Jo’s Monday walk : Milreu, a walk back in time

With travel once more a possibility, the floodgates were open for a stream of visitors. We love to flaunt the best of the Algarve, tailored of course, to the individual. Our best man and life long friend, Chris, made his first ever visit here. In a few short days he marvelled at beaches and Fiddler crabs, scurrying around their salt marsh homes, and admired both landscape and architecture. A history buff, his favourite place was the Roman ruins at Milreu. I thought you might like to walk through them with us.

For a full history of Milreu, follow the link. My simplified version is that the site was originally a farmhouse, built in the 1st century, in open countryside north of Faro but close to the village of Estoi. At the end of the 3rd century, it was substantially redeveloped around a large central peristyle, with columns surrounding an open courtyard and thermal baths. Enhancements continued, including gardens and tiled mosaics with a maritime theme, a temple devoted to a water deity, a winery and oil processing mills.

After the 6th century the building was transformed into a Christian church, and the courtyard used as a cemetery during the Muslim occupation. The area was abandoned during the 10th century, until a rural house, now the interpretation centre, was added in the 16th century. In 1877 a Portuguese archaeologist, Estacio da Veiga, discovered the ruins and excavations followed, eventually leading to classification as a National Monument.

I had never been inside the interpretation centre before and found it an atmospheric addition to the development. Outside again, we spent some time trying to picture how it once must have been. The setting is tranquil and lovely.

A small museum completed our understanding of the site, which was once thought to be the ruins of the Roman city of Ossonoba, today known as Faro. It proved rather to be an extremely luxurious villa and temple.

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I’m still happy to share walks that come my way. Please feel free to join me, whenever it suits.


Sarah’s been to some fabulous places and seen some wonderful sights :

Periyar’s monkeys, elephants, bison and more

While Teresa found this gem on a European tour :


A saunter around Savannah, with Alice, would be a lovely way to spend a day :

Forsyth Park in October

Then again, Marlborough seems to have a lot going for it. Thanks, Helen!

Wiltshire Walks : Exploring Marlborough

And you really can’t get more English than this! A historical tour with Mari :

Eton – More than a College

Followed by a hop, skip and a jump with Margaret, in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales :

A Castle fit for a Captive Queen Revisited

‘Known’ this lovely man for a long time, so it’s good to bring him here with me :

Alamo and Riverwalk 2021 Adventures

Every year I say I’ll join Robin in Walktober. Guess what? This year I have!

Walktober begins today

It’s been a wonderful couple of weeks here, full of friends and visitors. My daughter and husband left on Saturday, and my son arrives this Friday. As somebody remarked ‘my cup runneth over’. Wishing the same for you.

107 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Milreu, a walk back in time

  1. Hard headed me would not let the browser win before I head to the museo! Victory! I’m back to admire this scene and walk through these lovely ruins. If I were there I fear that I’d ask you all to allow me to stay behind – and later you’d have to drag me away. I’d be admiring and studying every nuance.
    This view was especially nice. I wondered about the people who created this ‘happy’ art – such a universal appeal – and through the photo the ‘happy’ prompt was strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No way would I be caught walking up (or down) those stairs! Not without some sort of balcony to hang onto, anyway. Still, this was a lovely walk, and I enjoyed it very much. I’m fascinated to see so many OLD places — Central Illinois, where I live, is relatively young in comparison.


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  4. Thank you, Jo. This was so wonderful. I love wandering around old places and ruins. Fascinating about the proprietor of Milreu and the creation of a pagan place of worship in a Christian area.


    • Hi Robin ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’• Feeling any better? I keep remembering that I need to visit some more of your contributors, but it’s been a busy time here. Writing tomorrow’s walk then I’ll make an effort. Happy Halloween to you! ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿฆ‡๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Thank you for ‘taking’ us along๐Ÿ™‚ I love those tile mosaics, they remind me of a bath house from Herculaneum, Italy. Same century I guess lol but different places. So old, but still new.
    Lovely photos!!


  8. Hi Jo, even in Roman times, fish tiles were popular. One of the many things I enjoyed about Portugal was the beautiful and colourful tiles. I learnt something new reading this post. I will have to check out the link! Enjoy your autumn walks.


    • Hello, darlin! Wikipedia links aren’t always the best but they give you a basic knowledge. I’m too lazy to quote all the history involved. Always happy to engage with you. Hope things are going well? Sending hugs!


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  10. Such beautiful photos-
    and yes I can never look at Roman remains without wonder at the skill and creativity behind the design, decoration and execution of their work and lives.
    Truly inspiring.
    Thank you for taking us on this warm, wonderful walk today. ๐Ÿ™‚


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  12. I would love this in person but I greatly enjoyed your narration and photos. If I’m ever so fortunate as to get back to Portugal, I’ll put this on my list of places to visit. So happy to read about your family and friends and travel again!!



    • Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for recommending Malcolm to my walks. I’ll have to go back for a mooch around his blog later as there are a few things that appeal on there.
      Milreu isn’t generally well known. The Portuguese aren’t particularly good at marketing themselves and that’s a nice characteristic because it means that places like this are quiet. If you are coming over at some point I can certainly recommend some sites you might enjoy. Vegas? Now that’s a very different kettle of fish! Be with you soon.


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  14. I finally decided to look at google maps to see where all this loveliness is, Jo! Wow, truly a walk back in time. So Roman-looking; like everything we have seen in the books. There was one of your shots of a wall with a cypress(?) tree that just looks like Rome. My hubby has been to Rome and saw your pics and says it looks so much like it. It’s amazing how well-preserved everything is. Those mosaics are stunning. Looks like you all had a wonderful walk. You live in a beautiful area!


    • It’s funny, isn’t it, how the Romans left their imprint everywhere they went? I’ve never been to Rome, but I can see the likeness. I can’t believe sometimes that I never made it to the Roman capital when I’ve looked at Roman ruins almost everywhere I’ve been. Perhaps I need to start planning, but right now there’s a lot going on here. And as you say, it’s beautiful! Thanks so much for joining me.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t recall you taking us here before, a change from your usually walks and reminiscent of the Roman ruins up by Hadrian’s Wall. I’m sure your friend had a marvellous time with you two acting as hosts. Perhaps you should run walking tours? Send some of that warm weather back here please, it’s gone all wet and grey again.


    • Not sure if I ever did a post but it’s a place we’ve been a couple of times. We take it in turns to lead walks and that’s quite enough responsibility. Besides, I have no sense of direction ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  16. What an interesting historical place Milreu looks to be Jo – it would be right up my street. How lovely that you are having so many visitors recently – it must be wonderful to be catching up with family and friends after so long apart! We had a busy time with school holidays recently and had our granddaughters to stay for a bit hence I have been a bit absent here. For some reason your new blog doesn’t come up as easily when I try and find it on WordPress but I think I’ve figured a work-around now and in any case I do get email notifications so that’s no excuse! Hope you have a lovely week and take care xx ๐Ÿ™‚


  17. What beautiful treasures you got to show off to your guest. Those mosaics are something else! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be brave enough to try those stairs though! ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ณ


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