Cities and Regions » Monchique
Monchique is a quaint mountain village nestled between the mountains of Foia (902m) and Picota. The borough of Monchique, established in 1773, covers 396.15km2 and forms the backdrop to the boroughs of Portimão and Lagos to the south, Aljezur to the west, Silves to the east and Odemira to the north. Monchique was named by the Romans (Mons Cicus), who originally built the spa at Caldas de Monchique. There is evidence though of the area being populated as far back as the Stone Age.
Often referred to as the “lungs of the Algarve” the folds of the hills and mountains are covered in a variety of trees – cork oaks, chestnuts, eucalyptus, acacias, lemon trees, fruit trees and the strawberry tree (arbutus unedo) which provides the red berries for the famous firewater “medronho”. Farming is done on terraces built up with stone walls and everywhere there are water tanks capturing the water flowing from hundreds of natural springs. A drive up the mountain offers amazing panoramic views of the south and west coasts. It is the perfect place for walkers, birdwatchers and cyclists. The local tourist office is well equipped with information and maps of walking trails.
The cooler mountain climate has led to pig farming being an important industry. The region is therefore well known for its variety of traditional sausages and salted hams, showcased at annual fairs – Feira dos Enchidos (sausage fair) which takes place on the 1st weekend in March and the Feira do Presunto (salted ham fair) which is at the end of June. The many restaurants on the mountain do justice to local produce and no visit to the Algarve is complete without a meal of piri chicken over looking the coastline.
The village is characterised by steep, cobbled streets, little doorways and artisanal shops. The main church, Igreja Matriz, dates back to 1661 and is beautiful in its simplicity. The entrance surround is a fine example of Manueline craftsmanship. In the background sits the Convento de Nossa Senhora do Desterro, a 17th century Franciscan Monastery, which although very damaged by the earthquake of 1755 and now in a state of neglect, frames the village beautifully.
Places to visit on the main road up to Monchique are the Parque da Mina and Caldas de Monchique. The villages of Casais, Alferece and Marmelete offer a window on unspoilt rural life.
Highlights and Special offers / Our holiday suggestions in: Monchique
417 Villa Beatrice - Praia da Luz, sleeps 4, close to the beach and village center, private pool
privately owned 2 bedroom property with pool, simple and comfortable, within walking distance to beach
from EUR 120,- per day
412 Vivenda do Trilio - Salema/Budens, sleeps 4 - 6, on the fringe of Parque de Floresta golf course in the western Algarve, private pool, quietly situated
individual and bohÃ©me 2 bedroom villa with mezzanine, private pool and very pretty Algarve garden near Salema beach, Wi-Fi
from EUR 90,- per day
420 Villa Maren - Lagos, Vale da Lama, 4 people, exclusive location overlooking the lagoon of Alvor and its stunning nature reserve, free Wi-Fi
private 2 bedroom villa with private pool, excellent location
from EUR 105,- per day
401 Quinta das Nespereiras - Lagos, sleeps 4 - 5, on the outskirt of Odiaxere village, quiet and rural within a beautiful exotic estate
2 bedroom apartment with air conditioning, shared pool, private terrace and WiFi
from EUR 85,- per day
812 Quinta Marina - Lagos, Meia Praia beach, 12 people, newly built upmarket property, quiet location, great sea views, air- conditioned, walking distance beach; WiFi
private villa with sea views, own private pool, 6 bedrooms, high standard tasteful interior, palm and banana tree garden, perfectly located close to Lagos center, beach and marina
from EUR 330,- per day
201 Quinta das Nespereiras - Lagos, sleeps 2 - 3, on the outskirts of Odiaxere, quiet, rural and within a beautiful exotic estate, shared pool, sun loungers, WiFi
1 bedroom apartment with air conditioning and shared pool, private terrace, beautiful garden
from EUR 70,- per day