I have somewhat of an unhealthy obsession with castles. Perhaps I watched too many Disney princess movies as a child, or the idea of staring sadly out of a tower while waiting for a prince to come still appeals to the moody teenager that is still a part of my subconscious. Regardless of the reason behind it, it is guaranteed that wherever I am in the world, I will make a beeline for the nearest castle and imagine myself living in it.
My partner is, at this stage, resigned to traipsing around battlements and climbing winding staircases with me. So, once we had rented a car at Faro airport and checked into our hotel, he offered only a token protest when I informed him that rather than spending the day sunning ourselves at the beach of Praia de Faro, walking down to the Centro Historico of the old city, or indulging in the amazingly spicy and delicious Piri-Piri chicken that the Algarve boasts, we would be driving out to Silves to clamber around the red sandstone castle.
He almost tempted me away with the prospect of a romantic boat trip into the Rio Formosa nature reserve, but when I countered with the fact that entry to Silves Algarve castle is free he quickly capitulated. He said, “let’s Algare visit now
The castle is, quite frankly, amazing. The red stone makes it an unusual sight for those who are used to the dull grey walls of the castles of the British Isles. The view from the castle walls over the cathedral is beautiful and well worth the climb. We also stopped by the Museu De Arqueologia, where archaeological finds from the castle are displayed along with artifacts left by the Romans and Moors.
All in all, the Algarve was a perfect marriage of cultural experiences and recreational enjoyment. The beaches, nightlife
and restaurants would have been worth the trip on their own, but for me, as always, the highlight was the castle.
-Guest Post by Susan Connelly