Cabanas de Tavira is a fishing town set along
the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
The town is named after the huts (cabanas) that were established here in the early 18th century to store the fishing gear of the local fishermen, who eventually settled down in Cabanas and built permanent houses. Once a sleepy town, Cabanas de Tavira is fast becoming a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors every year to its secluded beach.
Even with the rise of tourism, Cabanas still
has a strong connection with fishing, which is reflected in the local
gastronomy with ingredients like tuna and razor clams featured on the town's
restaurants. There are around 1,000 people living in
Cabanas de Tavira, with more people joining them during the summer season.
The nearest train station to Cabanas de Tavira is Conceição, but you can easily reach the town by bus from the centre of Tavira. Important historic sites in Cabanas include the Fort of São João da Barra and the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Mar.
The Fort of São João da Barra was originally built in the 17th century by Conde Val de Reis and it’s a great example of Portuguese military architecture. The fort was later rebuilt in 1973 and now functions as a guesthouse, offering great views of the sea and the waterways of Ria Formosa.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Mar is the main
church of Cabanas and was inaugurated in April of 1994. Inside the church,
there is an image of Nossa Senhora do Mar, the patron saint of the town.
Cabanas has an island which is part of the Ria
Formosa Natural Park, the largest and most beautiful nature reserve in the
Algarve. The island is separated from the mainland by a
small lagoon which can be crossed by boat or by foot during low tide. The boats depart from several spots around the
harbour and take only a few minutes to reach the island of Cabanas and its
quiet beach. You can also catch a boat to the Tavira Island from here or join a
guided tour around Ria Formosa.
Praia de Cabanas is a blue flag beach that has
been recognised for its excellent facilities and clean waters. The beach is 7 kilometres long and includes a
café, showers, toilets and sunbeds for hire. During the summer the beach is a great place
to practise windsurfing, sailing and jet-skiing.
The most popular celebration in Cabanas de
Tavira is New Year’s Eve where you can enjoy fireworks by the waterfront.