Castelo de Salir

Castle - Medieval Islamic Period e Middle Ages (1012)
This castle is located at the top of a limestone elevation 256 m in altitude, with smooth slopes to the south-west and steep to the north. This site is located in a transition area between Barrocal and Serra do Caldeirão, about 13 km away from Loulé and 16 km away from the Castelo de Paderne. This position allowed the castle to have a good visual domain over the landscape, allowing it to take a leading role in the control of the routes on the strategic passage between the Barrocal and the Algarve coastline. This castle has an irregular polygon shape, enclosing a total area of about 4200 m2, with walls (1.80m high and 2m thick) and square towers built with rammed earth and limestone foundations, well adapted to the characteristics of the terrain. The curtain walls and the four preserved towers (located to the south, north, east and west) are attached to more recent buildings. The entrance to the castle could have been located in the south area. In the castle inner space, vestiges of orthogonal urban planning were identified, along with six square shaped housing structures arranged around a central courtyard, paved with slabs, as well as kitchens with structured fireplaces, a diverse set of silos and a complex plumbing system. The architectural features of the Salir castle and inner domestic structures are integrated in the Almohad construction tradition (12th-13th centuries), representing a rural fortification, with both defensive and housing functions, providing shelter to the populations that inhabited nearby small alcarias. During the reign of D. Afonso III in the middle of the 13th century (1248 - 1250), the Salir castle was conquered definitively by the Order of Santiago, having been used like a military camp for troops that conquered Loulé and Faro. Archaeologically, there is a clear evidence of destruction (layers of fire and military elements) and abandonment of the Almohad military and domestic structures. Starting in the 14th century, the Salir castle loses its strategic importance due to the increased desirability of coastal territories, registering the progressive abandonment of its military and residential structures, aggravated by the effects of the great earthquake of 1755 and subsequent reconstruction, which have repurposed and obliterated many of the medieval structures.


Salir Castle is one of the museum centres of the Loulé Municipal Museum. Admission is free. This archaeological site is part of the Transalgarvian Route and the Mediterranean Diet Route.

Visit conditions

Free entrance associated with a museological structure


Opening hours From Monday to Friday - 09.00 to 17.00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.



    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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