With its imposing Moorish castle and smattering of whitewashed, orange-roofed houses lining the Arade riverfront, the ancient town of Silves is an arresting sight. It’s more than just a pretty face though – Silves was once the capital of the Algarve and it remains one of the region’s most important historic sites, making a popular choice for a day trip or boat cruise from nearby Portimão.
Silves’ small center is easy to get around on foot, starting with a visit to the historic castle, a striking red brick fortress that dates back to the 12th century. Other highlights include the Silves Cathedral, the landmark Roman bridge, the monumental Cross of Portugal and the Archaeological Museum.
Silves is located in the central Algarve region of Portugal, around 15km northeast of Portimão.