Ruínas Romanas de Milreu

Villa - Roman Period, Medieval Islamic Period, Middle Ages e Modern Age ((século XV - XVIII - [1755 Terramoto - Portugal / 1789 - Revolução Francesa])) (9)
The archaeological site of Milreu is located on a small hill on the left bank of the Rio Seco, at the foot of the Serra de Monte Figo, near present-day town of Estói, approximately 7 km from the town of Faro (Ossonoba Roman city). The location of this villa in the countryside, on the hinge between the plains and the hills and rich in water sources, has enabled the development of agricultural activity, especially the production of olive oil and wine. The archaeological works carried out allowed the identification of traces of structures and artefacts, as well as an imposing Roman villa, with various stages of construction and occupation, chronologically set between 1st century and 7th century AD (Roman period/ Late Antiquity), and materials integrated in the 8th century and in the beginning of the 10th century AD (Islamic Medieval period). It has a pars urbana (residential area) around a big peristilum, with pavement coated with mosaics with geometric and marine motifs, the walls decorated with frescoes, a central tank and a garden; and a pars rustica, with presses for the production of wine and olive oil, storage areas for products and compartments intended for the servants and slaves. It has also been identified a bath complex, with preserved vestiges of several compartments, a cloakroom (apodyterium) of significant dimensions, a small bathtub of cold water (frigidarium) and the remains of the plumbing system. The construction of a worship building associated with the cult of aquatic deities is recorded south of the villa, during the 4th century AD. Eventually the building was Christianized with the placement of a mausoleum and several graves inside, as well as with the construction of a baptismal pool. Two temple-shaped mausoleums destined for the owner's family were identified east of the villa, the oldest with compartments for incineration urns and the most recent one with a crypt for the placement of a burial grave.


This archaeological site has an interpretive center with reception, exhibition and a shop. A virtual guided tour is available for free in the site app. The site is integrated in the Archaeological in the "Itinerários Arqueológicos do Alentejo e Algarve". Individual and group tickets are available - "Circuito Monumentos do Algarve".

Visit conditions

Entrance with admission ticket


Opening hours: From May to September 10.30 - 13.00 14:00 - 18:30 From October to April 9.30 - 13.00 14.00 - 17.00 Closed: Mondays and January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.


    How to get there? Best practices

    Best practices

    Good practices when visiting archaeological sites

    To visit an archaeological site is to connect with our origins, to understand our path and evolution as a species integrated in the environment, and to respect and safeguard our heritage so that future generations can also visit and enjoy it.

    Walking the paths and enjoying the structures and archaeological pieces that survived over time, fosters the understanding of what is different, but also of what is common among different populations: basically, what identifies us as Homo Sapiens.

    More than just vestiges and ruins of the past, archaeological sites showcase our capacity for creative thought, adaptation, interconnection, comprehension and resilience. Without these traits we would not have been successful as cultural beings participating in an ongoing evolutionary process. These sites also allow to consider choices made in the past thus contributing for decisions in the present to be made with greater awareness and knowledge.

    Archaeological sites are unique and irreplaceable. These sites are fragile resources vulnerable to changes driven by human development. The information they keep, if destroyed, can never be recovered again.

    As such, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) invites all visitors to enjoy the beauty and authenticity of these sites, while helping to preserve them for future generations by adopting the following set of good practices:

    • Respect all signs; 
    • Do not try to access fenced areas; 
    • Do not climb, sit or walk on archaeological structures and remains; 
    • Respect areas where archaeological excavations are being carried out, not disturbing them; 
    • Do not collect materials or sediments;
    • Do not write or make graffiti on archaeological structures; 
    • Put the garbage in appropriate containers. If none exist, take the garbage with you until you find a suitable container; 
    • Leave the archaeological site as you found it; 
    • Do not drive bicycles or motor vehicles over archaeological sites; 
    • Respect and protect the plants and animals that live in the areas surrounding archaeological sites;
    • Report signs of vandalism or destruction to DGPC or Regional Directorates of Culture (DRC);
    • Share the visiting experience and the archaeological sites, as a way of raising awareness to their preservation and making them better known;
    • Do not buy archaeological materials and report to public security authorities, DGPC or DRC, if you suspect that archaeological materials may be for sale.

    Further information:

    AIA / ATTA (2013) – Guide to best practices for archaeological tourism. 

    Raposo, J. (2016) – Código de conduta para uma visita responsável a sítios arqueológicos. In Sítios arqueológicos portugueses revisitados: 500 arqueossítios ou conjuntos em condições de fruição pública responsável. Al-madan, 2ª série, p. 20 – 77. 

    DGPC contacts

    Phone: +351213614200 | Email:


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