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- Moving To Portugal
When moving to Portugal it is essential to find the destination, town or village that is going to most suit your way of life but with so much choice it is hard to narrow down just where could be best.
In the Algarve much of the focus for people for a place to live is placed on destinations along the coast, however there are many beautiful inland towns and villages to choose from in the Algarve, including the historical city of Silves.
Learn more about different places that you should consider when looking to moving to Portugal by browsing through our Moving to Portugal guides on the site.
Silves is one of the oldest settlements in the Algarve and has a rich history that is evident almost everywhere you turn in this inland city. Although the city is not the seat of power it used to be centuries ago, it is still a popular place for foreign residents to move to thanks to the attractive property prices, proximity to the coast and quiet atmosphere more reflective of traditional Portugal.
Silves is located in the central region of the Algarve, north of both the A22 motorway and the EN125.
You can get to Silves from the east or the west of the Algarve by either using the A22 motorway and exiting at Lagoa or by travelling along the EN125 and when reaching Lagoa follow the signs.
A series of new roundabouts and a small section of duel carriageway lead you into the city and you know you are going the right way when you pass under the tunnel and then look down to see amazing views of the castle, river and city sprawling across the hills.
Silves city itself does not have a beach because it is an inland city, however the municipality of Silves does stretch down all the way to Armação de Pêra. Really the closest beaches to Silves can be found in the municipality of Lagoa where there are beaches in Carvoeiro, Ferragudo and many in between.
Instead of a beach in Silves, there is the riverside area for relaxing and recreation.
Silves is not known as a buzzing metropolis, however there are always plenty of things going on in both the foreign and Portuguese communities.
Several charity activities, dances and events take place at the Ponte Romana restaurant on the old bridge while there are also activities and fitness classes that happen at the football club in the city, all arranged by foreign residents.
Along the road in Silves Gare is a popular spot for Bailes, Portuguese dance nights that attract hundreds of guests for food, drink and dancing, while the bars and restaurants in the main city often hold live music evenings and promotional nights.
In Silves itself there are plenty of small shops from pharmacies to shoe shops and everything in between. There is also a monthly market that takes place by the cemetery in Silves and this is a great place to pick up local produce and a good few bargains if you get there early in the morning.
For larger shopping trips there is a Modelo supermarket in Silves itself which sells all of the essentials that you will need, there is also a Lidl supermarket in the centre of the city. Both of these branches are large enough for most things but they are nowhere near the size of the supermarkets in Portimão which is the nearest place for anyo9ne wanting to visit a shopping centre.
In Portimão there are three shopping centres/retails parks, with branches of H&M, C&A, Primark,Worten and most of the major brands from Portugal are available here only a short drive away from Silves itself.
Silves is a city and is the capital of the municipality so everything that you could possibly need for everyday living can be found here from doctors and health services to local schools and sports facilities.
The riverside area of Silves is a great resource with a running/cycling track, small skate park, exercise area and picnic areas all along the water front and next to the municipal swimming pools and expo centre.
Silves is a great spot for people looking for a little more for their money in comparison to coastal destinations and towns.
The main city itself is mainly apartments and small properties at good prices but if you move into the countryside then you can then find larger properties often with land suitable for large gardens or for some farming of orange trees- the area is known for it!
Historical buildings are fantastic in Silves but beware if you are wanting to buy an old one and refurbish it as there can be limitations to what you are able to do planning wise.
For a full idea of the property market in the Alvor area then it is best to speak to one of the many estate agents in the local area. Almost all will speak English and will have invaluable information for potential property buyers and those looking for long term rental opportunities.
Silves really comes alive in August when the annual Medieval fair comes to town with the entire city being transformed with bales of hay and sheets to look like Silves in times old.
This is a huge tourist attraction and if you are not keen on crowds then it is best to leave the area at this time of year, however if you love live music, dancing in the streets, jousting shows and the smell of roast pig then this is certainly the place for you – there is even a place where you can change into your medieval clothes to really get into the spirit of things!
Silves is home to a large camper van community in the winter months with many mobile homes gathering in the area near the river for the winter and parking up with other like minded travellers.
THE BEST AND THE WORST BITS
If you love the beach and the sound of the waves then being inland will not be right for you but this is a real living and working Portuguese city and because of this there is a very real sense of actually living in Portugal and not in a tourist destination.
Silves has great road links now to the rest of the Algarve and it is only ever a short journey to pretty much anywhere in the rest of the Algarve making this an ideal place to be based to explore the rest of the region.