I recently travelled to Silves because I wanted to explore some of the historical castles and churches there, as well as enjoy the nearby coastline. I researched my summer holiday on Travel Republic’s site so that I could find the best accommodations and read user reviews. There are only a few hotels and villas right in town, but you’ll find more if you venture out further.
I stayed at Hotel Colina Dos Mouros. The hotel is ideally located near the Silves Castle and the Silves Cathedral. It includes 57 air-conditioned guest rooms, an on-site restaurant, and an outdoor swimming area. The concierge there also assists in helping book any additional tours or excursions.
Travel Republic also lists other hotel options, as well as renting a villa in town. Each of these features has different amenities and reviews, so narrow your search and choose which one best suits your holiday.
I went on my holiday mainly to explore the historical monuments and surprisingly, most are located right next to each other. Let’s list down some of the sites that were breath-taking:
I toured the castle, which is the best preserved castle in Algarve (Portugal). I saw the castle as soon as I entered Silves and my curiosity was piqued. I was able to explore the 11 towers and gaze at scenic views of the town from the battlements! While many of the towers and walls that sheltered the lord of the city are gone, the turret of the City Gate remains. I also explored the rooms and annexes that make up the Municipal Library. The castle is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and entrance fees are 2.50€.
Cross of Portugal
I also explored one of the oldest crosses, located near the roundabout that leads to the castle. The cross stands around three metres high and is constructed out of beautiful limestone. While the exact date is unclear, historians believe the cross was built in the 15th or 16th century. I was able to see a stunning representation of the crucifixion on one side and the Mater Dolorosa on the other.
Cathedral of Silves
While in the area, I also toured the cathedral, which is next door to the castle. The cathedral is done in a combination of Gothic and Baroque architecture. It was started in the 13th century but suffered some damage due to an earthquake in the 14th century so the project took longer. I really appreciated the Gothic touches and the ancient tombs.
Other Points of Interest
In addition, I walked around the central square where I admired colourful gardens and ate at some outdoor cafes. I also visited some additional outdoor landmarks.
- Funcho dam: I drove my rental car towards Barragem do Funcho and followed the signs to the dam. I followed the winding road for 7 kilometres through the hillside and gazed at some scenic views of the dam and the surrounding area.
- Silves Boat Cruise: I took a boat cruise along the river Arade and explored the area from Portimao to all of Silves. While on my boat cruise, I enjoyed scenic views as I spotted turtles and flamingos. The actual cruise lasted three hours and we explored in town for around an additional two hours. They served a light lunch and refreshments on the boat.
- Horse-back Riding: I also wanted to explore the countryside so I took a few riding lessons and hacks so that I could begin by riding through the orange and lemon groves and through the easy streams. I then scheduled some hacks so that I could ride to the top of the hills and have a majestic view of the town, and another time I rode out to the lake and enjoyed a leisurely picnic lunch.