Tavira is located on the banks of the Gilao River, which provided the city with a harbour and allowed it to thrive over the centuries. Here one of the most important Roman cities, named Basla, was founded, which helped the area to develop its commerce and to grow into a significant settlement. Commercial trading continued into the 15th and 16th centuries, maintaining Tavira as a wealthy city and a spot where art could thrive, notably within its 30+ churches. Two of these churches should not be missed: the Mercy church with glazed tile panels depicting the charitable works, dating back to the 18th century and an impressive main altar with guilded woodwork and the recently restored Our Lady of the Waves (Nossa Senhora das Ondas). The church was popularly named this way because its construction was financed by the local Brotherhood of Saint Elmo, the patron saint of sailors. It is delicately decorated with paintings and its guilded altarpiece. After some free time we shall return to Faro.