Castelo de Paderne

Castle - Medieval Islamic Period, Middle Ages e Modern Age (3284)
This castle is located at the top of a rocky spur in the left bank of the ribeira de Quarteira, about 2km south of the Paderne village. This location gifted the castle with a great field of view over the ribeira de Quarteira as well as the bridge located south-east, allowing it to serve as a strategic control point between the Algarve's coastline and the Barrocal area (typical limestone ranges in the Algarve). Encircling an area of 3250m2, Castelo de Paderne is shaped like a trapezium with walls made of rammed earth and foundations in limestone, set like steps, which seem to blend with the terrain's natural inclination. At the start of the access platform, a square shaped flanking tower rises at 9.30m tall. The original connection between the flanking tower and the castle was made out of rammed earth, although the currently visible stone arch is part of renovations made by DGEM, during the 1980s, 20th century. The bailey had a rectangular shape urban planning, with housing blocks composed of narrow streets, squared houses set around a central courtyard, with rammed earth or mudbrick walls attached to the fortress and a complex draining system for sewage. Its characteristics integrates the Almohad construction tradition (Maghreb caliphate, with capital in Marrakesh - mid 12th century). During the reign of D. Afonso III, in the 13th century, the castle was conquered by troops of the Order of Santiago and was gifted to the Order of Avis by D. Dinis in the beginning of the 14th century. During this period, the urban planning is stage of profound changes. The ermida da Nossa Senhora da Assunção is found close to the castle entrance and is overlapping an older building, a church built in the 13th century, which reflects the Christianisation of an older Muslim space. From the 15th/16th century onwards, the castle of Paderne loses its strategic importance due to the valorisation of the coastline territories, hence registering a progressive abandonment of its military and religious structures.


Visits to Paderne Castle require prior appointment at the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Albufeira, where archaeological materials from the excavations of this site can be found. Paderne Castle is part of the Mediterranean Diet Route and the al-Mutamid Route.

Visit conditions

By booking



    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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