Just 40 minutes from Faro Airport
It's not polished and sophisticated nor is it a high rise development, Tavira is a small old Roman town that’s full of life (even out of season), with a population of around 26,000, that, although it has tourists, behaves as though it’s primary industry is still fishing with little old men sitting by the river repairing the nets as the boats unload their catch.
The the town itself, has charming individual shops and bars with hardly a chain store in sight and definitely no MacDonalds or KFC (though they do have some fast food outlets in the new shopping centre).
Wander round the little winding roads and cobbled streets over the Roman bridge through plant and tree filled areas, taking in the smell of Dame de Noite and pepper trees, honeysuckle and jasmine bushes or the
smell of the restaurants preparing for dinner.
When the walking gets too much for little legs there’s a small tourist train tour around the town, which takes you past all the churches, the castle, the camera obscura , the salt harvesting and runs all the way along the river out to the sea.
There are numerous restaurants set around small squares, narrow pedestrian streets and along the river, including Brazilian, Italian, Indian, Chinese and of course lots of Portuguese where you can eat simply prepared, freshly caught fish, including the obligatory sardines with salad and potatoes for just 7 or 8 Euro.
You can try fine dining in a handful of places, (all book out quickly during the summer, but we can make reservations for you) our favourite is the Wine Museum, where you will be welcomed by gregarious host Roger and sit intimately in one of a series of interconnecting rooms, the mostly fish menu is one of the more creative in Tavira and a 3 course dinner with drinks will be around €25-30 per head.
Through-out the summer the town will have live music in the main square or craft fairs, street theatre, markets etc, children will also be out and about until 12 o clock at night, it makes for a very relaxed, friendly, family atmosphere.
The town hosts an annual Harley Davison meeting in May, with all sorts of food stalls, like mobile Portuguese bread ovens and local wild hog roasts, an acrobatic plane display in 2010 and 2011 (the first time that the event was held was 2010) and a live rock and roll band. It is very well organized and a great day/evening out even for non-bike lovers.