Cabanas Island Beach
Beach in Cabanas is called Praia de Cabanas or Cabanas-Mar or Ilha de Cabanas. Cabanas beaches are charming island, 7 km long boasting beautiful white sand and perfect tranquility for sunbathers. The whole island of Ilha de Cabanas is the beach.
The access point to the beach is more or less in the center of this island, so that you have loads of beach to both your right and to your left.
To the left, the beach runs to the tip just before Fábrica and before Manta Rota peninsula of the Ria Formosa and is emptiest part of the beach of Cabanas. To the right, the beach runs all the way to the barra at Tavira. And at the far end of the island locals from Tavira turn up in private boats.
Praia de Cabanas has its own cafe-bar, showers and toilet facilities, sunshades to rent and water sports such as windsurfing, sailing and jet-skiing. The beach is supervised during the “beach season”.
To get to Cabanas beachy outake the small boat ferries from the landing stage in front of the beach cafe’s at the eastern end of the waterfront in Cabanas. There is parking right by the ferryboats, but this is obviously competitive in the middle of the season. The ferry boats take you across the short distance of the lagoon and drop you at the end of the wooden pier. It is then a short walk on the wooden walkway to the beach.
The boats or aqua taxis are cheap and lots of them run regularly throughout the day from April to October, from Cabanas waterfront.
The next nearest beach is Ilha de Tavira, which is about 14 km long and stretches nearly all way to Fuzeta.
Tavira Island Beach
Beach in Tavira is called Ilha de Tavira. Ilha de Tavira is about 14 km long and stretches nearly all the way to Fuzeta. Tavira beach is at the far eastern end of Ilha de Tavira. Consequently, there is no beach to the left and miles of beach to the right.
Ilha is beautiful – it feels like being on your own tropical island. It is a glorious stretch of white sand as far as the eye can see and of course, the sea. It really is perfect for a totally relaxing day, and itiseasy to see why is thought of as one of the best beaches on the Algarve.
Tavira beach has its own campsite. It also has lots of cafés and restaurants on the beach, so this is a place to hang out on the beach and enjoy people, the music, the colour and the activity.On the Ilha there is cash point (multibanco) and some houses nest lingunder the pinetrees. The beach in Tavira is separated from the mainland by the sea and has to be reached by a ferry boat or water taxi.
The ferries run constantly and in summer time carry on until midnight. Although water taxis are available when ferries aren’t running. A ferry ticket to the Ilha is about 2 euros and it is a return (called Ida a volta).
In the summer months, you can catch the big ferry from the centre of Tavira. The ferry leaves from the quay between the old market and the big road bridge. This way, you get a fifteen minute scenic tour along the estuary of the river Gilão in the Ria Formosa. Convenient parking for this ferry is all around the municipal market.
At anytime of year, you can catch the little ferry that goes to Tavira beach from the quay at Quatro Áquas. This is about 2 kilometers from the centre of Tavira into the Ria Formosa. It is then a short hop across the lagoon to the beach. There is a lots of parking around Quatro Áquas, though it is busy in summer. You can also catch the tourist train from Tavira out of here.
If you walk out to Quatro Áquas, itis a good opportunity for birdwatching on the way. Once at the other side, you walk for a few minutes on a concrete path to the beach. You can either hire a water taxi from Cabanas to go direct to the ilha or go to Tavira and follow the signs for Ilha de Tavira.
Manta Rota Beach
Manta Rota beach is deep, long and popular. You can drive straight to the beach as itisherethat the lagoon of the Ria Formosa finally comes to an end. Consequently, access to the car park gets very busy in peak season. However, there is always plenty of room on the beach. Walking left along Manta Rota beach, the next beach you come to is Lote, but you can actually walk all the way to Vila Real and the Guardiana River – the border with Spain – if you have a lot of time on your hands. Walking right, you come to the beachat Fábrica and eventually to the end of the Manta Rota peninsula, where the sea once again enters the lagoon of the Ria Formosa.