Tavira Boutique Apartments

Tavira, Algarve, Portugal Book from Book from £146 per night

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 edge of Tavira’s enchanting old town, 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 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: white and minimalist with splashes of colour and designer pieces. Each apartment has two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen for self-catering, a private terrace and access to two enticing saltwater swimming pools. We just loved the feeling of living like locals, popping to the bakery for morning pastries, relaxing in the shade of our pergola, 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 stylish, spotless and brimming with design surprises
  • Great value for money - rates are per apartment and include self-catering basics
  • Plenty of space to relax: on your private terrace or on a sunlounger by one of the two saltwater pools
  • Ideal for families and longer stays, with two bedrooms, a full kitchen and all the mod cons
  • Excellent location, a short walk from Tavira’s old town and a short taxi boat ride from some of our favourite beaches in the Ria Formosa

Lows

  • A EUR 250 security deposit must be paid before arrival
  • There's no formal reception, but they offer a meet-and-greet service on your arrival day and owner Miguel is only a phone call away if you need anything
  • Kitchens are compact but cleverly designed
  • The views of surrounding salt flats aren't the prettiest

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
    • Boutique Villa
    • 2 villas
    • Self-catering
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    Room:

    Rooms

    The apartments are tucked away in the 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, an open-plan living-dining-kitchen area, and a private terrace.

    Inside, expect a whitewashed backdrop offset by striking pops of colour - electric blue, tangerine, brilliant 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 particularly liked the wooden ladder bookshelf in our living room.

    The light-filled bedrooms have cool terracotta floors, which are handmade locally, bright white walls and super-comfy beds dressed in crisp Indian cotton sheets. The bathrooms are gorgeous, too, with white marble flooring, a rain shower in one apartment and a bathtub/ shower combo in the other, plush towels, bathrobes and local Portuguese bath products.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bluetooth music system
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob or stove
    • Iron
    • Microwave
    • Oven
    • Phone
    • Satellite TV
    • Terrace
    • Toaster
    • Toiletries
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi

    Eating

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

    All the basics are provided (oil, salt, pepper, washing-up liquid etc), as well as a thoughtful welcome hamper of bread, jams, fruit fresh juice, milk and cheese to start you off, plus a lovely bottle of traditional tawny port. There’s great coffee, too, which you make in your Nespresso machine. For groceries, there are a few supermarkets an easy walk from the convent.

    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 by Miguel in the information pack. 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 / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob or stove
    • Microwave
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Toaster
    • Welcome hamper
    • 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:

    • Cooking classes
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse riding
    • Kayaking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • Traditional cultures
    • 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 beach gear. 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 activities on offer 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 cots and highchairs can be added to all apartments on request.

    Baby equipment:

    • Cradle
    • Highchair
    • Baby bathtub
    • Toy box

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

    Kids Activities on site:

  • Two communal saltwater swimming pools

  • 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 1 independent review from i-escape guests

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

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