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Serra de Monchique – What to see

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Monchique town

The small village of Monchique is a quiet and peaceful place. The central square has a friendly atmosphere with fountains and flowers. In the centre of the town, you will find many narrow cobbled streets.
The houses in Monchique are quite colorful, which gives the place its own character.
Make sure to take your time to walk around the town. You will find some hidden but beautiful alleys.

Igreja Matriz de Monchique

Near the centre of the town, you can find the Parish Church, better known as Igreja Matriz de Monchique. This pretty church was built in the 16th century and reconstructed after the earthquake of 1755.
It is well preserved. From the outside, the doorway stands out. Inside you can find a nicely carved statue of Jesus on the cross.

Convento de Nossa Senhora do Desterro

On the hills above the town, you can find the ruins of a Franciscan convent, known as Convento de Nossa Senhora do Desterro. This monastery was built in 1631 but was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.
It is about a 15-minute walk uphill from Monchique, with some steep sections. The convent is situated on private land, but the owner welcomes visitors without charging anything.
From the convent, you can enjoy a beautiful view over Monchique and the surrounding area. This view alone is worth the visit.

 

 

Caldas de Monchique

Near the village of Monchique, you can find a famous spa, called Caldas de Monchique. It is one of the most beautiful places in the region and it is absolutely the best water in the Algarve.
The warm spa water has a temperature of around 31 degrees Celsius when it streams downwards from the mountain. It is said that the water is very healthy for the human body.
The water is used for relaxation, but also for the treatment of rheumatism and some respiratory illnesses. The healing properties of this mountain spring water were already discovered by the Romans.
Near Caldas de Monchique you can also take a long hike (18 km, which takes about 6 hours). This is a great way to admire the beautiful nature.

Parque da Mina

Near Caldas de Monchique you can find a small theme park called Parque da Mina. It explains the workings of an old iron ore mine and provides some entertainment. In the basement, you can see how the liquor medronho is made.
There is also a small petting zoo outside. Especially children love to feed the animals. If you are traveling with kids, this is a nice place to visit.

Mount Fóia

Mount Fóia is the highest point of the Algarve (902 metres). The mountain is part of the mountain range of Serra de Monchique. You can reach the peak of Fóia by foot, by mountain bike or by jeep.
From the peak of Fóia, you have phenomenal panoramic views over the Algarve. You will feel like you are on top of the world. Make sure to visit only on a clear day with no clouds, otherwise, you won’t see much.
Because of its height, Fóia is one of the coldest areas of the Algarve. It can be quite cold or windy high up the mountain. When you go to Fóia, make sure you bring some warm clothes with you.
Make sure to also bring some water. Along the road towards Fóia, you will find several restaurants.

 

 

Serra da Picota

Serra da Picota is the second-highest point of the Algarve (774 metres). It is part of the mountain range of Serra de Monchique. The view from the top is stunning. It is also a very peaceful place.
You can go up the mountain by car, but it is best to walk the last part. Some people find Serra da Picota even more beautiful than Fóia.

Nature

The most beautiful thing in Monchique is its surrounding nature. Many people visit the area to take long walks or for mountain biking. It is very peaceful to just walk around and enjoy the sounds of nature.
Moreover, the area is very suitable for birdwatching. Also, the vegetation is quite diverse. Among others, you can find pine trees, cork oaks, orange trees, eucalyptus and chestnut trees, as well as many flowers and shrubs, rosemary, heath, oleander, arbutus, and rock roses.
The mountains of Monchique provide a spectacular view over the area.

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