Located East of Faro International Airport, the town of Tavira runs along both sides of the Gilao River that flows into the sea through the lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve.
This old town is charming and picturesque with old cobblestone streets and interesting ancient architecture with Moorish influences. Dining in one of the many traditional restaurants along the river's edge is one of the best places to spend an evening in the Algarve.
Only a short boat trip from the town centre of Tavira you can reach some of the most spectacular islands with crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches. A must visit is the small fishing village of Santa Luzia, famous for its octopus fishing where you can still experience the true tradition of Algarve living.
Barril beach not only offers pristine white sands and calm sea waters but is a reminder of a time gone by with its rusting anchor cemetery - a memorial to this region's fishing heritage. Hundreds of anchors used by fishing boats are spread along the sandbanks.
A small tuna fishing community once existed where today is a tourist location, yet much more calm and peaceful than other regions of the Algarve.
Although situated on the Island of Tavira, Barril is connected to the mainland by a bridge. To get there you can either walk the 1.3 km that separates the mainland of Tavira to Barril beach or hop on a mini-train that will take you there in 15 minutes, a trip that is a delight for children and grown-ups alike!
Barril also has several tourist facilities, including restaurants and shops that occupy former fishermen huts.