Tavira Boutique Apartments

Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £182 per night

Tavira Boutique Apartments

Tavira, Algarve, Portugal

Cool, contemporary self-catering apartments (sleeping 2-6) located in a former convent in Tavira’s old town, close to the Ria Formosa’s best beaches

Cool, contemporary self-catering apartments (sleeping 2-6) located in a former convent in Tavira’s old town, close to the Ria Formosa’s best beaches

History and nature collide at Tavira Boutique Apartments. This serene spot, on the outskirts of Tavira, was once home to the largest religious order of its kind in the Algarve, having functioned as a Cistercian convent for over 500 years. Today, following a smart restoration by world-famous Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, it houses a neat collection of apartments, two of which are featured here, surrounded by cloistered gardens, miles of salt flats and the dazzling Ria Formosa lagoon.

These apartments are a dream for families or savvy travellers looking for longer stays. Passionate owner Miguel, who also runs similarly stylish apartments in Porto, has chosen a calming, understated design for both: white and minimalist with splashes of colour and designer pieces. Each apartment has two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen for self-catering and access to two enticing saltwater swimming pools. We enjoyed relaxing breakfasts outside in the shade of our bougainvillea pergola on our dedicated terrace, listening to the evocative sounds of the waders, watching storks and flamingoes. And just loved the feeling of living like locals, popping to the bakery for morning pastries, and strolling into Tavira to browse its craft shops and try its trendy restaurants and bars. This is a precious slice of authentic Algarve.

Highs

  • Contemporary cool at its best; the apartments are spotless and brimming with design surprises
  • Great value for money – rates include a lot of self-catering basics – our welcome hamper was a real treat!
  • Plenty of space to relax: on your private sit-out or on a sunlounger by one of the two saltwater pools
  • Ideal for families and longer stays, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a full kitchen and all the mod cons
  • Useful tranquil location, 5-10 minutes from Tavira’s old town which is a short taxi boat ride from some of our favourite beaches in the Ria Formosa

Lows

  • No formal reception, but they offer a meet-and-greet service on arrival and owner Miguel is only a phone call away
  • The kitchens and bathrooms are compact but cleverly designed and very well-provisioned
  • As they are positioned on a terrace below the main convent conversion, the views from these apartments are of surrounding salt flats not the central pool or cloisters; very occasionally you may hear machinery loading the salt
  • As with most rentals, you'll need to pay a security deposit before arrival

Best time to go

We visited at the start of May and had fabulous sunshine and temperatures in the mid-20s; April is similar. June, July and August can get very hot but the grounds are very shady and all rooms have air con. September and October are gorgeous, like spring but with the advantage of the sea being warmer and fewer crowds.

Unlike other cities in the Algarve, like Faro or Portimão, Tavira has a large permanent population, so most restaurants and cafes remain open during the winter.

Our top tips

  • Keep some space free in your suitcase – we couldn\'t resist buying lovely hand-painted ceramic bowls and local produce from one of the many craft shops in Tavira. Look out for local municipal markets, with goodies ranging from scrumptious fig or almond cakes to pottery and art
  • Try fig-flavoured ice cream: a local specialty. There are three ice cream parlours in Tavira serving 100% natural artisan gelato with a special array of flavours, from the very traditional to the more unusual
  • Great for...

    Cheap & Chic
    City Style
    Family
    Great Outdoors
    • Boutique Apartments
    • 2 apartments for 2-6
    • Self-catering
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • Beach Nearby
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Car recommended
    • Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • WiFi
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    Room:

    Rooms

    The two apartments are side by side, tucked away in the lower Salinas wing of a historic former convent, which now functions as a multi-residential complex. Inside, they mirror each other in layout, each with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan living-dining-kitchen area with a double sofa bed, and a dedicated terrace overlooking the semi-wild salt flats.

    Inside, expect a whitewashed backdrop offset by pops of colour – electric blue, tangerine, forest green – in the fabrics, plants and artwork. The interiors are by famous designer De La Espada, and the furnishings incorporate lots of natural materials, like solid oak and stone – we liked the wooden ladder living room bookshelf, the copper pendant light, and the leather arm rests on the armchairs.

    The two light-filled bedrooms (one double, one twin) have cool terracotta floors, which are handmade locally, bright white walls and super-comfy beds dressed in crisp Indian cotton sheets. The two bathrooms are gorgeous, too, with white marble flooring, a rain shower in one and a bathtub/shower combo in the other, plush towels, bathrobes and refillable local Portuguese bath products. They've thought of everything from heated towel rails to excellent storage, and beach gear including a parasol, mats, and towels.

    Features include:

    • Bluetooth sound system
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The open-plan kitchens are compact but cleverly designed, with all the appliances and utensils you need to create a meal, and more. You'll find a hob, an oven, a fridge, a dishwasher and plenty of cooking equipment. The table seats six in comfort.

    All the basics are provided (oil, salt, pepper, washing-up liquid, dishwasher tablets etc), as well as a very generous welcome hamper (for booking through i-escape) of local cookies, yoghurt, pastries, bread, butter, jam, cheese, ham, orange juice, milk and a lovely bottle of traditional tawny port – more than enough to keep you going for 24 hours. There’s coffee, too, which you make in your Nespresso machine. For groceries, there are a few supermarkets an easy walk from the convent, including the town's main Mercado (open mornings M-Sa); the best deli in town we found, DeliGourmet, is about 10 minutes' walk.

    If you want to eat out, you don’t have to travel far to find a good restaurant – a reliable list of recommendations is provided in your welcome email. We recommend Nó de Gosto or Pausa, both well known for their excellent tapas, wine and hospitality. Or try O Castelo for sumptuous seafood, mouthwatering steaks and a flavourful house wine that's loved by the locals – note that the restaurant is extremely popular so booking ahead is advised.

    Features include:

    • Coffee maker
    • Dishwasher
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob or stove
    • Microwave
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Toaster
    • Self-catering
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Explore beautiful Tavira: sit at one of the many cafes and bars and take in the historic townscape or, at low tide, watch the fisherman searching for clams in the shallows
    • Head to the Camera Obscura – an old water tower-turned-observatory which sends you on a 360-degree voyage around Tavira, showing the city in sparkling clarity
    • Take a day trip to one of the most pristine beaches in the Algarve: Ilha de Tavira, which is easily accessible from the town by ferry
    • Explore the natural beauty of Ria Formosa National Park, recently elected one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal
    • Visit the Castro Marim salt pans, on the banks of the Guadiana River. Here, sea salt is collected without machinery or chemicals. Take a guided tour, observe wildlife or enjoy a mineral mud bath or a floating salt bath
    • Foodies can try a cooking class in Tavira, visit the Cork Factory in São Brás de Alportel for some wine tasting, or sample and discover how olive oil is made at Monterosa Olive Oil Farm
    • Explore the beaches and countryside on a horse riding trip around the natural lagoons of Tavira
    • Active travellers will find numerous cycling paths, hiking routes, golf courses, and plenty of waterways for kayaking in Tavira

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Boat trips
    • Cooking classes
    • Dolphin watching
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Historical sites
    • Horse riding
    • Kayaking
    • Private guided tours
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Wildlife
    • Wine tasting

    Kids

    The Algarve is a superb family destination, and Tavira works well for children. Sights in the old town are all easily walkable, there are shops and restaurants galore, and the airport is only 30 minutes away by taxi.

    These self-catering apartments have everything a family would need to make themselves at home; with open-plan kitchens and private terraces for outdoor meals as well as plenty of cooking equipment and storage. Baby cots and highchairs can be added on request. There aren't any special in-house activities for children, but kids will enjoy splashing around in the large saltwater pools and there are plenty of other fun things to do in the area.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    All apartments have two bedrooms (one double, one twin), plus a sofabed in their living rooms for an additional two guests. There are two bathrooms in each unit, one with a bathtub and shower and one with shower only.

    Baby equipment:

    • Baby cot
    • Highchair
    • Baby bathtub
    • Toy box
    • Beach gear including toys and a set of racquets

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kids Activities on site:

  • Two communal saltwater swimming pools

    Kids Activities nearby:

  • Boat trips
  • Watersports
  • Wildlife

    Families Should Know:

    The swimming pools are not fenced, the big one has a safe shallow end with steps

  • Distances:

    • Shops: 5 minutes
    • Hospital: 30 minutes
    • Airport:: 30 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Tavira Boutique Apartments are located in the historic coastal town of Tavira, just metres away from the old town.

    By Air
    Faro (40km) is the closest airport.

    From the Airport
    There's an airport transfer service (extra cost), or you can travel by public transport: take a taxi or bus into central Faro, then catch the local train or bus to Tavira.

    By Car
    If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations.

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Faro Airport 40.0 km

    Other:

    • Beach 4.0 km
    • Shops 0.5 km
    • Restaurant 0.3 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

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    Rates for Tavira Boutique Apartments

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