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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 13, 2018
Headline for Top 4 Cultural Sites of Algarve Portugal – Diving into the Region's Culture
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 Cultural Sites of Algarve Portugal – Diving into the Region's Culture

Once ruled by the Phoenicians and Romans to name a few, Algarve has a rich heritage that is heavily influenced by each civilization. Join us as we dig in to the best sites in this part of the country

1

Silves

Algarve was once conquered by the Moors and after Lagos was captured, their influence quickly unfurled throughout the region. The Moors had a distinctive style of architecture that is still evident in parts of the country. However, the epitome of Moorish architecture is easily visible at Silves. Once the capital of the Algarve, it is home to the majestic Silves Castle. Built using red stone, the castle well and truly follows an Arabian style and gives mesmerizing views of the town and the surrounding countryside. You are also free to walk the imposing walls and given the opportunity to take in the infusion of Islamic and Christian influence around you.

2

Cabo de San Vicente

Affectionately referred to as "the End of the World", this location was once revered by the Phoenicians. The Cabo de San Vicente is well known for its beautiful sunsets while a red lighthouse completes the picturesque cliff. The lighthouse also houses a museum that gives you a peek into the country's seafaring history. Furthermore, this cape is a hotspot for a number of birds such as Bonelli's eagles and falcon, so if you are an avid birdwatcher, here is another reason to visit this mesmerizing cliff.

3

Portimao

Half an hour's drive from most beach resorts in Algarve such as the Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort, the Museu de Portimão is a museum housed in a nineteenth century fish canning factory. Opened almost a decade ago, this museum mainly focuses on archaeology, treasure found in the seas of Portugal and most importantly, the history of the canning factory itself. The exhibits are displayed in a manner that is reminiscent of the production lines in the canning factory. The museum makes use of audio and video effects to give an idea of the day to day work life in the factory that makes for intriguing viewing. There is also an area dedicated towards Manuel Teixiera Gomes, once the President of Portugal.

4

Milreu Ruins

If you are looking to gain an insight into the everyday life of a Roman town, mark the Milreu Ruins high up on your list of places to visit. Situated in the countryside of the region, here you can find the remains of a massive villa from the Roman era. Built in the first century AD, the villa is so massive it was first thought to be a town. The villa features the characteristic Roman architecture but the main feature is the temples and the detailed fish mosaic present in the premises. Traditional Roman bathing areas can be found while the large columned courtyard deserves a visit too. Beautiful marble constructions were unearthed but they have been moved to museums. Talking about museums, there is a small one at the entrance to the ruins that briefs you on the history of the ruins.