The Roman site at Milreu (pronounced mil-rio) is the Algarve’s principal Roman excavation, just south of the attractive town of Estói, 11km north of Faro. The lavish villa that once stood here was inhabited from the first century AD and was constructed round a central peristyle – a gallery of columns surrounding a courtyard. You can also see the remains of one of the oldest Christian churches in the country, which was converted from a former Roman temple in around the sixth century. Southwest of the villa is an impressive bathing complex, with an underfloor heating system and striking fish mosaics – there’s also an apodyterium, or changing room, sporting arched niches for clothes. A small visitor centre shows what the villa would have looked like in its heyday.

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