Charming, scenic, and the food was delicious!

We chose Tavira, Portugal for its perfect geographic location, wedged between our long stay in Lagos, Portugal and an upcoming visit to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Now that it was chosen, what did we really know about Tavira?

We admit to not doing a lot of homework on this destination. Favorable visitors’ comments on tripadvisor led us to reserve 5 nights at a highly rated inn. That was about all. When we arrived by train, we had our fingers crossed, hoping it would be a pleasant stay.

Our first views of the old town were breathtaking. The River Gilão bisects the town, and the two pedestrian bridges reconnect it.

Sidewalks, restaurants, shops and a small park lined the river.

Afternoons in Tavira were reserved for siestas (or reading a good book on the rooftop terrace.)

We walked (a lot!) through the old town, weaving down narrow lanes, climbing up cobbled steps. Tavira had more than its share of lovely shops and excellent restaurants. Our first night’s meal was at D’Agusta. The tapas menu was extensive, and it was hard to narrow down our selection so we let the waiter help us. Every dish he brought to the table was filled with flavor. Oh, my! It was so good! In 5 days, we ate in 5 very good restaurants – and not a one was expensive. For a small town, so many excellent restaurants came as a delightful surprise.

We spent a morning visiting the camera obscura and nearby churches. We expected one church to be much the same as the next – but that wasn’t the case.

Our favorite church, Santa Maria do Castelo, was decorated with carved wooden statues, like this one from the 16th C. This small church was built after the Christians defeated the Moors in the 13th C on the site of an abandoned mosque.

Walls were not covered in marble but decorated with painted wood. We appreciated the less ostentatious appearance and assume that much of the decoration came after the 1755 earthquake.

We climbed up on to the old city walls as well as a bell tower. The views were worth it – as we imagined others standing where we were now, looking out just as we did – but many centuries earlier.

The steps to the bell tower lacked railings and were quite steep. Best not to rush it.

What a joy to have spent 5 days in Tavira! It was the perfect place: charming, scenic, and the food was delicious!


October 2017

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Portugal - Europe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Charming, scenic, and the food was delicious!

  1. BeckyB says:

    It is one of our favourite places to take visitors – such a wonderful town.

  2. haisacalatorimsite says:

    I didn’t know about this tourist destination. Thank you for sharing!

  3. It was fun to hop down memory lane in your photos. And next – bienvenidos a Espana!

  4. Following your posts, we have taken an interest in Portugal, despite my previous claim that maybe Europe was a plane flight too far away. I currently have it as a Plan C for 2019, a bike ride along the Atlantic Coast. The true end or start for Portugal is Vila Real de Santo Antonio, along the coast from Tavira. However, this morning, before reading your post, I had decide that Tavira was probably a better (more likely start) start/ end to this long ride as it seemed to have a lot more to offer and, also cut the longest ride of the trip by about 30km. Your post was very timely. Thanks!

  5. Wonderful pics Beth and Joe! It was difficult to choose between Lagos and Tavira (Tavira was my first choice) for a base city when we landed in Portugal and a visit last week showed me again why I loved it so much. It looks like your hopes of a “pleasant stay” were greatly exceeded! Anita

  6. Your first view of the town at sunset was gorgeous.

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