Hey there, fellow travelers! Today, I want to take you on a virtual journey to the beautiful town of Tavira, Portugal. Brace yourself for a lighthearted adventure filled with pleasant weather, hidden gems, and mouthwatering culinary experiences. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's embark on this delightful escapade.
My partner Sue and I decided to visit Tavira in early February, hoping for some pleasant weather. And guess what? Our wish was granted! With temperatures ranging from 18 to 20 degrees, we couldn't have asked for more.
We stayed at the adult-only Maria Nova hotel, which had a spectacular rooftop bar. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and warm smiles. Our room, located at the front of the hotel with a balcony, was perfect for catching the daytime sun. It was clean, comfortable, and equipped with all the usual amenities like tea and coffee facilities, a fridge, and a TV (with just one English news channel – can't have it all, right?).
The hotel itself was modern and immaculately clean, and we were thrilled to find out that the spa was free to use. Trust me when I say it was a truly rejuvenating experience. Breakfast at the hotel was plentiful, offering a wide range of choices to satisfy our cravings and set us up for the day ahead.
Now, let's talk about Tavira. This charming town sits atop a hill, overlooking the scenic Roman bridge. It's a slow and sleepy place, far away from the tourist track, and we absolutely loved it for that. One of our favorite daily rituals was heading to a cafe on the other side of the bridge. There, I would kickstart my day with a double espresso, perfectly paired with a delicious Portuguese tart. Absolute heaven!
As we wandered through Tavira's winding streets, we discovered an unexpected fascination with cork. Who knew this material could be so versatile? Bags, belts, shoes – you name it, they made it out of cork. It was fascinating to explore the local shops and see the craftsmanship firsthand.
During our stay, the hotel organized a boat trip for us around the Ria Formosa, a stunning natural park. The wildlife, the breathtaking scenery, and our pilot Amanda's informative commentary made it a memorable experience. Of course, as luck would have it, the skies suddenly darkened, and rain came pouring down like nobody's business. We were soaked to the bone, but as soon as we reached the hotel, the sun decided to make a grand reappearance. Classic!
While Tavira might not boast big-name shops, museums, or grand attractions, it compensates with its laid-back atmosphere and picturesque streets begging to be explored. We didn't venture far, but we did take a bus to Praia do Barril, a nearby beach famous for its anchor cemetery. The leisurely walk and the octopus salad we enjoyed in a rustic café made the trip even more memorable.
Food-wise, Tavira won our hearts. Although the cuisine is predominantly fish-based, Sue, being a vegetarian, didn't struggle to find tasty vegetarian options. We stumbled upon two incredible restaurants during our stay. One had a modern vibe and served out-of-this-world dishes (the 50-year-old brandy I had might have contributed to that judgment!). The other was a hidden gem tucked away in a backstreet, filled with locals. They offered a limited selection of the day's freshly made dishes, and every bite was simply delicious. And let's not forget the heavenly fish soup – it was truly unforgettable
Of course, no trip would be complete without mentioning the libations. Sue, a lager enthusiast, had no trouble finding a local brew to suit her taste. As for me, I fell head over heels for vino verde, a young, slightly sparkling white wine from the region. It was love at first sip, and now it's become my go-to wine choice back home.
Tavira, with its slow pace, warm locals, and hidden treasures, captured our hearts. If you're looking for a relaxing getaway with plenty of charm, this is the place for you. So, pack your bags and head to Tavira for an unforgettable experience. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Until next time, fellow adventurers!