Castelo de Loulé

Castle - Medieval Islamic Period, Middle Ages e Modern Age (59)
Loulé is located on the south side of a hill, about 12 km away from the sea, standing roughly in the middle of the Algarve territory. This position gifted the castle of a good visual dominance over the territory, allowing it to control movement of the surrounding lands. The city of Loulé (Al-Ulyà) is founded during the 11th - 12th century, at the end of the Islamic period, merging the settlement cores that were dispersed over this territory. The wall of Loulé presented an irregular trapezium shape, enclosing an area of about 5 ha, with walls and square shaped towers, built with rammed earth and limestone foundations and well adapted to the terrain topography. Currently, several wall sections are visible, along with six towers, two of which albarrã towers (Rua das Bicas, Rua Duarte Pacheco, or Rua do Município). Some of these structures are absorbed or attached to structures that are more recent. The main entrance to the city was located to the south (Porta de Faro), next to which the Mosque, and later the Main Church of Loulé, was raised (the building blueprint, the orientation and features of the bell tower raise the question of the repurpose of these religious structures). The Islamic alcazaba/Christian castle (after the conquest of the city in the 13th century) was located in the north-west corner of the wall. This structure displays traces of the Islamic occupation in its interior and levels of destruction (fires) associated to the Christian conquest of the city. The repairs and restructuring of the walls and castle occurred between the end of the 14th century and beginning of the 15th century, associated with the growth of habitation spaces outside the walls. From the 17th century onwards, the walls and towers lose their defensive purpose, being integrated into religious and residential buildings and demolished in some cases.


Main Loulé Municipal Museum. Loulé Municipal Museum. Ticket purchase on site. Loulé Castle is part of the Mediterranean Diet Route and al-Mutamid Route.

Visit conditions

Entrance with admission ticket


O Castelo de Loulé está aberto de terça-feira a sábado: De 01 de Outubro a 31 de Maio das 09h30 às 17h30. Sábado das 09:h00 às16h00. De 01 de Junho a 30 de Setembro das 10h00 às 18h00. Sábado das 10h00 - 16h30.



    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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