While Faro was great, we heard from a local gal that Tavira was a “must-see” place in the Algrave. As you head east of Faro, you start to leave behind the golf resorts populated with British and German tourists and get to expereience true southern Portugese cities.
We were definitely not disappointed, as Tavira was cobble-stoned and picturesque, replete with historic buildings and charmingly tiled houses.
There is a lazy river (Gilão) that weaves through the town, just adding to the laid-back vibe that Tavira emitted. There are bits of parks and patios along the river, creating great spaces to wander or to sit and soak in the sun. The centre of the city is filled with narrow cobbled-stone streets and historic buildings. You are able to walk along the remnants of a Roman castle, which is surrounded by buildings reflecting pretty much every architectural period (Roman, Gothic, Renaissance), reflecting the rich history of this town. In fact, (according to the informative placard) this castle may have actually been from the Neolithic period, rebuilt by the Phoenicians, then taken over by the Moors. Basically, it is SUPER old, dudes! Inside the [very old] walls was a stunning botanical garden filled with giant poinsettia trees and other massive blooming trees. We soaked in all the sunshine, the quiet, and the espresso this town could offer, before heading on our way once more.