The Salt Route
Enjoy a short but extremely rich tour between Cabanas de Tavira and Tavira Maritime Bar, passing the Quatro Águas channel with a short stop on Cabanas Island, also known by the ancients as the “Pumpkin Island”. The present island is thought to have formed as an extension of Tavira Island from the 17th century onwards up to the 20th century. The São João da Barra fort, visible from the island, was built in the mid-17th century to protect the access by sea to Tavira where at that time would be the peak of growth of the dune cord. This would have continued to extend in the following centuries reaching already in the eighteenth century the maximum point to the east of the fort, in the direction of Cacela. Further changes to the maritime bars and jetties, already in the XXth century, caused the sediment movements to change, altering the configuration of the island into what it is today.
Itinerary: Cabanas – Tavira Bay – Tavira Island – Quatro Águas – Cabanas Island (15min stop) – Cabanas
Cabanas: Cabanas is linked to tuna fishing since its origin. In 1734 began the tuna fishing with nets (armação), which led to the construction of the first huts to keep the fishing equipment and to be a shelter to the fishermen. For 20 years the huts were only seasonal residence. Only in 1757/58 some fishermen built permanent homes.
Now Cabanas has 1181 permanent residents, a number that increases a lot in the summer with tourists.
The community is still dedicated to fishing, contributing to the local cuisine enrichment. But the tourism is getting more importance year after year.
The fishermen village with a rehabilitated waterfront with a new wooden walkway that goes through all the village, passing through numerous cafes, restaurants and craft shops.
A) Cabanas Island – SW side, deserted beach.One of the eastern Algarve beaches most crowded due to its location, opposite to the city of Cabanas de Tavira and ease access via ferry boats or water taxis.
B) Tavira Island – voted one of the best beaches in Europe, the route from ria to the beach is surrounded by the camping and several restaurants and bars.This is the only island with a camping park.
Desert Beach- in Cabanas Island on the east side of Tavira bay, this beach is the getaway of crowds and one of the best beaches to relax or discover the Natural Park of Ria Formosa on a pleasant walk.
C) Tavira – the city is divided by the Gilão river, which is surrounded by shops and restaurants, and a historic center rich in archaeological marcs of the Phoenicians and Islamics, convents with brands of the periods Gothic and Manueline, Renaissance churches and Baroque chapels.