Day trip to Silves (Algarve)

I love to feature Silves on this blog and my social networks. It is one of the main cities in the Algarve. With History in every square inch, it delights tourists of all ages. I go there often because the Algarve is my home.

Interesting, Damas. I’m going to the Algarve and want to visit Silves. What’s your suggestion for a day trip?

First, I thank you for choosing the south of Portugal.

See a suggestion below. It is enough to visit what matters most in Silves — and then you can dedicate more of your time to other parts of the amazing Algarve.

Planning a day trip to Silves

Your focus will be on the Historical Center, which you must explore on foot. The essential points are close to each other. Therefore, it will be easy to schedule a visit for a morning and an afternoon, or even a little less.

I stop on the N124 road, which crosses the city, and start my journey from Coronel Figueiredo Street towards the Historical Center. The streets are narrow and steep, covered with stones — quite often, slippery stones. (Unfortunately, the visit is not proper for people with mobility disabilities.)

To understand the area, see the following image from Google Maps.

Map of Silves.
The yellow tracing highlights the N124 road. The blue one shows Coronel Figueiredo Street. The orange one, Moinho da Porta Street. I usually follow the red drawing up to the castle. • Open on Google Maps.

Castle, Cathedral … and storks

Still on the N124, the time travel atmosphere starts when we see old buildings amid homes and businesses. In the distance, we discover the famous Castle and the Cathedral.

On warm days, storks might be flying around. They are an extra wonder in the area. For many tourists, this is the first experience of seeing a stork in person (what about you?). The birds build large nests, seen everywhere.

Stork nest on a chimney in Silves
After a few minutes of walking, we discover this old building. A stork nest has been on its chimney for years. Tourists stop here to take pictures.

The Algarve is a famous destination for birdwatchers

Stork nest

In front of the house shown in the previous two photos, we find a well-preserved, historic building: the Turret of the City Gate. It was connected to walls that protected the town. We can cross it to continue our historical journey.

Tower of the Turret of the City Gate in the day trip to Silves
Silves’ Turret of the City Gate. At the top right, there’s another stork nest.
Lateral of the Turret of the City Gate

After crossing it, we see an interesting gift shop: Ana & Joana.

A gift shop in Silves Historic Center.
Ana & Joana.

Some steps above, the Silves Cathedral appears. Although in poor condition, it is still worth a visit for being connected to Portugal’s historical events.

Front of Silves Cathedral, a star in a day trip to Silves

In this area, find the ceramic shop Al-Tannur. The place breathes Art and History. The owners are kind, fantastic artists who create gorgeous pieces right there. Have the privilege of talking to them and buying something.

Al-Tannur, because shopping is part of a day trip to Silves

Following the itinerary in Silves, always up through the Historical Center, we soon find Restaurant Café Inglês. Here is an opportunity to eat and drink … and to rest.

Restaurant Café Inglês
Those steps lead to the restaurant.

Finally, we arrive at Silves Castle, the most outstanding star of a day trip to Silves. The entrance is a few meters from the restaurant mentioned above.

Castle of Silves is the star of a day trip to Silves

Medieval fair

Your day trip to Silves might be even more attractive.

In August, the town promotes the traditional Silves Medieval Fair (on days to be decided each year). The Historical Center changes decorations to show a medieval atmosphere. Tourists feel like being part of a medieval film. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Wonderful, Glauco! Now I may organize this part of my trip to the Algarve.

I love your excitement. But now I have some…

Particular advice for a day trip to Silves

Summer is intense in the Algarve. Thermometers easily reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The problem is that Silves is hotter than the region’s average. Expect extra four or five degrees Celsius (39-41 degrees Fahrenheit).

Therefore, for a tour in Silves at this time, I recommend sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat or cap. Also, beware of dehydration.

Plaques in the Historic Center of Silves

On rainy days, multiply your care on the streets. Some parts are very slippery. And take a lot of care if you climb the castle walls. It is easy to fall from there (accidents like this are common in Portugal; usually, selfies are to blame).

Castro Marim (Algarve) also promotes a Medieval Fair in August

I do not recommend a visit in Winter. The Algarve practically dies at this time. Tourists are scarce, and most places close. To be honest, it is depressing.

Inside Turret of the City Gate
Crossing the Turret of the City Gate.

Good luck with your trip to Portugal. If you see a stork in Silves, say hello on my behalf.

» I live in the Algarve (South of Portugal). My first fiction book, for young adults, was published in 2001 in the Portuguese language — a time travel adventure with thousands of readers. I also wrote books and guides about travel and technology. Screenplays are my greatest passion.

» This is the English version of my blog G. DAMAS (Portuguese language, online since 2010). English is not my native language.

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