Silves - Attractions

Attractions in and around Silves

Silves Castle

Enter through the huge main gate and walk the perimeter walls and gardens. Take in the stunning views of the town, river and surrounding countryside. Visit the Arab silos, traitor's gate, the Moorish cistern (approx. 10m high), the cistern of the dogs (a 60m deep well) and feel the Moorish history. Open 9 am to 5.30 pm daily.

Silves Cathedral (Sé Velha)

The Cathedral is basically a gothic construction but with a number of architectural alterations made in the 18th century and other renovations. The inside of the cathedral consists of three naves. On the floor there are various headstones, including one of King Dom João II. There are also some lovely paintings and statues some from the 16th century. The church was dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of Conception), as can be seen in the main chapel with all its gothic imagery. Open 9 am to 5.30 pm daily.

The Archaeological Museum.

The museum is situated close to the castle and Town Hall building. It was built on the site of a 19th century residence where a water reservoir was discovered and this now forms the centrepiece to the museum. It has a collection of Stone and Iron Age tools and surgical instruments dated from around the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries. It also has more information regarding the history of Silves Castle. Open 9 am to 6 pm Mon to Sat.

The Cross of Portugal (Cruz do Portugal).

This is thought to have been built around the 15th century. It is 6 metres high and is sculpted from marble. It is situated on the left hand side just as you are leaving Silves on the road for Messines.


The Fábrica do Inglês (English Factory).

This was originally an English owned cork processing factory. These days it houses a cork museum showing how the cork was produced, as well the various machinery, which was used. It has also been turned into an entertainment area with several bars, cafés and places to eat and there are shows, festivals and trade events, particularly in the summer months.


Barragem do Arade

About 10 km out of town on the way to Messines there is the Barragem (dam) do Arade, which is one of Algarve’s major reservoirs. It is a very peaceful and shaded spot to take a picnic and have a swim and/or make use one of the boats/canoes they have there for hire in the summer months

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