GMT/BST +1 hour
2 hours 30 minutes
Nothing to do with the bells of St. Clements but the sunny resort of Silves has plenty of citrus goodies. Orange and lemon trees are scattered across the town, free for everyone to sample some of the Algarve’s best produce. Don’t get too greedy and take bucket fulls as the local restaurants and bars use the freshly picked fruits for their businesses. The citrus trees aren’t the only thing that gives Silves its unusual character. The enchanting town is full of exotic Moorish architecture and the river winds dramatically through the centre. The Silves skyline offers one particular monument that stands out from all of the rest – the Castelo des Silves. The castle stands proudly side by side with the cathedral on the highest hilltop in Silves. The ruins are surprisingly sturdy and the huge walls and gates that remain are quite intimidating. Next door, the cathedral is one of few gothic monuments that remain in the Algarve. After you’ve had your culture fix, head down the cobbled streets into the town centre; the pretty central square will send you in the right direction.
Once you’ve made it into the town centre, the abundance of things to see and do is amazing. Have a leisurely stroll around the narrow winding streets to find your bearings and then start the hunt for something fun. One of Silves’ most original attractions is the ‘Life Trail Wellness Stations’. This unusual ‘play area’ has been set up for adults to make the most of and to release their inner-kid, while exercising at the same time! Exploring the back streets is rewarded with a multitude of unique and quirky bars and cafes, the restaurants all serve freshly caught fish and it’s easy to find evidence of when the area was a rich merchant’s town. It’s only a short trip down to the beach, where you can enjoy the sand away from the crowds that are found at bigger resorts along the coast.
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