you love old forts? Then definitely take a drive to the town of
Silves, where you'll not only find an old Moorish fortress, but
also a hillside town that is full of life and great views. As you
approach the town from the highway, pull over with extreme caution
and take in the panoramic view of the town adorned with the old
When you arrive in Silves, go directly to the castle entrance up
the hill at the top of the town. The unique red walls of the fortress
have been reinforced to allow visitors to walk along the top of
them and to see the beautiful countryside of rolling hills surrounding
Just outside the fortress entrance, to the right, there is a staircase
taking you up to a balcony where you have a great view of a multi-coloured
marble plaza. The design can only
truly be appreciated from above. You can also look down on the town
and see the winding streets built with intricate marble cobblestone.
Notice the roof tops adorned with the unique variety of Algarve
As you walk through the maze of streets below the castle, you will
pass a multitude of typical Portuguese restaurants, cafes and shops
and if you're lucky you might even smell freshly-baked Portuguese
bread as you walk by a local bakery. Silves is bustling town and
a great place to enjoy a coffee or sip a fine glass of Portuguese
wine as you sit in an outdoor cafe to people watch!
At the lower end of town, near the river, you should also check
out the "Fabrica do Ingles", which is an old cork factory.
In 1999 this site was refurbished and it now contains restaurants
and a museum focused on the cork industry in Portugal.
From Lagos, drive east on the A22 Faro/Lisboa A2 Portimão 4-lane motorway and take Exit
6 Silves/N124-1 to roundabout. Follow the signs for the N124-1 north to Silves. Silves is only 7km from
Driving time from Lagos: 25 min.
It's easiest to park on the side of a road near the bottom (outskirts)
of town. If you feel lucky, drive up towards the castle in the centre
of town and you might just find that somebody is pulling out of
one of the few allocated parking spots. Take careful note of the
parking signs widely posted, as the local authorities are not too
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