Stepping into Tavira is a bit like stepping into an alternate reality. Time seems to stay still and everything feels very calm and quiet. The town has been built up since the 8th century and it has kept a remarkable amount of its heritage evident. The buildings are fascinating to look at and there are monuments that you can picture looking exactly the same hundreds and hundreds of years ago. All of this works in Tavira’s favour as it makes the town one of the best destinations along the Algarve coastline for those who want to visit somewhere that feels truly authentic. Of course some parts of the town have been revamped, the markethall along the riverfront in particular, but all building work has been done with great consideration for its surrounding environment – not a concrete high-rise in sight! Exploring the town centre, it’s impossible to miss some of Tavira’s most important landmarks. The Igreja de Misericordia is considered one of the town’s finest churches and the 13th century castle on the hill offers incredible views of the region. If you are interested in the architecture of Tavira, the tourist information centre supplies a fascinating leaflet that lets you follow a route that incorporates the best sights.