© Região de Turismo do Algarve
Milreu Roman Villa and Temple
A 10 kilometre drive inland from Faro town centre, the sleepy town of Estoi features some of the Algarve’s best preserved Roman ruins. The Milreu site, just off the N2 highway, was excavated in 1877. The oldest part of the Roman ruins are thought to date back to 1st or 2nd century A.D. with a large villa and temple being added later, probably in the third century.
The aquatic temple mosaics suggest that the temple may have been dedicated to a sea god. Later the temple was converted to a church, and during the Moorish period it was used as a mosque and burial site. In later centuries the temple ruins were converted to farm buildings and what is left of the farmhouse can still be seen today. A number of sculptures from the site are on display in Faro's Museu Municipal.
Probably the best thing to see here is the bath house which is adorned by some excellent mosaics of large fish and squid and contains the ruins of a frigidarium (cold water plunge pool) and an apodyterium (changing rooms) as well as an underfloor heating system. There is a small museum on-site to help you get the most out of your visit.