Discover Tavira Municipality
Belonging to the district of Faro and tucked away in the peaceful East Algarve, Tavira is a town and a Municipality bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, its beautiful beaches and quiet life, altered only by the constant bustle of visitors who reach this destination during the Summer season to enjoy the vast sands that dominate the coast, walking the streets with whitewashed houses and explore its mountains and hills, plagued by fig and almond trees.
But Tavira was not always a quiet and peaceful town. Many years ago this city was a big and important commercial harbor dominating the fish industry, and exporting dry fruits (figs and almonds mostly), salt and wine not only for the whole country but to harbors in Italy and Flanders as well as the african coast. But time and the silting of the Gilão river turned all this into memories and cultural inheritance.
The Municipality of Tavira
Tavira is the third biggest Municipality in the Algarve with about 110 towns, villages and places and covering an area of around 611 Km2 and it's divided in nine civil parishes (listed in alphabetical order):
Cabanas de Tavira.
Conceição de Tavira.
Luz de Tavira.
Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo.
Tavira – Santa Maria.
Tavira – Santiago.
The majority of urban areas are located by the sea. The parishes more secluded into the interior have been severely affected by the migration of people to coastal areas seeking better life conditions, and most of the remaining population of these places is subsequently composed by the elderly. Nevertheless the small towns located more into the interior are among the most beautiful ones, where traditions and appearance has remained untouched since these still live from agriculture, apiculture, cork production, etc. To reach many of these places you will have to take rudimentar pedestrian paths and roads.
Map Location of Tavira in the Algarve
Tavira is undoubtedly among the most beautiful cities in the Algarve Region, with its peculiar tesouro rooftops, historic monuments and buildings. In the city you will find a few small museums and archaeological exhibition usually open with events all year round.
As a curiosity, just in Tavira there are more churches than in any other city in the Algarve, 32 in total counting the chapels. The Igreja do Carmo on the East side of the river is the most ornamented exhibiting a heavy Baroque style, and very sought by tourists together with Igreja da Misericórdia nearby the city hall.