Often overlooked by holidaymakers seeking sun, sea, and sand, Silves is one of the Algarve’s best kept secrets. Unlike many of the coastal towns, it has managed to find the perfect balance between touristy and Portuguese. It still gets tourists, and has plenty of accommodation and restaurants to cater for tourists, but without losing its character and charm in the process.
Silves’ Central Algarve location is ideal for those that want to explore the whole of the Algarve. The nearest beaches are just a short 15-minute drive away, and both the East and West Coast on either sides of the Algarve can be reached in under an hour. Behind Silves, the mountainous area of Monchique is ideal for walking, or you could take in the medieval town of Silves itself. (Note: although it’s possible to get to Silves by train and by bus, having a car will make your life a whole lot easier. )
Thanks to Airbnb and an increasing number of bed and breakfasts that are opening up, accommodation options in Silves now include everything from cheap hostels and campsites to hotels and luxury villas. Below, you’ll find a few of our picks as well as tips on where to find other great accommodation options.
Hotel Pick: Colina dos Mouros
Although there are plenty of accommodation options in Silves, from bed and breakfasts to campsites, Colina dos Mouros is the only actual hotel in Silves.
Rooms are basic in decor and the hotel feels tired and dated, but this is partially made up for with excellent views over Silves, in particular Silves castle. The hotel also benefits from being just over 1km from Silves town centre.
Reasons to stay at Colina dos Mouros:
- Swimming Pool
- Views of Silves Castle and River Arade
- Proximity to Silves town centre
More info & booking: Booking.com/Colina-Dos-Mourous
Guesthouse/B&B Pick: Duas Quintas
Duas Quintas is one of the Algarve’s most popular bed and breakfasts, and is a fantastic alternative to staying in a traditional hotel. Since opening more than 8 years ago, Duas Quintas has been been featured in a host of publications including Lonely Planet, DK Travel Guides, Elle Magazine, and the LA Times. Tripadvisor reviews from guests are equally gushing, making it one of the top-rated bed and breakfasts in the Algarve.
The bed and breakfast is set in a restored farmhouse surrounded by orange groves, lemon trees, and fig trees. Its this tranquil location in the Algarve countryside, combined with the delicious breakfasts each morning, that makes Duas Quintas the perfect place to stay and get away from it all.
Reasons to stay at Duas Quintas:
- Beautiful, peaceful location
- Delicious homemade breakfasts
- Swimming pool
- BBQ for guests to use
More info: duasquintas.com
Hostel Pick: Horta Grande
Most of the Algarve hostels are located in towns like Albufeira and Lagos, and tend to cater for the more party-centric crowd. Although there are a few bars in Silves, there isn’t the same bar scene and so Horta Grande is unlikely to be the Algarve’s next party hostel.
Horta Grand is idea for those that want an affordable base from which to explore Silves and its attractions which include Silves castle, Misericórdia Church, and the nearby Monchique. Accommodation options range from dorm beds to family rooms, with prices starting from €15 for a dorm room.
Reasons to stay at Horta Grande:
- Close to Silves town centre
- Affordable accommodation
More info: booking.com/Horta-Grande
Villa Pick: Villa Quina
Situated 9.5km from Silves, Villa Quina is a 4-bedroom rural villa offering breathtaking views over the nearby countryside. All of the four bedrooms are en-suite. There’s a spacious living room with a fireplace, perfect for cooler off-season evenings, and a fully equipped kitchen.
Outside, the property features its own private swimming pool, an outdoor seating and dining area, and beautifully maintained grounds.
Reasons to stay at Villa Quina:
- Private swimming pool
- Fireplace (for the winter months)
- Fully equipped kitchen
More info: JamesVillas.co.uk/Villa-Quina
Airbnb Pick: Vale da Vida
Set on a 44-acre estate just outside of Silves, the owners of this Airbnb (who live nearby with their two horses, two pigs, and dogs) promise to show you a taste of the good life. Vale da Vida is a wooden house, surrounded by orange groves and the nearby Arade river. The wooden property features an open plan kitchen, a master bedroom, and bathroom. Nearby there’s another shed, with two single beds, where the kids or other members of your group can stay. Silves town centre is nearby, just a 10 minute drive away.
Reasons to stay at Vale da Vida:
- Peaceful location
- Pigs and horses onsite (great for children)
More info: Airbnb.com/Vale-da-Vida
Campsite Pick: Campismo O Paraiso
Situated on the banks of the River Arade, Campsite O Paraiso offers tranquil surroundings where you can pitch a tent and enjoy the serenity of the Algarve countryside. Campsite facilities include a swimming pool, small restaurant (during the season), and internet access. Canoes are also available for hire.
Reasons to stay at Campismo O Paraiso:
- Restaurant on-site
More info: call +351 967 659 700 or visit their page on Facebook.