A medium-sized town on the east of the Algarve coast, Tavira is located close to the border with Spain. Tavira’s roots go back to the Bronze Age, becoming one of the first ever settlements in the Iberian Peninsula. After it became a Roman town, Tavira was soon established as an important place in the region, as evident by its iconic castle. Today, people come to Tavira to explore the whole of the eastern Algarve as well as go bird-watching and to look up close at the various architectural styles in evidence throughout the town. The town’s location on the coast means that a trip to the beach is always a possibility too, even when the summer crowds are gone.
Some of the roads in Tavira are difficult to navigate with a large vehicle. To be on the safe side, be sure to drive something small such as a city car when in the town.
Driving in Tavira
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The IP4/E1, the main motorway going through the Algarve region, lies just a mile or so north of Tavira town centre.
Said motorway is the main route going eastwards into Spain, where there is no checkpoint due to both countries being in the EU.
Some parts of the centre of Tavira are pedestrianized, which can be hard to see at times. Avoid the town centre unless using a GPS system just to be sure.
Highlights & Hotspots
Parque Natural da Ria Formosa is probably the best place in the Algarve to go watch birds. Here, a number of different species nest as well as use it as a stopping point for migration to the south during winter. Flamingos, storks and kingfishers are commonly sighted here.
Tavira Castle, known locally as Castelo de Portugal is the town’s preeminent landmark. Classified as a National Monument, the castle has been around for centuries. Tours are available most days, but a walk around the grounds is possible too.
The Old Town to the south of the river is the best place to eat out in Tavira. Here, you’re likely to come across a few restaurants serving local cuisine made with fresh ingredients, particularly seafood caught in the Atlantic.
The beach, which is actually a mile south of Tavira, is surprisingly secluded. You’re likely to enjoy a more peaceful time if coming to this section of beach than you would if going somewhere further west such as Faro.
Faro Airport (Aeroporto Internacional de Faro) is around 19 miles east northeast of the centre of Tavira. It serves as the main airport for the Algarve region, accepting flights from many major cities throughout Europe, particularly in the northern countries.
The airport can be reached from the N2 in Faro, which goes north onto the E1. Go east until reaching the N270, which goes southeast towards Tavira town centre.