Tag Archives: moors

Silves is getting ready for the Dark Ages


Silves is preparing in earnest for the 10th medieval Fair, a massive 10-day event which takes over the entire city and transforms its streets into a living, breathing medieval town. It’s just about to start on the second of August and it will last till the 11th.

Algarve historic sites (part 1)


We only rarely focus our attention on the many Algarve historic sites that can be seen and visited in this region, usually we talk more about beaches and festivals, but today we’ll change that with a quick look at some of the historic sites that you can find while on your Algarve trip.

Algarve history travel guide 2

algarve history travel guide

In today’s look at the Algarve history travel guide, we’ll continue on from Cacela Velha where we last left off and head westwards toward the now privately owned for of Sao Joao da Barra in Cabanas, which is now a bed and breakfast. Then you can see the Forte de Rato in Tavira which became landlocked by the shifting sands of the Atlantic coast before it was actually finished.

Tavira is described by many to be the prettiest city in the Algarve, and while that may or may not be a disputed notion, what cannot be disputed is its history, having been home to Phoenicians, Romans, Moors and then to many various Northern European settlers.

Algarve history travel guide

Algarve history travel guide

Today we’ll be starting a new series of articles in which we’ll be looking at the Algarve in the form of an Algarve history travel guide, we’ll talk about different locations throughout the region but with an accent on the history of each and the many historic sights that you should visit while on your trip there.

The Algarve is a great place to relax, great beaches, weather, food and drink, but it is also a magnificent area to explore for those who are history enthusiasts. This region has been this wonderful for thousands of years, so one shouldn’t be that surprised to find out that it changed hands between a variety of cultures throughout human civilization including the Romans, Moors, Crusaders, pirates and explorers in general.

Tavira guide


The town of Tavira, Portugal is a beautiful and elegant settlement, some consider it almost surreal in some aspects of it. Tavira is still an Algarvian fishing town, that much stays the same, however visitors might find what they see at odds with that particular notion seeing how unique this town is from most of the surrounding resorts.

Just like the rest of the region, Tavira spent quite a few centuries under Arab rule, in this case it was between the 8th and 13th centuries, after which it was conquered by the Knights of the Order of Santiago in 1242. Then between the 16th and 18th centuries, Tavira was the main trading port in the region. As you can plainly see, a very rich history, and we’ll try to give you a general overview on the place with this short Tavira guide.

What makes the town of Tavira stand out from most of the other Algarve towns is that it managed to somehow stave off the influence of mass tourism and preserve its unique traditions and handsome character. Part of this character is the seven arch bridge which spans the Gilao river; while its current appearance dates from the 17th century, the bridge itself is believed to have been built by the Romans. Severe floods affected the bridge back in 1989 and ever since it has only been open to pedestrian traffic, so you can still get to cross it, only you’ll be doing it on foot and some might argue that this is a much better way.

Lagoa guide

Poches - Lagoa municipality

The small and peaceful town of Lagoa, Portugal is considered by many to be the wine capital of the Algarve.

The history of this once tiny hamlet isn’t very well known till around the middle of the 13th century when the Moors conquered it and placed it under the control of the larger nearby Silves. The hamlet later become an official town, only for it to be mostly destroyed during the earthquake of 1755. however the settlement continued on, becoming an administrative town in the area which lived off agriculture, in the past. This is a very short Lagoa guide, meant to give you a better idea of the place’s history as well as present.

One of the main attractions of modern-day Lagoa comes from the start of the 19th century when the parish church was inaugurated, however there’s an older church, the Igreja de Misericordia which dates to the middle of the 18th century. The parish church features a very pleasant Baroque facade which is enhanced during the months of May and June when the surrounding jacaranda trees blossom. There also a war memorial erected nearby which pays tribute to the Lagoan soldiers who fell during the African colonial wars.