Monday, July 22, 2024

The secret sun spot 3hrs from Dublin with private beaches, sea horses & 27C heat

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TAKE a look at the charming fishing town that’s just 30 minutes from a busy airport – with private beaches and world-class golf courses.

Explore the town of Tavira, Portugal, where flights from Dublin Airport start at just €30.

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The sunny fishing village of Tavira has some of the most beautiful architectureCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Landscape of the village of Tavira in the Algarve, southern Portugal

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Landscape of the village of Tavira in the Algarve, southern PortugalCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The five-star luxury golf resort - Monte Rei located just outside of Tavira

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The five-star luxury golf resort – Monte Rei located just outside of TaviraCredit: Aidan Bradley

Make your way along Tavira’s cobble stone streets and traditional tiled houses dating back to the 10th century.

The town is situated along the slow-flowing Gilão River with stunning bridges and architecture particularly at night when the town is lit up and reflects across the river.

With a range of modern hotels, family run restaurants and plenty of glorious beaches, Tavira has it all.

Even world-class golf courses with the prestigious Monte Rei Golf and Country Club situated just outside of Tavira.

This resort has been voted Portugal’s number one golf course and the green fee for a visitor starts at €220 to golf on the vast 1,000 acres and 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.

This may be the pinnacle of European Golf Resorts but don’t fret as there are many more affordable courses such as the Benamor Golf Club which has five-star reviews and starts at €39 for 18 holes.

The medieval castle of Tavira has the city views especially at night giving you the perfect balance of city break and beach holiday.

And the enchanting town is rich with history with plenty of medieval Knights tombs and churches to visit.

One of the undeniable highlights of this charming town is the traditional Portuguese culture which it has held on to.

This is the destination to go to if you want to escape the hectic nightlife of other towns across the Algarve such as Albufeira.

Inside the stunning European resort of Quinta Do Lago – with all-year sunshine, luxury hotel and fantastic golf courses

The area is renowned for its affordable cuisine and drinks with the average cost of meal being between €8 to €15.

The traditional cuisine centres around fresh fish dishes due to this being a fishing village so the catch-of-the-day can vary.

However, the dish the area is known for is Cataplana, a rice and seafood stew served in a copper pot and shared.

And the sunshine is there to stay with an average temperature of 27C.

The water temperature is even a few degrees warmer than western towns along the Algarve making it ideal for swimming.

The most popular beach in the area is the Praia de Tavira beach which features calm turquoise water, golden sand, and serene nature as it is protected from major tourist development by the Parque Natural de Ria Formosa so you will be undisturbed as you reconnect with nature.

There is a ferry which runs throughout the summer months from Tavira to this protected island and a ticket on will only set you back €1 to €2 while the journey is around 15 minutes.

The protected island in Tavira surrounded by a wildlife nature reserve

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The protected island in Tavira surrounded by a wildlife nature reserveCredit: Getty Images – Getty

At the beach there is still all of the amenities needed such as lifeguards, cafes, and beach shops.

The stunning beach stretches 10km along the coastline and the waters are perfect for children as there is no powerful waves or strong currents.

The long and sandy beaches across this coastal town attract wildlife such as flamingos along the salt pans.

The salt pans are flat expanses across the Ria Formosa natural reserve in Tavira where sea salt is harvested by hand. It is created by natural precipitation with water from the Atlantic Ocean.

The water crystallises into these salt pans creating the famous ‘Sal de Tavira’ and stretch across the nature reserve.

Within this reserve is the world’s largest concentration of seahorses among many other fragile marine ecosystems.

There are so many activities to do in the area such as horseback riding along empty beaches, kayaks and boat tours, bicycle routes, and day trips to places like the fisherman’s quarters or the Anchor Cemetery.

Every morning a lively market is held in the Mercado Municipal, with stalls selling fish, fresh produce and local crafts.

This is a perfect location to immerse yourself into typical Portuguese life.

This destination has two train stations meaning it is easy to travel along the Algarve from Tavira and it is roughly 35 minutes by train to Faro Airport.

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