I love to feature Silves on this blog and on my social networks. It is one of the main cities in the Algarve. With rich History in every square inch, it delights tourists of all ages. I go there often — especially in August — because the Algarve is my home.
Interesting, Damas. I’m going to the Algarve and want to visit Silves. How long should I stay in Silves? By the way, why do you go there especially in August?
First, I thank you for choosing the south of Portugal.
I don’t recommend you spend a night in Silves. A day trip — morning and afternoon, maybe less — should be enough to visit what matters most. So, you can dedicate more of your time to other parts of the amazing Algarve.
Come with me, bringing your passion for History. I’ll show you what to see. You’ll also get some pieces of advice about the weather, your safety, and the famed Medieval Fair that makes the city shine every August. (See? August!)
The focus will be the Historical Center, a scenario of huge battles that shaped the History of Portugal centuries ago. You must explore it on foot. Luckily, the essential points are close to each other, so scheduling a visit for the morning and part of the afternoon will be easy.
On warm days, storks probably will 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.
By approaching the area, the time travel atmosphere starts when we see old buildings amid homes and businesses. In the distance, we discover the famous Castle of Silves and the Cathedral.
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 improper for people with mobility disabilities.)
To understand the area, see the following image from Google Maps.
After a few minutes of walking, we reach the old building shown in the following photo. A stork nest has been on its chimney for years. Tourists stop here to take pictures.
In the opposite view from 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.
After crossing the structure, we are right in front of an interesting gift shop: 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.
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.
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. Yes, to rest, especially if it’s a hot day. High temperatures and steep streets are a combination that makes us tired quickly.
Finally, we arrive at Silves Castle, the star of a day trip to Silves. The entrance is a few meters from the restaurant mentioned above.
This is a visit to Silves on a typical day. But it might be much more attractive.
Oh, I know what you mean, Damas. August!
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! Now I may organize this part of my trip to the Algarve. Maybe… in August!
I love your excitement. But now I have some…
Bits of advice for a day trip to Silves
Summer is intense in the Algarve. Thermometers easily reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). But 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.
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).
As a last piece of advice, 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.
Good luck with your trip to Silves. If you see a stork, say hello on my behalf.
» I live in the Algarve (South of Portugal).
» My first fiction books, for young adults, were published in the early 2000s in Portuguese — a time travel adventure and a drama about child adoption, both with thousands of readers. I also wrote books and guides about travel and technology. Screenplays are my greatest passion.
» This blog is the English version of my G.P. DAMAS (Portuguese language, online since 2010). English is not my native language.
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