What to do in St. Luzia?
Santa Luzia is a small fishing village that makes for an enjoyable relaxed holiday destination or interesting day trip from Tavira. Santa Luzia is famed for its octopus, which is caught using traditional methods by the fishing fleet and then served up in the family run restaurants that line the harbour front.
Santa Luzia overlooks the lagoons and waterways of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, which is a haven for migratory birds and small marine life. On the seaward side of Ria Formosa are some of the quietest beaches of the Algarve and these pristine beaches can be reached by small ferries that depart from the harbour. This guide will provide an introduction to Santa Luzia for both visitors considering a holiday or day trip to this pretty and characterful village.
The main attraction is the village itself. Santa Luzia is a traditional Portuguese fishing village, which remains authentic and untouched by the influences of tourism. The colourful fishing boats return early in the morning and this is the best time to visit the fish market, where the last night's catch is displayed and sold.
Tourists seeking some time on the beach can also visit the Praia da Terra Estreita, which is easily accessible by ferry. This beach is part of the Ilha de Tavira sandbar, which offers visitors an unspoilt, stunning shoreline. The Praia da Terra Estreita beach is regarded by some as the best beach in the region and is always quiet, even at the height of the summer season.
Where to eat in Santa Luzia Tavira ?
Santa Luzia is known as the Octopus capital of Portugal. This region is rich in gastronomic heritage and naturally seafood and fish play a significant part of the dining experience. There is plenty of choice to suit all palates and budgets, so you can explore the best of Portuguese and international dining at your leisure during your stay.
Casa do Polvo Tasquinha
For an authentic experience there is no better than this respected restaurant in Santa Luzia, Tavira. There is a great friendly welcome for all diners, yet this restaurant is highly professional. For those that love to be swept away by local music, there are evenings of Fado, the Portuguese musical genre of soulful fatalistic songs and music. The specialities at Casa do Polvo Tasquinha include Octopus Fillets with rice, Octopus Curry, Octopus Carpaccio, Octopus Açorda with shrimp cooked on bread, Octopus Filets with rice, and Octopus Panados. The house speciality is House Octopus with clams and garden potatoes. There is a full selection of wines and desserts.
All visitors must try Restaurante Gaivota. On offer is a mixture of dishes all cooked with knowledge and respect for the flavours of the land. Try Octopus with Beans, Pasta with Fish, Prawn Kebab, Grilled Octopus and Rice Octopus. This restaurant also has regional cakes and a good dessert menu.
Restaurant A Casa
Restaurante A Casa is a fine choice with a pleasant ambience with welcoming service. The food is excellent such as the famous Cataplana de Marisco. Fried Cuttlefish strips, Octopus á Lagareiro, Octopus Abafado, House Octopus and different kinds of salad are available. Tuna is also a popular dish here and there are several to try. Homemade desserts are especially good.
Restaurant Alcatruz is a typical Algarvian restaurant deeply entrenched in the gastronomic culture of the Vila de Santa Luzia Tavira. The restaurant has the distinction of serving some of the best octopus dishes in the world according to food critics. To try these dishes, ask for Octopus at Lagarê, Grilled Octopus with potatoes, shellfish porridge and cuttlefish rice. Provides regional and homemade desserts.
Restaurant O Capelo
Another good choice for octopus, this restaurant will also cook you a great Chateuabriand. Other dishes on offer are fish stew, shellfish and rice and flounder. Again an excellent dessert menu is on offer.
Authentic Portuguese snacks on offer here with extraordinarily good flavours. Definitely worth a visit especially for a lunch of different salads, octopus, tuna, tuna with pepper, garlic and tomatoes to your taste, cod with chickpeas, Sea Snails, Clams and Bean Clams.