Ilha das Cabanas
Island in the Ria Formosa opposite Tavira
Ilha das Cabanas opposite Tavira is the most eastern of the islands of the Ria Formosa that extends from Faro to Cacela Velha east of Tavira, protecting the unique lagoon system against the rough Atlantic Ocean. The island Ilha das Cabanas stretches from Tavira to the golf course Quinta da Ria near the picturesque village of Cacela Velha. The beach Praia de Cabanas-Mar is located opposite the little village Cabanas de Tavira, which dates back to the glorious times of tuna fishing in the Algarve. The lagoon here is quite narrow and can be swum across at low tide. There is also a boat that goes from the coast to the island.
Ilha de Tavira
Island of the Ria Formosa opposite Tavira
Ilha de Tavira opposite Tavira is part of the island chain of the Ria Formosa that extends from Faro to Cacela Velha east of Tavira, protecting the unique lagoon system against the rough Atlantic Ocean. The island Ilha de Tavira stretches along the coast from the small village of Luz de Tavira to the north-east until reaching Tavira. The famous beach Praia do Barril is located in the centre of the island. Access from the coast at Pedras d’el Rei is by a small pontoon bridge and the 1 km crossing to the island is either on foot or by small train. The former fishermen’s sheds now house various tourist facilities such as toilets, shops and restaurants. Nearby a row of anchors among the dunes is a testament to the glorious past of tuna fishing in the Algarve, when these anchors had been used to fix the nets on the ground. Further to the east the island gets smaller; the small beach Praia da St. Luzia opposite the village of St. Luzia with a width of only 50m is also known as Praia da Terra Estreita (narrow land) .
Praia do Barril: Cemitério das âncoras
The Anchor Cemetery is a monument in remembrance of the period of tuna fishing in the Algarve
The Anchor Cemetery is a monument on the island of Tavira (Ilha da Tavira), as a testament to the former tuna fishing period in the Algarve. The anchors had been used in tuna fishing to fix the nets on the sea bottom of the Ria Formosa.
Rio Séqua: Pego do Inferno
Cataract of the Rio Sequo north of Tavira, disgorging into a picturesque little lake
Cascade and little sea near Tavira Unfortunately this place has been devastated by a forest fire in 2012
Tavira: Camera Obscura
The Camera Obscura, installed in the renovated tower of Tavira
The old water tower was built in 1931 on the height of Santa Maria near the Moorish castle to supply water to the entire city of Tavira. It is now hosting the first and only Camera Obscura in the Algarve. The Camera Obscura, installed in the renovated tower of Tavira, offers spectacular panoramic views over the city of Tavira with its many points of interest, to the Gilao river and the lagoon system of the Ria Formosa.
Tavira: Convento do Graça
Former Monastery Convento da Graça, now converted into a hotel (Pousada de Tavira)
In the Convento da Graça, a former 16th Century Convent carefully restored and offering superb accommodation This was once the Convent of the Cloistered Augustinian Nuns, founded by King D. Sebastião around 1569. It stands on the castle hill on the site of what was once most likely the Jewish quarter. Its most noteworthy features are the 16th and 17th Century Renaissance cloister, the facade facing the main square and the central staircase, both in baroque style. During its careful renovation, several archaelogical traces of Islamic origin were discovered. As a result, the plans were changed in order to incorporate these important findings in the renovated building. They are now partially visible from the bar. Following the restoration there is now a multi-purpose function room in the old church.
Tavira: Igreja da Misericórdia
The church is one of the finest samples of the renaissance architecture in the Algarve
The church, erected in the mid of the 16th Century by André Pilarte from Tavira, who was also engaged in the construction of the famous Monastery of Hieronymus in Lisbon, is built in the style of the renaissance. You can find it on the way from the Praça da República, the square in front of the Câmara Municipal de Tavira, to the ruins of the castle, passing the castle gate Porta de D. Manuel uphill. The construction consists of three naves with wooden barrel vaults, based on eight columns, without apse. The opulent interior decoration with blue-white tiles (azulejos) from the 18th Century depicts 18 Works of Mercy. Above the perfect arc of the emblematic main portal the statue of the patron saint Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia is framed by St. Peter and St. Paul as well as by the arms of Tavira and Portugal.
Tavira: Museu da Antiga Armação de Pesca do Atum
Museum of the traditional tuna fishing method in Tavira
The hotel Vila Galé Albacora is the result of the restoration of the former tuna fishing camp Arraial Ferreira Neto, where the “people of the sea” linked to tuna fishing lived from March to September. This complex, set in broad Natural Park of Ria Formosa, is an architectural witness to the way of life of fishermen and their families, when the typical Almadrava - the frame to capture the tuna - was still used. The old fishermen houses, workshops and warehouses gave place to 162 rooms with beautiful views of the Ria Formosa. The existing chapel was preserved and is now adapted for hosting weddings and christenings, as well as the old school, converted into a kids’ club. And the former bakery became a free small museum that is open to the public. This is where you can observe a model illustrating the great engineering work that the almadrava was and century-old documents of the Algarve Fisheries Company (Companhia de Pescarias do Algarve). As well as a video showing the tuna capture process.