Excursion 1: From Tavira to Castro Marin
From Tavira take the old road EN125 in direction to Villa Real de San Antonio (VRS to Antonio as you will find on the signs), you will pass through some little villages that may deserve your attention, we try always to look for the brown signs that indicate a tourist point ;-)
Once we arrived to Vila Real we stopped for a photography of the other side of the Guadiana, yes the Spanish side, I though you could see better, but well it was not bad.
The best was the quick stop on one side of the road to see the Salinas just outside the city in direction to Castro Marim, there were a few flamingos.
You do not have to pay to enter at the castle of Castro Marim, but as usual in most of the Algarve castles, you can only see the walls. The problems is to get there. If oyu follow the road signs and drive a normal car you better have the car full insurance! We are lucky to go with a 4x4, better leave the car down and walk up.
Ihla de Tavira (Island of Tavira)
To get there you have to get the little boat (for just one euro per person the return ticket) at about 2 km from Tavira. In winter the last one was at 5.00pm so we missed to see the sunset from there.
As we went in winter the beach was empty, but it was warm and sunny so it was paradise! Just km and km of sandy beach for you!
Pego do inferno
I first saw at another VT member page (quartinb) and got very interested. But if you really want to go, get lots of patience as road signs can be a nightmare.
We follow all the signs until we arrived at the car park (that of course as it was low season was empty) to find that there was no explanation of where to go.
After a while walking without knowing where to go, I saw in the distance a kind of wooden steps on the mountain that has a sing of no entrance only for residences….. and finally we founded this waterfalls.
They were not much spectacular as there was not much water and of course no people bathing in january hehehehe.
I recomend this visit to everyone going to Tavira.
Excursion 2: From Castro Marim to Alcautim
From Castro Marin take the EN122 in direction North, turn right at the exit to Foz de Odelite (ok if you cross the bridge over the Odeleite dam, it means you have passed the exit LOL, that is worth as it is a beautiful lake.) It is a bad road but normally goes empty so it is very nice drive through the country side. At Foz de Odelite you will have great views of the Guadiana, but also all over the road till Alcoutim.
You can find a detail plan of this itinerary at the tourist office where they tell you all the roman villa reminds on the area, but once you arrive there, there is no sign so you have to ask locals to get there …. We did not had so much time so we stopped for occasional photography and got our way up to Alcoutim.
pego do inferno
thou' anyone living in Tavira knows it, pego is completely off the beaten path for travellers. so to get there just ask someone from that parts and you'll be able to get there, with more or less dificulty to a lovely place inland the town of Tavira.
don' t know why this is called inferno being such a beautiful place as you can see in the travelogue inferno.
National Park of Ria Formosa
The National Park of Ria Formosa is composed by various islands and protects specially bird species. We were lucky to see some flamingos on our way, specially at the salinas of Tavira (where we enjoyed another great sunset)
The beach (2)
The beaches east of Tavira are ideal for walking and looking for shells, but not so good for swimming. They can be a bit muddy sometimes and the sea temperature is not so inviting... but the sun is pleasantly warm.
- Family Travel
I abhor tourist coasts and stayed one night n Tavira, because I was told that it's the least tourist-ruined place in the Algarve and I had to use Faro airport. Actually I found Tavira most agreable.
After looking at the castle area, there was not time for the beach and I wandered in that direction more for exercise than anything else. After only about half a mile there are salt pans and there I was lucky enough to see a flock of flamingos and, later, a pair of black-winged stilts.
My short holiday in the Alentejo region was in need of no silver lining but those flamingos made a delightful pink one. Why no photos? An evil gull I'd not noticed alerted the flamingos to my presence and by the time I saw the stilts, the light was too poor.
Directions to the beach
Tavira is about 2km from the sea. The beach, situated in the Ilha de Tavira, stretches approx 11km west. During the summer, a boat will take you from the river in the centre of town. Out of season, you need to walk the 2km to Quatro Aguas where a boat will take you across to Ilha de Tavira and the beach. There are holiday homes and a camping facility here, but no cars are allowed.
Beaches Without Boat Rides
One admitted concern in Tavira is a definite need for a car. While the town is both lovely and extremely walkable, there are some real jewels on the outskirts which you will need a car to reach. Just west of Santa Luzia (just west of Tavira proper) lies on of the places where you can access a gorgeous, pristine beach, without a ferry or water taxi ride. There is a narrow gauge railway that will carry you to the beach for about 1.50 Euros, but it is really only a 15 minute stroll without the train. The beach, Praia da Barril, is beautiful, with white sand and Atlantic surf and not nearly as crowded as Tavira beach (all on the same island...you can walk there if ambitious). On a good day, the beach is often almost deserted. Just behind the beach, housed in an abandoned tuna fishing community, are a handful of small snack bars, a couple of shops, and public rest rooms, and not another building in sight! This is where the locals go to get away from the tourists, and where the knowledgeable tourists go to get away from the crowd!
- Hiking and Walking
Guided Birdwatching Tours
The Algarve has a wonderful variety of birds and many places where to find them. At almost any time of the year there is something of interest to see. Tours may cover several different habitats dependent on season and tides - salinas, saltmarsh, hills, steppe grasslands and woodlands. These tours are specifically designed for those who like to learn and
have fun while bird watching.
- National/State Park
The beach (1)
There is no beach in Tavira, but if you drive 10 kms east, towards the spanish border, you'll find long and wide sandy beaches, never too crowded.