Monchique

Monchique is a spa town in the Algarve.

Understand

Monchique is the main town of the Serra de Monchique, the mountain range that separates the Algarve from Alentejo and the rest of Portugal to the north. It is a region with its own micro climate and produces cherries, chestnuts, oranges, lemons, peaches and olives. Rugs, pottery, chestnut scissor chairs, honey, cork, timber, bottled mineral water, Sienito granite, black pork and smoked sausages are some of the crafts and industries in Monchique.

Unspoiled by mass tourism, the area still has the yesteryear charm. It is a magnet however on weekends for the many Portuguese that live on the coast, they visit to eat traditional food in first class restaurants, fill bottles with water from the many roadside springs and take in the air and views.

In recent years many Northern Europeans including the British have settled in reasonable numbers here giving the town a distinct cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as the "Garden of the Algarve" or the "Algarves best kept secret", it is a nature lovers paradise and heaven for Bikers and Hikers alike.

Get in

From the southern Algarve coastal strip, Monchique is a 20-30 minute drive from Portimao, following the EN266 road which winds its way up into the hills. This road is served by a regular bus service.

There is also a helipad located to the north-west of the town centre on Estrada de Saboia.

Get around

Walking is a great way to get around the narrow, cobbled streets of Monchique and see all it has to offer. Visit the Turismo for a free street plan.

See

Do

Try the traditional food, Black Pork, Wild Boar, Chicken Piri Piri and the local firewater, Medronho, or for the ladies, Melosa, which is Medronho mixed with Honey. Drive many of the contour roads around the mountains and take in the views. Visit the health spa at Caldas de Monchique. Hike many of the trails, you will find a map at the tourist information.

Buy

Eat

There are about 40 restaurants in the parish of Monchique, which also includes the villages of Marmalete and Alferce.

Drink

There are dozens of small bars, usually attached to restaurants or cafes. The square in Monchique is very popular and has several cafes and bars with outside seating to relax and people watch. Bar Elephante is up a small alley way just up from the square and caters for the younger crowd in the evenings, also does Tapas.

Sleep

Connect

The very helpful Turismo (Tourist information office) is located at the top of Rua Eng. Duarte Pacheco, south of the main square Largo dos Charoes (follow signs towards Foia). There's a useful and free multi-storey car park located underneath it. There are many craft and local food fairs in Monchique, the tourist information can help with dates and brochures. There is also a gypsy market every 2nd Friday.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 08, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.