Beaches of the Municipality of Silves
The municipality consists of essentially hilly terrain, with important historical and cultural features and a diversified natural landscape that offers tourists other possibilities than simply sunbathing on the beach. But Silves, an inland city that stands proudly overlooking a broad fertile, farming valley, has long enjoyed an excellent form of communication with the coastline via the River Arade, which once functioned as an important means of maintaining contact and an outlet for its trade. It is currently the second largest municipality in the Algarve in terms of its surface area, although the coastal strip that it occupies is relatively small, amounting to roughly five kilometres in length.
Nonetheless, this area includes two of the Algarve’s most famous beaches: Armação de Pêra, a well-known urban centre for tourists, and Praia Grande, noted for its natural landscape and its habitats of great ecological value, which are home to some very interesting species of flora and fauna. The stretch of coast belonging to the municipality of Silves occupies a special area in the context of the Algarve’s western region: the large bay of Armação de Pêra. Here, the typical rocky coastline is interrupted to give way to one of the rare long expanses of sand in this region, forming a continuous beach that stretches over more than six kilometres and is bordered by an immense line of sand dunes and wetlands of great importance for water birds, not only those that live here all year round, but also the migratory birds that stop off here on their way to different places.