Next day we set off to drive the full length of the Algarve to Cabo de San Vicente (the Cape of St Vincent which is south-westernmost point in Portugal and most western point of mainland Europe. In times past this was known as “the end of the world” and was an important and sacred location for the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans. St Vicente was venerated here from the 18th century. In the 16th century a convent was founded at this site, protected by a fortress that from 1846 gave way to the present day lighthouse.
We then started the drive back and found an old fortress to explore before discovering the beautiful old riverside town of Silves where we had a delicious lunch. Silves is the former capital of the Algarve and of great historical importance Standing proudly on a hill the origin of the town traces back to existing some 1.000 BC.
The town is littered with orange and lemon trees, and sits on the banks of the Rio Arade. The most prominent monument is Castelo de Silves, which is now the best preserved castle in the Algarve. The castle and the Cathedral beside it are the first buildings you see as you approach Silves, as they sit on the hilltop above the town.