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Portugal  /   Algarve  /   Tavira Hotels

Forte De Sao Joao Da Barra

Sítio Da Fortaleza, Cabanas de Tavira, Tavira, Portugal


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From €135 (approx. $146)
Check availability as rates may vary for dates. Best rate guaranteed.

The Algarve, a sun-drenched landscape laced with nameless country roads that lead from quaint fishing villages to historic hill towns, is nothing if not fantastically rustic. Not that many visitors realize it: many European tourists arrive here on cruise ships, only glimpsing the yachts bobbing in the harbor and slick restaurants sporting large “We speak English” signs. For those interested in the Algarve’s cuisine and culture, it’s essential to get to one of the old villages, and to find some authentically Portuguese lodgings — something like, say, Forte São João da Barra.

Encircled by stone walls, the fort was originally constructed in the 17th century to protect the port town of Tavira, an ancient Phoenician settlement situated on the banks of the Gilão river. Though you might forget it while having breakfast on the terrace, looking out over the water, it’s important to note that the stone citadel is a landmark, and not, first and foremost, a hotel purpose-built with travelers’ predilections in mind — the question here isn’t ocean view versus garden view, but coach house versus gunpowder store versus the old governor’s residence. With vaulted brick ceilings, crisp white linens, stone floors, carved wood beds and sleek modern baths, the ten rooms at the Forte São João da Barra are divided into three categories: Moon, Sun, and Wind. Some are solar-heated, others have fireplaces; all are cool and quiet, like the fort always was.

While guest rooms are lovely and tranquil, the expansive grounds and the terraces positioned along the old stone walls afford the finest opportunities to soak up the charm of the Algarve. The historic center of Tavira, once the most important port in the region, is just a short walk away. With its relaxed pace, whitewashed Moorish buildings and Gothic churches, Tavira is a living example of the region’s storied past — and for the time being (fingers crossed), it’s absent from the itineraries of the big cruise lines.

How to get there:

The hotel is located 27 miles from Faro. For assistance with transportation, please email

  • 10 Rooms
  • Style: Contemporary Classic
  • Atmosphere: Quiet
  • Forte De Sao Joao Da Barra
  • Sítio Da Fortaleza, Cabanas de Tavira
  • Tavira, Portugal

Hotel amenities and services

  • Babysitting (on request)
  • Bicycle rentals nearby
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi
  • Golf nearby
  • Honesty Bar
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • No pets allowed
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Room service
  • Shopping area nearby

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