TaviraFebruary 20 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C
Tavira has played an important role here in the Algarve. The Romans built the seven-arched bridge across the Rio Gilão at Tavira to link Castro Marim, near the Spanish border, to Faro. The Moors occupied the town in the 8th century and then Dom Pères Correia reconquered it in 1242. As the closet Portuguese port to Morocco, it became important during the Age of Discoveries, serving as a base for expeditions to North Africa. By 1520 it had become the Algarve's most populated settlement and was raised rank to a city.
Its decline began in the 17th century when North African expeditions were abandoned and the river silted up. If that wasn't enough, the plague struck in 1645, followed by the earthquake of 1755! After it's tuna fishing and canning industry also declined in the 1950's, tourists have now become the biggest source of income and it is a lovely place to visit.
We climbed to the castle ramparts for views across the numerous terracotta rooftops where we glimpsed a young couple having lunch on their roof terrace in the sunshine. Whilst today's structure is a reconstruction from the 17th century, the castle is believed to date back to neolithic times and was rebuilt by the Phoenicians. In the small interior garden we saw what we can only describe as an upside down hydrangea tree. The huge tree was laden with heavily-scented pink hydrangea flowers that hung downwards. It was beautiful. After crossing the Roman bridge we came across another beautiful garden that was small but well manicured.
As we wandered around we noticed a lot of building renovations going on so it looks like Tavira is working hard at its reputation as 'arguably the Algarve's most charming town'.Read more