Six kilometres east of Tavira – past the golf course at Benamor – lies CABANAS, named after the fishermen’s cabanas (huts) that formed the original settlement. Today a kernel of backstreets is still made up of pretty fishermen’s houses along with a line of low-rise shops, cafés and bars facing a picturesque river estuary edged by a neat wooden walkway. Moored fishing boats testify to the village’s former mainstay, though today the economy is largely driven by tourism thanks to the glorious sands on Praia de Cabanas over the estuary. Ferries shuttle passengers to the beach from a small jetty opposite Restaurante O Monteiro in the east of town (April–Oct 9am–dusk, every 15min; €1.50 return). Cross the dunes and you’re faced with kilometres of golden sand, plus a couple of seasonal beach cafés.

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