Inland holiday home rental experience of an ancient location with a modern feel in the Algarve.
Silves is situated at the entrance of Barlavento in a hilly region, between the ridges of Caldeirao and Monchique.
Silves is a medieval town on the side of the Rio Arade, which rises to the southwest of the hills known as the Serra of the Malhao, and flows into the Atlantic beyond Portimao.The Rio Arade flows gently and is navigable from Silves to Portimao (it’s worth taking a boat trip from Portimao to Silves).
The entrance to the ancient Silves town, which lies on top of a hill, is announced from far by the imposing line of the castle walls made of the typically red coloured stones that defines the named ‘Pedra de Silves’ ( ‘Silves sand-stone’).
The Castle and the town form a monumental fortress that was built to prevent from Arabic assaults.
Nowadays the Castle has large stage for shows on the back and has large areas laid out as a garden.
Silves present day life is based on the Algarve tourist business. It has old and new properties providing an array of accommodation. The local market provides for all budgets and preferences. You have a choice of hotels and B&B to the very popular self-catering option of home from home holiday rental.
A number of interesting Silves facts past and present.
Silves as a golfing destination: The local Silves Golf course is now owned by the very well-known Pestana Group. It has a beautiful location by typical Algarve fruit orchards and small farms. The course has been designed to test the quality in hitting with a well-directed ball using the correct choice of club. This point is immediately emphasised as you stand on the first tee faced by two water hazards flanking the fairway. The course has been described as designed for attacking play whilst the bunkers are well placed to cause possible trouble to the big hitters.
Silves as an orange growing location: “SILVES ORANGES” A train journey from Faro to Lagos give the travel a first-hand view of the Silves orange industry. In olden times a dam was built called the Barragem of Arade (Arade dam) this allowed for irrigation of local orange groves. Silves has become the largest national producer of citrus fruits: Silves is known to be the Capital of orange fruits! It is estimated that 70% of the whole national citrus production is based here.
The self-catering holiday home business and orange business are based on the same source, the favourable microclimate with sun shining most of the year round. The oranges here are also widely used in the local pastry and it’s also the best fresh drink you can have during the hottest sunny days in summer. If you’re on a self-catering holiday in the Silves area be sure and sample the local fruit. A freshly squeezed orange juice will cost approx €2. Or better still as its self-catering buy a bag of oranges for €2.50 for 5 kgs and squeeze fresh juice every morning on holidays for the whole family.
Transport to Silves: Silves is located is 60km to the north west of Faro and 15km from the coast. The roads to and from Silves are excellent and very well sign posted. A lot of visitors would hire a car to get here. Car rental in Portugal is relatively cheap with no great documentation problems. A rental car is the easiest method to travel between Silves and Faro. The route follows the toll A22 from junction 13 (Faro) to junction 6 (Silves) with the final 6km from the A22 to Silves travels along the N124. This route does use the relatively expensive toll expressways and the overly complicated toll collection system. The non-toll route is much slower and follows the N125 to Lagoa and then the N124 to Silves. Silves there is ample car parking to the south of the city but there is limited parking in the city centre. Silves and Faro are connected by the regions railway that extends the length of the Algarve and this is the only feasible option for public transport. If using one www.goholidaylets.com partners holiday home rental accommodation I would suggest renting a car for the holiday period.
Local industry in Silves: About 60 years ago, the economic life of Silves and other parts of the Algarve was largely based on the cork industry. In the last half of 19th century the cork industry ( Indùstria da Cortica) developed in Silves, that became an important trade and industrial center. In 1881 one of the two main cork firm of the whole country, the ‘Vilarinho&Sobrinho) was established in Silves, employing more than 500 workers. In the last few decades, however, this industry has experienced a crisis and they moved to agriculture, which has befitted largely from water of the Rio Arade, becoming a large- scale producer of fruits. Despite this, the cork handcrafts are still one of the main products of Silves region that still displays all the beauty of an ancestral art. If on a day trip or self-catering holiday be sure to note the rich past and present of this area.