For a taste of the Algarve of old a trip to the castle in Silves is a must.
The winding streets of Silves may be beautiful but they are not great for parking so it is best to leave the car where you can and then make the journey on foot up the hill to the castle – as long as you are walking up hill then you are still not there yet!
The imposing red sandstone walls dominate the Silves skyline and show the former glory of this city which used to be capital of the Moorish kingdom in southern Iberia.
The castle is well sign posted but the actually entrance is a little confusing and it usually looks like it is closed but go in through the large gates and then turn left into the small shop which also acts as the entrance to the castle.
You have to pay to go into the main castle but there are various discounts available for OAPs, students, children and for family tickets.
The main draw of the castle has to be the views from the walls, this the place that health and safety forgot so wear sensible shoes, hold onto the children and scale the walls!
The castle has very little actually remaining apart from the walls but there are small rooms along the walls with displays, although the explanations are only in Portuguese.
The central area of the castle has been redeveloped into gardens and there is a new café/centre which always appears to be closed whenever I go there, however the toilets are open.
If you want to learn more about the history behind the castle it is best to visit one of the museums in Silves as the information within the castle itself is limited but take your camera to capture the views from this privileged vantage point.
|Despite its age and several earthquakes Silves castle remains substantially intact and is well worth a visit.
|You can walk all around the rampart and enjoy spectacular views of Silves and the mountains behind. Excavations are still carried out.|
|The old water cistern pictured below has been turned into a small museum for which a separate entry fee is charged.|