Cerro da Vila archaeological centre reopens after facelift

Vilamoura’s Cerro da Vila archaeological centre and museum, described as “one of the largest and most important pieces of evidence of Roman presence in the Algarve in the first century AD”, reopened on Monday (June 15) after closing for renovations.

The revamp involved improving the complex’s signposting as well as the way it is promoted, said Vilamoura World, which manages the site.

“Considered one of the Algarve’s must-visit attractions, Cerro da Vila was discovered in 1963 and allows people to enjoy an immersive experience through the remains of a typical maritime Roman village,” says Vilamoura World.

“Inside the villa are mosaics, luxurious fountains (domus), public and private baths, fish sauce factories and funerary monuments.”

There is also evidence of a port which served as a commercial hub for the import and export of products through boats that navigated between the main urban centres located along the western Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.

The experience is described as a “journey through history” and provides a glimpse of how the Roman people lived at the time.

Inside the museum, the experience begins with an on-site visit to the graves unearthed from the Vinha do Casão cemetery, believed to date back to between the 12th and 10th centuries BC – “a time when the economy of the Iberian Peninsula’s southern communities was based around the exploration and production of bronze”.

Visitors can also discover a series of Roman and Islamic artifacts, some of which are unique in Portugal.

Tickets cost €2 for students (upon presentation of student card), senior citizens and groups of 10 people (each) and €4 for adults aged up to 64. Admission is free for children aged 13 and under.

Cerro da Vila is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 6pm.

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