Tavira is a sleepy Portuguese town in the Algarve, and a perfect winter destination. One of the attractions of Tavira is Ilha De Tavira, the beach reached by ferry.
Part of the natural park of Ria Formosa, Ilha De Tavira translates to Tavira Island. A white sand beach is discovered once you step off the regularly operated ferry from Tavira’s town. You immediately feel like this is a relaxing paradise, discovered and enjoyed only by you.
There is plenty on offer for many people at Ilha De Tavira. Depending on what you want, this Algarve beach offers something different. Furthermore, Tavira, and the Algarve as a whole, is perfect for some winter sun.
Restaurants, water sports and a touch of history makes Ilha De Tavira a wonderful place to visit.
How to get there (even in the winter):
First of all, you need to find out the best way to get there. To get to Ilha De Tavira, you hop onto a ferry. Guidebooks will tell you to go from Tavira to Quatro Águas, but you are also able to catch a ferry to Ilha De Tavira on the same coast where you can find Ponte Romana, the famous Tavira bridge. On the right side of Ponte Romana, walk downwards, past the restaurant’s, until you see a gym on the corner. The ferry booth is here, and this is where you can catch a return ferry for only €2.
The earliest ferry leaves at 9:30am, and they run until 15:50 from Tavira. The earliest ferry pick up from Tavira beach is 10:15am, and the latest is 16:35pm. Also, there are water taxi’s, but these cost a bit more. If you do opt for water taxi, make sure you know where to get them from. Consequently, the last thing you want is to be stranded on the beach! The ferries continue to run throughout the winter, but you may want to wear a light jumper in the day to board!
Arriving at Ilha De Tavira
There are three different beaches in one long strip of beach. When you arrive, you arrive at Praia da Ilha de Tavira. This is the east side of the beach, where many restaurants are.
In the centre is Praia da Terra Estreita. In the west is Praia do Barril, and it’s in this direction where the nudist beach can be found. The west beach also houses the anchor cemetery and an old tuna factory.
During the summer, this beach naturally gets busy, but walking away from Ilha De Tavira and towards the centre and west, you can lose the crowds. And what about activities? Read on to find out.
Activities & spending the day on the sand:
Naturally, summer season is peak activity time. There are many water based activities available, which include jet skiing in the ocean. There are many restaurants to sample, but it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks and drinks, as the beach is so vast. You can rent loungers and umbrellas for €15. Because the beach is so wide, and the sand stretches for miles, this beach is perfect if you like walks. Praia do Barril is about 40 minutes walking, and another 2 kilometres will take you to the nudist beach.
The nudist beach is one of the best nude beaches in the Algarve. The nude part of Ilha De Tavira is just past Praia do Barril, 2km away. It’s so remote here that there are no lifeguards, no infrastructure, just a place to enjoy nature.
The anchor graveyard:
On the Praia do Barril section of the beach, you will come across the anchor graveyard. The history of this beach is tuna fishing, and on the beach is a small fishing village, with old accommodation once belonging to the fishermen. Around 80 fishermen lived on the beach with their families. Buried in the sands are rows upon rows of rusting anchors, to remember the old trade that was part of Tavira’s history.
And don’t forget, that if you’re looking for a beach that you’re able to relax on, Ilha De Tavira has it for you. Enjoy the white sands, find a quiet spot, and listen to the waves. Ilha De Tavira really is one of the best beaches in the algarve.