Ilha de Tavira-Mar
The beach in Tavira is a ‘sandspit’ beach, separated from the mainland by the sea and has to be reached by a ferry boat or water taxi.
It is certainly worth doing as the Ilha is beautiful- it feels like being on your own tropical island! During the main summer months (June to mid September) the ferry starts from the quayside in town close to the fish market but it runs all year round from Quatro Águas which is about 1.5kms out of Tavira – follow the signs for Ilha de Tavira. There is plenty of car parking (some paying) although it does get rather chaotic in summer. An alternative is to use the tourist train to Quatro Águas which runs every hour.
The ferries run constantly and in summer time carry on until midnight or so (although water taxis are available when the ferries aren’t running). The cost of a ride to the Ilha on the ferry is just a couple of euros per person return (‘Ida e volta’ in Portuguese). The water taxis are for up to 6 people and the cost is around 20€ per journey.
Ilha de Tavira is about 14km long & stretches nearly all the way to Fuzeta. On the ilha there are a variety of restaurants, beach bars, a campsite, mini-mercado, ‘multibanco’ (cash point), & some houses nestling under the pine trees. All of this is within a very short walk of the landing point- the rest is a glorious stretch of white sand as far as the eye can see and of course, the sea! It really is perfect for a totally relaxing day, and it is easy to see why it is thought of as one of the best beaches on the Algarve.
The ‘organised’ beach where the restaurants and beach bars are is on the seaward side at the eastern end of the ilha – just across from where the ferry docks. This area is supervised and there are also various water sports available. A sunshade and 2 sunbeds costs around 10€ per day and bar service is available at no extra charge, there is even free Wi-fi and free internet.
There is access to the middle of the ilha from Pedras D’el Rei, either by foot or on the tourist train that crosses the Ria Formosa to Praia do Barril. The tourist train operates October to April from 09.00 to 19.00 and from May to September from 08.00 to 19.00.
The beach here is classed as an ‘Accessible Beach’ and is supervised as well as having places to eat and drink.