Visit the beautiful town of Tavira, known as the Venice of the Algarve. Located between the hills and the sea, this city is a milestone in our history, having a rich and traditional architecture from different historical periods.
Divided by the Gilão River, the margins of Tavira are lined with shops and restaurants, and its historic center is full of Phoenician and Islamic archaeological remains, convents with marks of Gothic and Manueline periods, Renaissance churches and Baroque chapels. The council of Tavira has in its total 37 historic churches, some of which we will see throughout our tour.
Itinerary : Municipal Market - Mercado da Ribeira - Public Garden - Roman Bridge - City Centre - Tavira Castle - Sta.Maria Church
The tour starts with a visit to the Municipal Market of Tavira and its surrounding area. The market has traditional sea and country products, having an interior section - with fish, vegetables and crafts - and various shops, coffes and tradicional restaurants on the outside.
After the visit we will continue along the Gilão river and the fishing harbor to the old Tavira Market, named today Mercado da Ribeira. This market was fully restored at the end of the XXth century, maintaining the unique features of its facade and interior. Currently has several craft shops, restaurants and terrace bars to the Gilão River, where you can have a wonderful view across the city.
When leaving the Mercado da Ribeira we enter Tavira's Public Garden, also known as Jardim do Coreto. It´s the oldest public garden in Tavira, containing a variety of floral species, as well as some monuments of important city notables. In the heart of the garden we can find a Bandstand with a octagonal centralized plant, flexible lines and flanked by a lake that has many fish and turtles.
It bears witness to the called of nineteenth-century iron architecture.
Near the garden is the Roman Bridge that joins the two opposite margins of the city. Known as "Old Bridge", it´s a symbol of Tavira. It´s origins raises several theorys and it has undergone several changes over the centuries, becoming in the XVIIth century its current appearance. Today is a mandatory waypoint for its beauty, asymmetry and it´s location in the City Centre, providing a beautiful landscape of the city.
Later we will go to the historical old town, where you can visit the Tavira Castle and the various surrounding churches. The Tavira Castle is a National Monument and what remains of the medieval castle allows us to see the different stages of construction of this military structure. The interior has a beautiful botanical garden and is permitted to climb to the top of the walls to have a panoramic view across the city.
Ending our tour we will visit the Church of Sta.Maria, the mother church of the city. This church, built in the XIII th century and rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, maintains the structure and the Gothic portal. In the main chapel there is the tomb of the seven Knights of the Order of Santiago killed by the Moors in an ambush, that the legend associates to the conquest of the city.