Day Trip to Silves Portugal
Silves is a fascinating Portuguese town that makes for an enjoyable day trip from the resort towns of the Algarve coastline. Silves is situated in the rolling hills of the northern Algarve and is close to the cooling waters of the Arade River. This once mighty river transformed Silves an important Moorish (9-11th century) city, with a large fortified castle and population in excess of 30,000.
The pretty town of Silves and the imposing castle
Today Silves is a popular tourist destination and provides interesting tourist attractions, an extensive history and an abundance of Portuguese charm. Silves is a highly recommended day trip and this guide will provide an overview for a visit to Silves.
Travel to Silves
Silves has excellent public transport connections and is served by both bus and train services. Generally train is the recommended means of public transport as Silves train station is on the main east-west Algarve line and there are numerous daily services in each direction.
The only issue with rail travel is that the station is 2km south of the main historic town. The distance can be walked but is along busy roads and bus times do not align with train arrivals. The recommended means of travel from the train station to the historic centre is by taxi. The main bus stop (there is no bus station in Silves) is on the southwestern side of the town, within the town vicinity. Generally train travel is quicker than bus travel to Silves.
The Porta de Loule main gate in Silves
For visitors who have their own transport Silves is served by the A22, the main expressway of the Algarve. Junction number 6 connects the A22 to Silves and follows the N124 north. There is plenty of car parking to the south west side of the town and car parking is not usually an issue. The historic centre of Silves has narrow streets with very limited car parking, it is much easier to park in the main out of town car parks and walk in for 10 minutes to the town centre.
Silves Day Trip Overview
Silves is a relatively small and compact city, which is very easy to explore on foot. The main attraction of Silves is the large red stoned castle that stands high above the town but this is on the opposite side of the town to the train station, bus stop and car parks so is best visited after exploring the town. The majority of Silves can be visited in a 4-5hour visit or a one day excursion and a night’s stay is not required.
The Arade River that flows through Silves
There are many good restaurants in Silves and these tend to be clustered in the town centre. Meals are slightly cheaper than in the resort towns and tend to be more traditional Portuguese. The next section (One day tour of Silves Portugal) details a suggested 1 day tour of Silves and provides information about the main sights of the town.