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Tavira Youth Hostel

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Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Tavira Youth Hostel is run by Movijovem (the Portuguese Hostel Association) and affiliated with Hostelling International. The hostel is an old building on a narrow street, but following a complete refurbishment before its opening in June 2009, the inside is very modern and spacious -- in fact, it's very impressive. There is even a disability chair lift on the stairs.

The Location

Tavira is a pretty city with great beaches, but as they are on a sandbar you need to take a bus to the water and then a ferry to the sand dune island. The hostel is located less than eight hundred meters from the main square by the river, which is about two kilometers from the ferry to the beach. It's only about five hundred meters from the rail station and under a kilometer from the bus station.

From Tavara Railway Station, you will see three roads as you exit the station. Take the road opposite and heading slightly to the left, Rua Dr. Mateus Teixeira de Azevedo, for five hundred meters. Turn left into a small passageway -- Travissa da Lisboa -- walk forty meters to the end. Turn right into Dr. Miguel Bombarda, and the hostel is about a hundred meters on the left. If you are driving, you will need to continue on Rua Dr. Mateus Teixeira de Azevedo for about two hundred meters more, then do a severe hairpin left back into Dr. Miguel Bombarda.

From the bus station, keep the river on your left, walk to the main square (which has free Wi-Fi). Turn right and walk up the hill, Rua Da Liberdade for about five hundred meters. Just after the Post Office (Correios) take the right fork, a narrow road with no street sign. Cross the Rua Da Mouros (on the right) into Rua Dr Miguel Bombarda, it's twenty meters to the hostel on right.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorms all have four beds and all but one are quite spacious, and have high ceilings, large curtained windows, some with a Juliette balcony. There are large cupboards but no locks. The metal framed bunks, each with a personal light, are standard Movijvem issue with excellent mattresses, and there's no squeaking. There are two power points in each room, but as a new hostel, why not one per bed? Air conditioning is installed and presumably available in the warmer months.

Dorms are grouped in pairs with the associated bathroom facilities. The bathrooms vary in size but each contains two curtained shower cubicles and two toilets. As with everything else about the building, the quality and condition of the bathrooms is superb, except that there is only one small clothes hook set outside the shower curtain, and in two bathrooms, the associated toilets are tiny -- one toilet is set in a cubicle that is so small that no adult could use it. It's a spacious building, so this absurdity makes no sense. The showers have environmentally friendly push-button controls to minimize water waste.

Common Spaces

The kitchen is modern, with six glass-top electric plates, a microwave, and a large fridge (which was out of order for ten days during our stay). But there are only two tables seating seven people, so some waiting will be involved in peak times. As with all Algarve Pousada, there is a dining room that serves three meals a day and some pressure of the small members' kitchen, but there's no access to this area at other times.

Breakfast is included in the overnight price and offers fruit juice, bread, ham and cheese, yoghurt, cereal, and coffee (but lacks the boiled egg and croissant of some of the other Movijovem hostels). The kitchen doubles as a laundry and contains a coin-operated washing machine and a-not-very-efficient tumble dryer; however, there are no basins or washing line for hand washing. In busy periods, the kitchen is closed at 11 p.m.

The reception area is large and spacious but lacks some feeling -- it does not shout "youth" or "travelers" at you or make any statement that the young generation might identify with. There are no youth oriented posters or noticeboards on the walls. It does have the usual hostel association and city brochures, but little to excite or introduce guests to the tourist activities in town.

The main common room has sofas and sumptuous cushions, many set in and around alcoves. There's a superb, large-screen TV that has only an indoor antenna, enabling bad quality reception of three Portuguese channels. There is a DVD player, but you will need to bring your own DVDs, as management is frightened of copyright/royalty issues. There's a rather expensive pool table to one side, which is noisy for people who are chatting or watching TV. The main common room closes at midnight.

There are other social areas with seating -- the spacious lobby, a beautiful al fresco patio between the gates and the reception area, and another upstairs across a bridge in a semi-rooftop courtyard in the centre of a group of private rooms (but this doesn't have a single power point). Despite this being a modern hostel there is no internet access of any sort. To get free Wi-Fi access, you can go to the town square just before the river outside the municipal offices, and as always in Portugal, there's free internet access in public libraries.

The front doors/gates are open until midnight; thereafter, entrance is by ringing the bell and showing your registration card to the security person. There are security cameras throughout the hostel and each room has an electronic lock for which you are given a card.

Summary

This is a first class hostel -- modern and in excellent condition and immaculately clean, located very close to the historic town center and a couple of kilometers from the beach. The common areas are excellently furbished, perhaps aimed at the families market rather than the student/traveler hosteler. It is an excellent accommodation, provided you don't want any internet access and don't want to watch TV. We were told that the management is waiting for these facilities to be installed -- but the hostel has been open for a long time and should probably have them by now.

by OldNomad
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
February 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is Tavira Youth Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
87%
95%
89%
95%
67%
82%
Hostels.com  
93%
100%
86%
100%
80%
100%
HostelBookers  
85%
92%
84%
89%
72%
88%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
88%
96%
86%
95%
73%
90%
Tavira Youth Hostel Reviews from the Web
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