Silves is filled with history and one our favourite towns to explore and eat at. Situated about 15 mins drive from Carvoeiro, Silves is located by the Arade river and the Camera (council) of Silves extends all the way down to Armacao de Pera. Go over the bridge, turn left and at the next roundabout you will see a large car park. Why not drop in the information centre as you start your exploring. In addition to the town castle, market, museums, restaurants and bars there is also great park with a kids playground, skate park, municipal swimming pools and 1.75km circuit on red tarmac for those wanting to keep fit.
A Little History
Silves has Moorish roots which can be seen as you explore the town, much of the old town is surrounded by remnants of the old fortified outer castle wall, with the castle inside taking pride directly at the top of the hill. Silves use to be the capital of the Algarve (now Faro), but now is regarded as the capital of oranges (Laranja)
Castle & Musems
There are several museums within the town and you will see information plaques dotted all around the town giving you little insights of places and information about the history of the town.
Castelo de Silves (Castle)... Perched at the top of the town is the castle, you can explore a number of museums and walk the castle walls, well worth a visit. There is a café inside.
Museu de Arqueologia de Silves (Museum of Archeology...There are two hidden gems in here, firstly you can go onto the outer fortified walls and get a great view of the town and secondly is the cisterna (water well), which has steps to the bottom (only once a year can you go down there with guided tour)
Sé (the Cathedral)... there is also a second chapel to the rear and opposite the entrance to the Cathedral you will see steps to a church normally with artwork and other historic items.
There are plenty more places of interested in the town. While you wander round the town keep your eyes open, from looking at all the stunning old doors (& knockers), to the secret gardens in alleyways, look at the old buildings and the roads, there are clues of history everywhere in the old town.
Restaurants and Cafes
We use three restaurants in the town, U Monchiqueiro II, good value Portuguese food, over the bridge and to the right, on the left after about 200m. If you like fish then you may want to try Marisqueira Rui (not cheap)
And Cafe Ingles just below the Castle which on the weekends has live music, especially great in the summer when you are outside. In July and August they also have the roof pizza terrace, with its panoramic town views.. some of their deserts are to die for!!!
There are lots of Cafes dotted around the town, but in Largo do Munciopio, below the Camera is Café da Rosa. Nice cakes and snacks, beautiful location and stunning painted tiles inside (worth taking some photos). On the river in the park, near the little ones playground is Café Chapim, a family favourite for location, near the river
Park, Swimming Pool and Gym
Next to the river there is a great park used by all ages, where to relax while people and nature watching, walking the 1.75km circuits to keep fit on the red tarmac, use the skate board park or to watch the littles ones have hours of fun in the fully fenced playground, with slides, climbing frames etc (next to the cafe).
Next to the car park and within the walking circuit is a Leisure centre that locals, expats and tourist can use with - 2 Indoor Pools a Sport (25m x 16.7m); Learning (16.66m x 8m), Changing Rooms, Sauna, Turkish Bath, Jacuzzi, Gymnasium, Fitness Room, Bar/Cafe and Hair dressers. In addition outside they have padde tennis, badminton and basketball.
Throughout the year, but mainly in the summer there are events around the town that involve entertainment and shows. Mostrar de Laranja, night markets, beer festival, secret sunsets, Medieval festival. Social Media is a good way to keep an eye with whats on or check out the Silves website