Places of Interest in Tavira

Tavira is rich in culture from both the past and the present, and its exquisite architecture is only accentuated by its pristine surroundings that span the south of Portugal. Below are some of the most famous sites in Tavira – places you must see if you happen to be in this beautiful city.

The River Gilao and the Ponte Romana
The crystalline meandering currents of the River Gilao approach the Atlantic and flood into the open ocean at the river’s mouth in Tavira. The river is surrounded by changing scenery, including local flora and settlements that house the area’s friendly residents.
Ponte Romana
Over these clear waters like a testament to Portugal’s enduring history stands the Ponte Romana. This bridge, still upright and timelessly beautiful, is one of the few structures that were not destroyed by the great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. The bridge withstood raging fires and engulfing waves to remain today as a historical monument in modern Portugal. The classic architecture of the past is evident in its design.
The Church of Santa Maria do Castelo
Tavira has about as many religious monuments as its oldest buildings have years, but of all the churches, cathedrals and other places of worship, the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo is the most well-known and important. It is the central church of the city and contains an array of beautiful and intriguing features dating back from the 13th Century when it was built. It was built as a Gothic Church on the site of a previous Moor mosque and holds the remains of Dom Paia Peres Correia and 6 of his knights after they expelled the Moors from the land.
Igreja da Misericordia
Literally, “the Church of Mercy,” this historic site was formulated by André Pilarte in the 16th Century. It was designed in the renaissance style and consequently displays the art and architecture of the time. Exquisite carvings line both the interior and exterior of the church, and its arches and pillars help embrace the past within its walls.
Tavira Island
The Algarve region is renowned for its expansive beaches and beautiful coastline ecosystems. However, Tavira Island in the south of the city is one of the most superb. 11 kilometres long and from 0.15 to 1 kilometre wide, this small pearl of gleaming sand and picturesque scenery is separated from the mainland by a ribbon of pristine blue water, which changes its hue as it moves around the island. It can be reached by boat from two points – one in the city centre – and is an exciting reservoir of animal and plant life. It also belongs to the Natural reserve of Ria Formosa and enjoys many tourists every year. The island is home to many 15th century cottages and houses that have been preserved throughout the centuries.