Algarve ChemneySilves What to discover and how to enjoy your visit

The Algarve Region

Silves Coat of ArmsThe Municipality of Silves is divided into the following parishes: Alcantarilha and Pêra; Algoz and Tunes; Armação de Pêra; São Bartolomeu de Messines; São Marcos da Serra; Silves
Municipal Holiday: 3rd September
Inhabitantes: around 37,100
Area: 680 km²

Historical city re-conquered from the Moors by King D. Sancho I, Silves has one of the finest castles of the province, built in the red sandstone of the region. The old “walled town” aspect of the city gives it a mediaeval air, with its houses clinging to the hillside below the castle and down to the river. It is replete with archaeological remains, like the Municipal Square, the pillory, the City Gates and the Town Hall. There are also the Cathedral and Church of Misericordia to visit.

The Festival da Laranja (Orange Festival) during February is a good occasion to taste the delicious dishes made by the local restaurants using the celebrated fruit as a theme.

During the peak of Summer, in August, Silves old town hosts the Medieval Fair, full of ancient tradition, folclore, craftsmen and a show reenacting the medieval knight sword fighting.

A Cruz de Portugal (Portuguese Cross), set at the exit of the town, on the road to Enxerim, reminds us that the Catholic Religion has, and always has, held great sway throughout the country.

A visit to the Municipal Archaeological Museum and to the Cork Museum in the Fabrica do Inglês (closed at the moment but to reopen soon).

On the route to Silves we travel through an extensive rural area that fills the second largest borough of the Algarve, and where orchards extend as far as the eye can see. These ancestral cultivations fill the air with the perfume of the orange blossom flowers, so unmistakable and characteristic of the Algarve.

Gastronomically speaking, we recommend the rabbit in dark sauce (coelho com molho escuro) and codfish “wrapped” (bacalhau abafado). For sweet try the heir of Silves (morgado de Silves), or “half moons” (Meias luas).

The rural museum “Quinta dos Avós” (Grandparents’ Farm), to be found in Algoz, offers a calm and peaceful ambience where you can taste the host’s delicious cakes, accompanied by a tea of your choice.

Leaving Algoz on the Messines road, you will come to Krazy World, an amusement park, with swimming pools, mini-golf, animal shows and a small zoo.

Leaving the hills behind us, visit the small hamlet of Pêra, which still exhibits parts from the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. A magnificent view over the fields and the sea can be seen from its churches of Paroquial and S. Francisco.

On the coast is Armação de Pêra, a town basically dedicated to tourism, thanks to the size of its beaches at Armação and Praia Grande. These form a long extension of golden sands