Tavira is a Portuguese city of Faro in the district, region and subregion of the Algarve, with around 10 607 inhabitants.
It is the seat of a municipality with 606.98 kilometers ² and 25 394 inhabitants (2008), divided into 9 parishes. It is bordered to the northeast by the municipality of Albufeira, just east of Castro Marim and the western part of the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, on the southwest by Olhão, west of São Brás de Alportel and Loulé and has coastline on the southern ocean Atlantic. Lies in the Sotavento (eastern Algarve).
Tavira is a beautiful city located on both banks of the river Gilão, which are connected by a bridge of Roman origin.
By the sixteenth century, the city remained an important center because of its proximity to the coast of Morocco, having a base against pirates and supported the positions occupied by Portugal in North Africa.
It soon became vital in the area during the Moors domination, as we can see from the castle built, on top of a hill.
The houses, whith pyramid-shaped roofs, was probably designed to easily drain the water from the roofs of the sudden heavy rain in the Algarve.
Tavira is full of historic churches and other monuments dating mainly from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Of all the temples, the church of Santa Maria do Castelo is particularly interesting, with its clock tower and Gothic portal.
Off the town, the island of Tavira offers 11 miles of sandy beaches, is also part of the natural reserve of Ria Formosa and became popular among bird-watchers. It can be reached by ferry and is an ideal place for swimming.
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