Tavira is a city and a community (11,000 inhabitants) in the same-named county. The former municipalities Santiago and Santa Maria were merged in 2013 to União das Freguesias de Tavira.
Coordinates: 37° 7′ N, 7° 39′ W
It is difficult to park directly in the town center. At the (new) market hall and a bit distant from the center are sufficient facilities to park the vehicle savely. It is only a few hundred meters walking from there to the center.
Already the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians colonized roughly 2800 years ago today's urban area. The Ponte Romana (see picture above) has been built upon a base of the Roman era. The bridge is reserved for pedestrians and street artists.
In the 16th century Tavira became the most important harbour of the Algarve because of the trade with the Portuguese colonies.
In 1645 raged the pestilence nearly during the whole year in the town, more than 4,000 inhabitants lost their life. From the mid-17th century on, the Rio Gilão filled more and more with sand, the town forfeited consistently its political and economic supremacy towards Faro.
The Rio Gilão divides the town into an eastern and a western half.
Many old and beautifully restored buildings can be seen.
The public garden is located north of the former market hall.
A popular meeting point with all age groups. Often parties take place or street artists perform here.
Beautiful shopping promenades and cosy cafés are located on both sides of the river. In the west as well as in the east one finds streets which are reserved for pedestrians.
The main beach of Tavira is upon the Ilha de Tavira. Ferry boats regularly go there starting from the jetty south of the old market hall.
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The train station is situated in the southwestern part of the town.
Coordinates: 37°07'15.0"N 7°39'19.9"W
From here it is only about 400 to 600 meters to the town center.
Tavira lies by the railway (Linha do Algarve) from Vila Real de Santo António via Tunes to Lagos.
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