Cabanas de Tavira is a fishing village next to the city of Tavira (about 6 kilometers or 4 miles to the east) and across from an island called Ilha de Cabanas. It’s quite small, but visited for its restaurants on and around Avenida Ria Formosa. This avenue facing the lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park has a promenade and a pier for boats to the island, which has a wonderful beach. The restaurants are known for grilled fish and fresh seafood, particularly clams and oysters.
Praia de Cabanas (“Cabanas Beach”) stretches for 7 kilometers (over 4 miles), so is never crowded, even in July and August. Although it attracts a significant number of locals and tourists, it’s not as popular as the beach of Ilha de Tavira, which is the closest to the center of Tavira. Walk a few minutes away from the boardwalk and you have plenty of peace and quiet. We suggest the eastern side (to the left when facing the sea). The boardwalk goes from the pier to the restaurant and the beach, and is meant to protect the dunes.
Like the others in the region, it has soft white sand and is very clean, as the Blue Flag indicates. It’s almost deserted, with just one restaurant and wicker parasols and loungers for rent in the summer.
The sea is usually calm and safe for swimming, and perfect for standup paddleboarding. There are lifeguards on duty in the bathing season.
Beach for: Families, Couples
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
Parking: No (boat access only)
How to Get to Ilha de Cabanas de Tavira
Small fisherman boats cross the shallow waters of the lagoon to the island, between the months of April and October. They depart from the pier on Avenida Ria Formosa in the center of Cabanas de Tavira, at irregular intervals, starting at 8am or 9am until 6pm, 7pm, or 8pm, depending on the month. Round trip tickets are bought from the ticket booth. The journey takes less than 5 minutes. If you plan to spend the entire day at the beach, always confirm the time of the last boat, or you’ll be stuck on the island until the following morning. Technically, when the tide is low, you can swim or even walk back to Cabanas de Tavira, but that’s not recommended. When crossing the lagoon, you can observe a variety of birds and wildlife, and will see the São João da Barra Fort, built in the late 1600s to defend the port of Tavira. Cabanas de Tavira is less than 10 minutes by car, taxi or Uber from Tavira. If you’re driving, there’s a parking lot on the waterfront close to the pier, but you need to go early to find a spot. There’s also a bus from Tavira (Vamus bus 41, departing from the bus station), which takes just 15 minutes, but there are less than 10 departures per day, and only on weekdays, so it’s not the most reliable option.
Beaches by Ilha de Cabanas de Tavira
Tavira Island is right to the west of Cabanas Island and has a number of beaches with different atmospheres. There’s the popular beach of Ilha de Tavira, the quieter Terra Estreita, Barril and its famous display of anchors, and the nude Homem Nu. To the east is a peninsula with the very pleasant beach of Cacelha Velha.
To locate these beaches, see the Tavira beaches map.
Hotels by Ilha de Cabanas de Tavira
AP Cabanas Beach & Nature
Just a short walk from the coastal road and the pier with the boats to the beach, this is one of the most recent hotels in the Tavira region. It’s for adults only (or rather, adult and teen-friendly, as it allows guests over the age of 14), and many of its 181 rooms with balconies face the ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, two restaurants and a rooftop bar.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: AP Cabanas Beach & Nature
This property with self-catering apartments is just a 3-minute walk from the pier. It features a large outdoor swimming pool for adults and a smaller one for the kids. It attracts families, and each unit has a fully-equipped kitchen and a balcony.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Cabanas Gardens
Casa Viana Guesthouse
Offering great value for money and a perfect location, this is the best choice for budget travelers. It has a terrace overlooking the lagoons and is a short walk from the pier. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Casa Viana Guesthouse
Cabanas Beach Club
These modern 1- and 2-bedroom apartments are a short walk from the bus stop and the pier in Cabanas de Tavira. All guests have access to an outdoor swimming pool and may prepare meals in the fully-equipped kitchens. All units have a balcony or terrace.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Cabanas Beach Club
Pedras da Rainha
This budget resort is a 10-minute walk from the pier and is made up of rustic-style villas and apartments. It offers two swimming pools, a tennis court, a bowling alley, a games room, massage services, and a children’s playground. There’s a restaurant serving Portuguese and international cuisine, and a supermarket for those who prefer to prepare their meals.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Pedras da Rainha
Quinta dos Perfumes
Where a perfume factory stood in the mid-20th century is now a modern country house open since 2013 as a bed and breakfast with 15 rooms. It’s a 5-minute drive from Cabanas de Tavira and 10 minutes from the center of Tavira, and surrounded by orange trees. It has its own organic garden and an outdoor seawater pool, and free bikes are provided for guests to ride around the 88 acres of the property. All of the bright rooms feature a simple contemporary style, and some offer a view of the sea in the distance. More views may be admired from the rooftop terrace where breakfast is served.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Quinta dos Perfumes