Found near the marina in the buzzing seaside town of Vilamoura on Portugal’s sun-kissed Algarve, the Cerro da Vila Museum encompasses an acre of Roman ruins, parched by the sun, and a small but surprisingly informative museum of finds excavated at the site. Dating back to the first and second century AD, when the Algarve was controlled by the Roman Empire, the remains include granaries, the villa of a wealthy merchant—where sections of well-preserved mosaic have been uncovered—a necropolis and the remains of a public baths complex as well as evidence of a sophisticated water supply that was served by a dammed river 1.25 miles (two km) away.
Although the major finds at Cerro da Vila are Roman, it is believed that the spot was occupied until the 11th century; alongside the Roman artifacts in the archaeological museum are medieval and Visigoth pieces as well as treasures from the 500-year Moorish occupation of southern Portugal.
The museum is open May–Oct 10am–1pm, 4pm–9pm; Nov–Apr 9am–12:30pm, 2pm–6pm. Admission is €2. To access, simply walk from the Vilamoura marina.