Tavira is truly an experience, so spend the afternoon here on your way back from the border and take it in. The town is separated by a canal running right through the middle of it and joined by a few bridges. By the time you arrive in Tavira you will likely be ready for a meal. A favourite dish, “frango no churrasco” (BBQ chicken) is offered in many of the restaurants along the canal. The restaurants and menu selection for lunch are plentiful, so enjoy the adventure of roaming around to find your perfect lunch spot.
After eating, spend the afternoon exploring the narrow cobblestone streets on both sides of the canal and check out the fishing boats. Take a walk up the hill to visit the castle overlooking the town for some great views. Tavira has endless surprises that await you and that can only be discovered as you casually wander its streets. Notice the intricate doorways arches, the old solid wood doors and the very unique door knockers.
** Parking is tricky in Tavira as there are no parking areas, so you’ll need to drive around until you manage to find a spot along a one of the streets.
How to get there -
From Ayamonte in Spain, head back to the Spanish border into Portugal. From the
Spanish border, take A22 west and exit at Tavira, following the signs into town “Centro” .
Driving back to Luz – From Tavira, take the A22 west back to Luz.
Driving time from Ayamonte-Spain to Tavira-Portugal: 30 min.
From Faro to just beyond Olhao, the beaches are accessible by boat only.
Ferries run from Tavira, Olhao and Fuzeta to their respective islands.
The ferries run every half-an-hour and cut off in the early evening, however in peak season ferries run from Tavira to Tavira island all night until about 2 am.
A ferry also runs from Vila Real S. Antonio to the Spanish town of Ayamonte.
You should set aside a full day for an action packed trip across the Algarve to the Spanish border and then stop at Tavira on the route back. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to the border from Lagos (on the main motorway). This frontier is separated by the Guidana River with an impressive bridge dividing the two great countries of Portugal and Spain.
About 15 minutes after crossing the Spanish border, you can exit the motorway to visit the port town of Ayamonte. This relaxed little town has endless pedestrian streets with loads of great cafes and shops. These cafes can be found in the heart of town and along the Guidana Riverfront. Spend a couple of hours meandering through the streets and admiring the architecture, the tile and the marble work. Stop and admire the colourful fountains and plazas boasting a multitude of tile combinations. Plan to arrive no earlier than 10 a.m., when the town really comes alive. Allow a couple of hours in Ayamonte before heading right back across the border, into Portugal and stop in at Tavira for a late lunch.
Tip: Spain is one hour ahead of Portugal. Remember this as you plan your trip.