In Faro, the Municipal Museum is housed in the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of the Assumption), in the historical part of the city. It features a collection of Islamic pottery and an exhibition of old paintings. At the Algarve Regional Museum, which focuses on ethnography, you can admire a reconstruction of a typical Algarve house. The Almirante Ramalho Ortigão Maritime Museum exhibits items relating to fishing and model boats.
The Costume Museum in São Brás de Alportel has exhibitions of traditional dress and popular art.
Olhão is a land of fishermen and the City Museum is housed in the Casa Compromisso Marítimo, which dates from the eighteenth century.
In Loulé, the castle is home to the Municipal Museum, which has exhibitions of archaeology and ethnography. Vilamoura, Alte and Querença also have interesting museums that are worth a visit.
Overlooking the River Guadiana, Alcoutim Castle is home to an archaeology museum that features an exhibition of board games dating from the Islamic period, and which are unique in Portugal. In Castro Marim, the castle museum features an exhibition of archaeological finds dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. It also affords a magnificent view over the salt pans and the river.
The historical centre of Vila Real de Santo António is marked by its Pombaline characteristics, and it is here that we find the António Aleixo Cultural Centre, which offers exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and photography. It is named after the popular Algarve poet.
The Municipal Museum of Tavira is housed in the Palácio da Galeria, rebuilt during the eighteenth century on the remains of a Phoenician settlement. The exhibitions here focus on history, heritage and contemporary art.
At the Municipal Archaeology Museum in Silves, you can see an Arab cistern well and exhibitions that encompass eight thousand years of history. In Lagos, the magnificent Baroque gilt carvings in the Church of Santo António (St. Anthony), which is part of the Municipal Museum, are among the Algarve’s most prized artistic treasures.
Ethnography can be seen in all its splendour at Portimão Museum, which is housed in the former Feu fish canning factory, next to the River Arade. Here you can visit the permanent exhibition, which portrays the history of the city from the time of the area’s prehistoric settlers through to the twentieth century. Also worth visiting is the Museum of the Land and Sea, in Carrapateira, or the Vila do Bispo Interpretation Centre, where you can learn all about the Algarve’s varied ethnography.