Silves is a municipality of the Algarve, a region in the south of Portugal. This characteristic town is the administrative center of the region. During the past, Silves was at the center of the developing of the area, acquiring a certain historical importance.
Today’s Silves area has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age. It is crossed by the Arade river, which allows connections between the ocean and the hinterland. Silves’ geographical position was great also for commercial trades.
Most likely Silves was founded during the Roman domination when the region belonged to the Lusitania. Later it was conquered by the Moors, and then by the Kingdom of Portugal during the Crusades.
Silves Cathedral was built in 1200 on the remains of the previous Arab mosque. Today it is still possible to admire the signs of the old walls and the old castle, which was restored in 1940.
Silves Castle is located uptown, offering a beautiful view over the surrounding countryside. Visit also the Misericordia Church with its refined gate in Manueline style.
The main museum hosts a collection of relics dating back to the Paleolithic Age. It is worth to visit also the cork museum, located in the cultural center “Fabrica do Ingles”, which hosts a series of cultural events.
The closest airport is the one of Faro, from where flag companies, as well as charter and low cost flights connect this Portuguese region to the main European cities. Flights operate all year along with the aim of boosting tourism also during winter time, considering the mild temperatures that characterise the Algarve region all year long.
Even if you are traveling from Porto or Lisbon, the best option is to reach Silves by plane. Distances from Lisbon are shorter, therefor it is also possible to take a train to Faro and then a bus to Silves. The train company offers low cost rates for early bookings.
Once in Silves, the easiest way to explore it is to rent a car. Public transports can be an option, although buses are not very frequent.
Silves is one of the stops on the Lagos-Faro regional railway line. However, the station is not very easy to reach, as it is located 2 km south of the city centre.
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