The Pousada de Tavira opened in 2006 and is located within the buildings of the Graça Convent, which was founded by King Sebastian I in the 16th century for the Cloistered Augustinian Nuns. It features a 16th- and 17th-century Renaissance cloister and a baroque-style central staircase. This exceptionally beautiful Pousada stands on what was once most likely the Jewish quarter of the attractive seaside town of Tavira, which is steeped in history and famous for its 37 churches. It is known as the ‘Town of Churches’, and also as the ‘Venice of the Algarve’ due to its position on two hills on either side of the River Gilão linked by a seven-arched bridge. Midway between Faro and the Spanish border, this is a delightful and completely 'unspoilt' area of the Algarve - a world away from the popular resorts to the west.
Tavira's Pousada has 36 Rooms: 7 are doubles and 24 are twins, of which one has a mezzanine floor. Some of the double and twin rooms have small balconies. One of the double rooms has a view to the church and the public garden in front of the Pousada. This room, the room with a mezzanine and another one with a private garden are characterized as superior rooms. There also are 5 suites of which one is a duplex (the suite D. Sebastião) another has a terrace and a private garden (the suite Almanasor) and two others have a small balcony (the suites Santiago and Frei Sam Pedro). Frei João is the name of the other suite. One of the rooms has disabled facilities.
One of the more contemporary features of the Pousada is the swimming pool and terrace which, along with several other modern touches, provide clients with 21st century comforts and style, blended with the authentic features of the convent. This is tastefully done so that the Pousada de Tavira retains an aura of serenity and tranquility, with its quiet and luminous cloister and passageways bolstered by additional walkways that enable you to enjoy the panoramic views of this wonderful setting. Tavira's Pousada also has a safe-enough car park in the form of a parking area whose gates are closed at night.
The Pousada has an excellent restaurant offering a wide variety of Portuguese and international cuisine. You can expect plenty of fish and seafood on the menu, but you will also find good meat and vegetarian options, and traditional desserts to taste.
Tavira is a very attractive coastal town which grew rapidly during the height of Portugal's tuna-fishing industry, with the river Gilão running through it and saltflats running down to the estuary. Ferries operate down the river and across the estuary to the sandbar, part of the marine nature reserve, where you can enjoy the long sandy beach and beachside restaurants. A very short ferry ride can also be taken from the car park at the mouth of the estuary. There are a number of decent restaurants to be found back in Tavira and on the colourful quayside, with bridges spanning the river as the town climbs up to the heights where the Pousada de Tavira can be found, and plenty of terraces and cafes to enable you to enjoy the fine climate and lovely views. Smaller shops are more common here, with an occasional market in the centre of the town by the riverside. The sandbar runs quite far along the coast here, after which several attractive islands with good beaches can also be visited shortly before you reach the Spanish border. Regular, small ferry boats slit about along the inland waterways, swiftly transferring visitors to the sandbar.
The town of Tavira is the main centre east of Faro, with several small, pretty coastal resorts such as Olhão and Cabanas and quieter sandy beaches to be enjoyed. The sea temperature is noticeably higher in this area and to the East, and the quality of the beaches is high.