On a perfect day on the Algarve coast, Silves is a charming medieval town of citrus groves and vineyards. The city experienced its heyday in Moorish times, when it was the capital of the region.
The castle on the top of the hill is a monument to Islamic rule of the 13th century. It has extensive archaeological excavations with battlements and magnificent views of the city. The greatest work of Moorish architecture excavated at the time of Silves was the castle, the remains of which are now a palace in which the Archaeological Museum has integrated a medieval cistern.
The Gothic Cathedral, built in the 13th century on the site of the former mosque of the city, contains a number of crusader tombs and a Jasper statue of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, which is believed to date back to the 14th century.
The city is the capital of the Algarve and is characterized by its Arabic architecture. The rocky coast has high cliffs and beautiful small beach villages such as Armacao do Pera in the west. Every summer, the town hosts a famous medieval festival, which attracts many visitors.
Stroll through the old town and you will find numerous shops selling local products and handicrafts. As in many cities in the Algarve, there is a lively farmers “market on Saturday mornings. Most attractions such as castles and museums are open on Sundays in many smaller towns in the region.
For travelers, Silves is picturesque and one of the most beautiful cities of the Algarve. It is famous for its preserved Moorish castle (Castelo de Silves), the Cathedral of Silves and for its annual medieval festival. Silves has seen its rise in the Moorish Algarve, and its place on the Arade River has made it the economic centre of the region.
Silves is an attractive town with a rich history, built on the banks of the Arade River. In historical times the river was navigable and represents an important link between the hinterland and coast. The city itself spans the river and preserves the gates of the Medina-style Porta de Loule, part of which is a concrete wall from the time of the Moorish occupation.
The castle of Silves was built between the 8th and 13th centuries and restored in the 20th century. The castle is located in the highest part of the town and was used during the war to defend the entire population of the town.
Silves is the capital of the Algarve and is dominated by a large castle. From the castle you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings.
As you approach Silves, you can see the silhouettes of the castle and the church as you approach. The castle is cheap to enter as it is a stone gate and the surroundings of its walls are very large. While the town winds its way to the top of the town, you can find the castle itself and the church.
Near Largo do Municipio is the pillory of Pelourinho from the 16th century, a symbol of civic authority, and the city hall, the Camara Municipal de Silves.
In the old town, visitors can choose from a number of vacation homes with few rooms, such as Casa do Porta do Torreao, a one-bedroom house located in Quintal do Castelo and Casa de Jardim. From the city, on the N124, you go to the Residencial Vila do Sodre, with 12 rooms.
The train station is the easiest way to get from Lagos to Faro, which is about 2 km from the city. Connected by bus, it is worth walking to see the city and its fortifications emerging from the forested hills.
In the city itself there are many orange groves and oranges were introduced by the Moors during the Moorish occupation of the city between the 1st and 10th centuries.
The city of Silves has a long history and is one of the oldest cities in the Algarve. The river has played an important role in the development of the city since the Middle Ages. During the Moorish era Silves was the capital of the region and was called Xelb.
Silves is a historic and charming town and ancient capital of the Algarve. Today it is peaceful and leisurely, and the remains of an illustrious past can still be seen throughout the city. Silves is the historical capital of Portugal and has preserved much of its history and culture.
Silves has one of the best examples of a medieval castle from the 13th century and its town has preserved many historic features from its past. Although Silves is a small town, it has a lot to offer to attract tourists for a day trip.
No other place in the Algarve competes with Silves for the long and varied history, castles and unique sights of southern Portugal. Silves is far away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal towns and is a great place to experience the typical Portuguese everyday life, with daily markets full of cafes and restaurants. There are enough varied attractions to spend a day of sightseeing and good public transport to the major tourist centers of Lagos, Portimapso and Al bufeira.
Silves is a charming and traditional Portuguese town that is a popular day excursion from the resort of Lagos. In the 11th century Silves was the capital of the Algarve and an important port and defensive fortress. Since the time of the anchor, the Arade Riveras River has weakened, but there are still remnants of its glorious past, including a mighty castle within the city walls and the Gothic SE Cathedral.
Silves is the former capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve (1249-1910), a nominal kingdom within the Kingdom of Portugal from 1139 to 1910 and of great historical significance. The Silves region was inhabited during the Palaeolithic, as evidenced by archaeological remains, including several menhirs.
The Arade River was navigable in historical times, connecting the hinterland with the open ocean and facilitating the transport of products and trade. The towns of Silves and Cilpe were founded during Roman rule, when the region was part of the province of Lusitania. The defeat of King Sancho I in 1189 was aided by an army of English crusaders who harmed and tortured the defenders of the castle of Silves during a long and protracted siege.
The Moors returned and were finally expelled in 1249 when Faro and the rest of the Algarve fell. When the decline began and the silt of the Arade River became impassable for large boats, the population of the city declined, as did the dried fruits and cork, which led to new growth in the area until the mid-19th century.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Algarve Itinerary