Silves, Portugal

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How to Book a Hotel in Silves

In order to book an accommodation in Silves enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Silves hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Silves map to estimate the distance from the main Silves attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Silves hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Silves is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Silves is waiting for you!

Hotels of Silves

A hotel in Silves is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Silves hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Silves are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Silves hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Silves hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Silves have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Silves
An upscale full service hotel facility in Silves that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Silves hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Silves
Full service Silves hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Silves
Boutique hotels of Silves are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Silves boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Silves may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Silves
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Silves travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Silves focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Silves
Small to medium-sized Silves hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Silves traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Silves hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Silves
A bed and breakfast in Silves is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Silves bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Silves B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Silves
Silves hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Silves hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Silves
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Silves hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Silves lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Silves
Silves timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Silves often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Silves on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Silves
A Silves motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Silves for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Silves motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Silves

A panorama of Silves, showing the Moorish Castle
A panorama of Silves, showing the Moorish Castle
Flag of Silves
Coat of arms of Silves
Coat of arms
Coordinates:  / 37.18694; -8.43889  / 37.18694; -8.43889
Country Portugal
Region Algarve
Subregion Algarve
Intermunic. comm. Algarve
District Faro
• President Rosa Palma (CDU)
• Total 680.06 km (262.57 sq mi)
Elevation 34 m (112 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)
• Total 37,126
• Density 55/km (140/sq mi)
Time zone WET/WEST (UTC+0/+1)

Silves (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsiɫvɨʃ]) is a municipality in the Portuguese Algarve of southern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 37,126, in an area of 680.06 km². The urbanized area includes approximately 11,000 inhabitants. Silves is the former capital of the Algarve and is of great historical importance.

Silves, Portugal: History

The historical Cathedral of Silves with Manueline portico
A street in Silves

The region of Silves has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic, as attested by archaeological remains, including several menhirs. The river Arade, which was navigable in historical times, linked the hinterland to the open ocean and allowed the transport of produce and commerce. The town of Silves (Cilpes) was possibly founded during the times of Roman domination, when the region was part of the Lusitania province. It was probably a Lusitanian Castro in the pre-roman times, however the region was also settled by other indo-european tribes, just like the Celtici and Cynetes(or Conii). Silves was also part of the Visigothic Kingdom.

After 713, when the Moors invaded Iberia, Silves became part of the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba under the Arabic name of Shilb (شلب). In the 10th century it was one of the most important towns of western Al-Andalus. Silves became an independent taifa in 1027 under the rule of Ibn Mozaine and his son, who was dethroned in 1051 by al-Mu'tadid, the governor of Seville. al-Mu'tamid ibn 'Abbad, the son of al-Mu'tadid and a famous poet, ruled the taifa of Silves until 1091. After the Almoravid conquest the town became Almohad in 1156. In 1189 King Sancho I of Portugal conquered (in the Reconquista) the town with the aid of Northern European crusaders, but lost it again to the Almohads. Periodic raiding expeditions were sent from Al-Andalus to ravage the Iberian Christian kingdoms, bringing back booty and slaves. The governor of Córdoba attacked Silves in 1191, and took 3,000 Christian slaves. Again under Muslim rule, the city would then prosper to the point of being called the Baghdad of the West.

The town was finally taken from the last Muslim king Ibn Afan by Paio Peres Correia, Grand-Master of the Order of Santiago in 1242, after the Alentejo and most of the coast had already fallen in 1238. The great mosque was changed into Silves Cathedral (Sé Catedral). Silves declined in importance thereafter and was eclipsed in the region by Faro during the colonial period. In 1491, the town of Silves was given to queen Eleanora by his husband, king John II of Portugal.

Parts of the Almohad town wall, constructed from poured concrete, have been preserved, as well as the Almedina-gate (Porta de Loulé). Other sights include the Santa Misericórdia Church with a fine door in Manueline style (the main body of the church was built in 1727-28); a museum for cork and the production of bottle corks in a defunct factory which is now also a centre for cultural events called "Fábrica do Inglês (The Englishman's Factory); and the municipal museum (Museu Municipal de Arqueologia) with findings from the palaeolithic onwards.

The town is situated on a hill above the Arade River. Silves Castle is located on the top of the hill. It occupies ca. 12,000m². Archaeological excavations have shown that the oldest buildings date back to the 8th century, the stratigraphy is almost 6m deep and contains Iron Age remains as well. The walls are made of red sandstone (grés de Silves) with a pisé-core and have been heavily restored in the 1940s. Protruding towers of albarra-type protect the Northern slope. After the Christian conquest, the castle served as the seat of the alcaide-mor (provincial governor) till the middle of the 16th century, afterwards the towers were used as a prison.

Silves, Portugal: Geography

The municipality is crossed by the Arade River, which was navigable in historical times and was key to the prosperity of the city of Silves. The waters of the river form the dams of Arade and Funcho. The landscape of the municipality is generally hilly. To the south the municipality borders the Atlantic Ocean.

Silves is built on top of one of the largest underground aquifers in the south of Portugal, The Querença-Silves Aquifer [1], and has many orange groves, a fruit introduced by the Moors.

Silves, Portugal: Human geography

Population of
(1801 - 2011)
Year Pop. ±%
1801 10,509 -
1849 15,509 +47.6%
1900 29,598 +90.8%
1930 34,461 +16.4%
1960 33,368 −3.2%
1981 31,389 −5.9%
1991 32,924 +4.9%
2001 33,830 +2.8%
2004 34,909 +3.2%
2011 37,126 +6.4%

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 6 civil parishes (freguesias):

  • Alcantarilha e Pêra
  • Algoz e Tunes
  • Armação de Pêra
  • São Bartolomeu de Messines
  • São Marcos da Serra
  • Silves

Silves, Portugal: Education

Deutsche Schule Algarve, a German international school, is in the city.

Silves, Portugal: References

  1. Detail Regional Map, Algarve-Southern Portugal, ISBN 3-8297-6235-6
  2. Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  3. Direção-Geral do Território
  4. Grande enciclopédia portuguesa e brasileira: Actualização, Zairol, 1998, ISBN 972-9362-16-5
  6. Charles Wendell David, ed. Narratio de Itinere Navali Peregrinorum Hierosolymam Tendentium et Silviam Capientium, A.D. 1189. In Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 81 (Dec., 1939): 591-676.
  7. Ransoming Captives in Crusader Spain: The Order of Merced on the Christian-Islamic Frontier
  8. Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 115" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  9. "Die Schulstruktur." Deutsche Schule Algarve. Retrieved on 19 February 2015. "DSA – Escola Alemã do Algarve Sitio do Lobito P-8300-054 Silves"
  • 55 Photographs of Silves
Municipality of Faro District (Algarve)

Map of the Greater Metropolitan Area of the Algarve

Castro Marim
São Brás de Alportel
Silves (Portugal)
Vila do Bispo
Vila Real de Santo António
Albufeira Alcoutim Aljezur Castro Marim Faro Lagoa Lagos Loulé Monchique Olhão Portimão São Brás de Alportel Silves Tavira Vila do Bispo Vila Real de Santo António
Source of information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not responsible for the content of this article and your use of this information. Disclaimer
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