Tavira Castle lies in the town of Tavira in the province of Algarve in Portugal. It is locally known as Castelo de Tavira.
It is not known when the first castle at this site was built. Some sources say a fortress here was already being rebuilt by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC. The present castle however probably dates back to the 11th century.
There was a castle here when the town was taken from the Moors in 1242 by King Paio Peres Correia during the Reconquest. In 1244 the castle was granted, by King Sancho II, to the Order of the Knights of Santiago who renounced this donation 30 years later. In 1293 King Dinis ordered the remodelling and recontruction of Tavira Castle because he recognized the importance of Tavira as a base of defense against piracy. In the 1755 earthquake the castle and town suffered heavily.
Tavira Castle was a small, roughly rectangular, castle. It now consists of remains of two square towers, one octagonal tower and walls on three sides. None of the towers possess the characteristics of a keep although there surely must have been one. Its interior is now used a small garden. You can climb the walls and the towers. The castle can be visited, for free, during the daytime.
I found the castle small, but nice. It offers great views of the town of Tavira and the mouth of the Gilão river. Around the old town you can find several parts of towers and walls of the medieval city walls, these can't be visited.