I’m a sucker for a bit of history, and when I was reading my travel guide to the Algarve I spotted somewhere that I thought might be worth adding to our list of places to visit on our recent trip. We’d spent some time exploring Tavira down on the eastern coast of the Algarve and on our way back to Silves we spent some time exploring the Roman ruins of Milreu.
If you want to spend time exploring the Roman ruins of Milreu, you will find the site just on the outskirts of the village of Estói. There are only a few parking spaces available on site, but it wouldn’t be a long walk really, if you had to park in the village and walk back. It was very quiet when we visited and I was immediately impressed by how cheap it was! For a couple of Euros you have free access to the site and a small museum. There are toilets, but no cafe facilities.
There are information points around the site to help you visualise what the villa complex would have look like during the 1st century AD.
It really must have been a beautiful place to visit when it was complete, set in the Portuguese countryside.
Apparently marble statues were once in place, but these can now been found in museums in Faro and Lagos.
There are a number of beautiful mosaics around the site which we discovered when we were exploring the Roman ruins of Milreu. Most with some reference to marine life.
We tried to imagine who might have enjoyed bathing in the various pools and how vivid the colours might once have been.
It was nice to watch my son wander off and explore with his Granny, and see him taking an interest.
Hopefully the visit brought to life some of what he’d learned in class about Pompeii earlier this year.
it was certainly a great opportunity for him to get close up to the mosaics and see how the Romans had invented under floor heating so long ago.
No matter what age you are, there’s always something rather fascinating about looking down a well!
The Roman Temple was converted into a church in the 6th century, and then into a mosque in the 8th century. But in the 10th century it collapsed, may be in an earthquake, and the whole site was abandoned.
As we were exploring the Roman ruins of Milreu we couldn’t help but notice the large white washed farmhouse. Originally built over the ruins in the 15th century, it’s been modified over the years, but it’s well worth a visit inside, where the floors have been removed to reveal the treasures beneath.
Exploring the Roman ruins of Milreu doesn’t take hours, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you are passing. It’s worth noting that the site is exposed, so in the middle of summer I can imagine it getting rather hot, but the farmhouse and museum offer shade.
We think we might have spotted a fossil in the stone work during our visit too, what do you think?
May be pin this post for later if you’re visiting the Algarve this summer.