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Tavira and around

Tavira, ~30km/20mi east of Faro, is one of the most beautiful towns in the Algarve and a clear winner if you are looking to base your vacation in the Eastern Algarve. The town straddles the broad Rio Gilão, a tidal estuary which is overlooked by balconied houses and traversed by several bridges, one of Roman origin. Despite ever increasing visitor numbers and ongoing tourist development, Tavira still makes a living as a fishing port, an industry attested to by the many fine seafood restaurants along the palm-lined river.


For the sun-worshipper, the superb white beaches of Ilha da Tavira, reachable year-round by ferry or water-taxi, offer the ultimate in just lounging around. The sleepy neighbouring village of Santa Luzia offers more excellent seafood while the magnificent Barril beach at western end of Ilha da Tavira, reached by a rickety old train beloved of young and old alike, is opposite the holiday village of Pedras del Rei – and if you venture a little west of the busy tourist area at the island “train station” you will find a remote, secluded nudist beach. Beside the “train station”, you have the remarkable “anchor graveyard”, a relic of the days when Barril was a major centre of the now defunct tuna-fishing industry. Much of the coastal area around Tavira has been turned into a nature reserve, the Ria Formosa Nature Park; here you can go bird-watching, chase butterflies, observe the abundant flora and fauna, sunbathe – or just plain wander around in a charming, relaxed, rustic environment. Additionally, check out the following links for further information and pictures of Tavira and the surrounding area:

http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/algarve/tavira/index.html

http://www.cdepa.pt/camera/en_main.html.


Other affiliates are, http://www.ferienhausmarkt.com/advert/4923/publish/, and www.pensionen-weltweit.de


Going east toward the Spanish border (~20km/15mi from Tavira with no passport formalities), you come to several more excellent beaches; Manta Rota, Monte Gordo, Cacelha Velha, Fabrica are well worth a stop en route. The Ria Guadiana forms the border between Spain and Portugal. The river town of Villa Real do Santo Antonio is renowned for its many shops offering a fantastic variety of house wares. The scenic route following the river north takes you to the fortified towns of Castro Marim, Alcoutim, Mertola, etc. For the more adventurous, the sophisticated shopping, the bull ring and the equestrian activities of Seville are 90 minutes motorway drive from Tavira.

Seven golf courses lie within 5 to 25 minutes drive of Tavira – including Quinta da Cima, once rated as the best course in Portugal by the authoritative “PEUGEOT Guide”. Within an hour you can reach almost all of the well known Algarve courses – plus Islantilla and Isla da Canela just over the border in Spain. UK, France, Benelux, etc! For competitive airport car rental at Lisbon, Faro, Seville, Tavira, etc, click on the following link: http://www.cartrawler.com/affiliates/afullrequest.asp?client=60938.

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