , including areas where naturism can be legally practised. It is also popular among tourists, people that like to swim and bird watchers. But what pleasant walking it is, through almond trees, fig trees, olive and carob trees across one of the channels of the Ria Formosa. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise here on the mudbanks which evolve into sand dunes as you move closer to the sea. Wandering the streets, soaking in the atmosphere is one way to enjoy the town.
Tavira is famous by it’s glorious history, patrimony, and most of all, by it’s beaches. The immediate beach for this town lies past the salt pans and is reached by a ferryboat that takes the visitor to the long attractive sandy-bar island known as Ilha de Tavira. Visitors can walk to the castle battlements, a bit of a hike but at the end there is excellent view of the town’s colourful rooftops, old buildings and the glistening sea. Behind the waterfront the old town of square houses sits squashed together in its narrow streets. Behind this a new area of holiday apartments has mushroomed in the last few years.
It is in the latter that there exists an olive tree that is said to date from the 17th Century and probably the oldest one of its type in Portugal. It stands 7.70 metres high and its girth is 11.80 metres. This well equipped, romantic house is situated in the cobbled streets in Tavira’s historic old town. It is a few minutes walk through these beautiful streets to the town square and river Gilao and a stone’s throw from the castle and churches that Tavira is famous for. Then the hills of fig and almond trees and houses with dazzling whitewashed walls and distinctive chimneys decorated to resemble fine tracery of lace. And, last of all, the great open spaces.
It is surrounded by a pretty garden with citrus and olive trees as well as situated directly by a lagoon where 15 km of long, gently falling, fine sand beach stretches out into the horizon (within 1 km). The beach may easily be reached by making use of the complimentary tram, which departs every 30 minutes in winter and every 10 minutes in summer. Away from the coast, the countryside is unspoiled and consists of a great rolling succession of hills, covered in wild Mediterranean scrub, interspersed with cork oak trees. Near the coast, the broad flat valley of the River Guadiana, with it’s bird -filled shores and reed beds, is endlessly fascinating, and the town of Vila Real offers a gateway to the very different Spanish region of Andalucia. Climb from the main square up narrow streets to the ruined Moorish castle on top of the hill. Take in fabulous views across the rooftops towards the mansions lining the river.