Guide to the town of Silves, formerly the Moorish capital of the Algarve.
Towns of the Algarve Portugal - Silves
Silves Portugal - The former Moorish capital of the Algarve (Al-Gharb) in Portugal, Silves was a huge city with the Arabic name Xelb. These days a busy commercial town, important for the production of cork and citrus fruits, it is also a popular tourist hot spot with plenty of interesting places to visit.
The massive castle (Castelo) was the largest Moorish stronghold on the Algarve, and was built on the site of a former Roman fortress dating from the 4th century.Also well worth a look is the Gothic cathedral (Sé) which dates from the 13th century.
To get a feel for the history of Silves and the Algarve region, head for the Museu Arqueológico, which outlines the history of the area over some 8,000 years.
Modern day visitors to Silves will find it hard to believe that this was once a huge city of over 30,000 people (high for the 12th century!), and was comparable in size and importance to Lisbon, it was one of the main targets for the Christian reconquest of the region and subjected to a long seige by Sancho I and an army of English crusaders, on their way to the Holy Land.
Silves stands beside the River Arade, to the north-east of Portimao, it can be accessed from the N-124 and the A-22 motorway, it is about 55 kilometres from Faro and its airport.
Silves Car Hire: Book Silves Car Hire
Algarve Hotels: Aparthotel Albufeira
Portugal Rentals: Portugal Property for Rent by Owner
More Info: Algarve Weather Forecast