Castro Marim Castle
The castle in Castro Marim sits high and proud above the town, and from the top you have incredible views over the salt flats, Guadiana river and across to neighbouring Spain. This is said to be one of the oldest places in the Algarve and is steeped in history. Its construction was ordered by King D. Afonso III during the 13th Century and although the building itself is far from its former glory, it is an incredible place to explore the ramparts and soak up the history of this very special place. There is also a small museum inside the main castle to learn a little more.
Silves castle dominates the skyline and when you visit and wind your way up through the cobbled streets you can feel the history that permeates throughout the city – which has made it the perfect location for the annual Silves Medieval Fair. The castle itself is believed to date back to 201 BC, when the Romans conquered the city and since then it has transformed over the years according to the politics of the day. Now this is a great place for all ages to visit and there is also the chance of purchasing a joint ticket to visit both the castle and the archaeology museum also located in the city.
Megalithic Monuments of Alcalar
If you want to go way back in time then the megalithic monuments of Alcalar are the perfect place to visit as this location is said to date back 5,000 years. The monuments were only discovered in the 19th Century and since then their history has been slowly uncovered to reveal a community including tombs and artefacts that show how the people of the time lived and worked. The site is located close to Portimão but do remember that it is closed on Sundays, and Mondays each week.
Lighthouse at the end of the world
Cape St. Vincent is the most south westerly point of continental Europe which makes it feel very much like the end of the world! Perched on top of the imposing cliffs is a beautiful lighthouse which is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Originally the lighthouse was built in 1520 and was upgraded over the years but was then destroyed in 1587 by Francis Drake before once again seeing the tower of the lighthouse being reconstructed in 1606. The lighthouse we see today dates back to 1846 and is an impressive today as it was then.
Fort of Nossa Senhora da Rocha
This fort is probably best known because of its truly picturesque setting, looking over the ocean and the beaches near to Porches in the central Algarve. Although small in size, the fort has a long history that is generally believed to date back to the 8th century when it was a medieval castle. Now it is a quaint chapel that looks typically Algarvean thanks to its whitewashed walls and home to images of the Virgin Mary.
Tavira castle and walls
Tavira in the eastern Algarve is a hugely historic destination, this is evident almost immediately with the Roman bridge in the centre of the city which spans the Gilão River. High above the river is the magical looking Tavira castle. Be sure to wear some sturdy shoes when exploring this castle whose original walls date all the way back to Phoenician times but were upgraded by Don Afonso III and D. Dinis. You can enter the main body of the castle and also explore the ramparts which offer fantastic views of the local area.
Chapel of bones
This is not your everyday run of the mill type of attraction and if the thought of a chapel made entirely of human bones (including many skulls) is something you won’t savour then this may be one to miss! Then chapel is located in Alcantarilha in the central Algarve and although small in size, it is home to over 1,500 human bones that decorate the walls and ceiling. This is certainly a historical site that you won’t ever forget!
Getting to the Algarve to enjoy the historical sites and locations is easy, with flight times from most major northern European cities coming in at around only three hours. There are regular flights throughout the week to Faro airport in the Algarve, including from Munich with Lufthansa, from Frankfurt with either Lufthansa or Ryanair and from Dusseldorf with Eurowings or Ryanair.