Guide to Silves, Algarve

Arts & Culture Inspiration

Silves is bursting with culture, history and charm. It's a great place to visit any time of year.

Silves, the ancient Moorish capital of the Algarve is a charismatic town steeped in history. A great place to visit at any time of the year, there are plenty of things to do and see here. The town nestles against the hills on the banks of the Arade river,  surrounded by orange and lemon groves, and backed by it's emblematic castle. Bring your camera - photo ops abound among the winding, cobbled alleys. If you can, visit during the fabulous Silves Medieval Festival - a fun celebration of Silves history.

What to see

Silves Castle: Silves was the capital of the Algarve during Moorish rule, so it’s not surprising that one of the town’s main attractions is the remains of its Medieval castle. The imposing red sandstone walls rise up above the town - a sight to behold as you approach Silves, particularly at sunset, as the castle fairly glows in the soft light.. If you’re interested in the history of Silves and you appreciate breath-taking views, a visit to the castle is a must.

Opening times: Daily, 9am to 6pm (later during the summer). There's a small charge for entry.

Silves Cathedral : Silves Cathedral stands adjacent to the castle. Built in the 13th Century it’s listed on the National Register of Monuments in Portugal and is considered one of the main Gothic monuments of the region. Take a look inside – there are ancient tombs on the floor of the cathedral and the internal architecture features Gothic stone rib-vaulting. It’s well worth a look.

Opening times: Mon to Sat, 9am to 5.30pm.

Entry is free, but you’re invited to make a small donation.

Cross of Portugal: Situated on the outskirts of the town, it’s easy to overlook the Cruz de Portugal. You’ll find it on the eastbound EN124 as you leave Silves.  Dating back to the 15th or 16th century, this beautifully crafted limestone cross stands three metres tall and is an excellent example of Gothic art âÂÂÃÃÃ