Algarve’s biggest and best-preserved castle is located in Silves, to the north of Lagos. It dates from when the now sleepy town was actually the capital of the region and a rich Moorish city. It’s visited by those looking to take a break from the beaches and experience inland Algarve.
Before Faro, Silves was the capital of Algarve. It was quite a rich city during the Moorish occupation (8th to 12th centuries), but most of its ancient buildings were destroyed in the great earthquake of 1755. However, its massive castle still stands, and is one of the region’s most important monuments. This is a very peaceful and even rather sleepy town, with cobbled lanes leading down to the Arade River. You can see all of it in just a few hours, but it’s worth the trip to travel back in time and experience a different side of Algarve. Although it’s best reached by car (it’s about 30 minutes away on highway A22), you can also get there by train (there are no direct buses from Lagos to Silves).