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Monchique - Look no Further – beautiful nature is here!!

Article about the Serra de Monchique by Susanna Gross and Phillippa Birchenough

Thursday, 07 September 2017 - Algarve

The Serra de Monchique with its highest mountain called FOIA of 902m is a complete contrast to the coastal area of the ALGARVE. It offers breathtaking scenery and tiny picturesque villages as well as the main town MONCHIQUE. The Serra is located north of Portimão/Alvor and approx. 22 km inland with good access off the motorway in Portimao, from Penina golf course towards Monte Canelas, Monte de Cima to Casais or via the AUTODROME road towards Monte de Cima. That means an approx. drive of only 25 minutes from the southern coast and about 30 minutes to the wilder west coast.

You will find beautiful un-spoilt and mostly protected areas, friendly local people, amazing countryside with spectacular views to the coastline from the distance, the purest water flowing from natural springs, sportive hikers and cyclists, very tasty local food and souvenirs made in Monchique, one of them is the spirits MEDRONHO. With spectacular mountain views it is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, making it an area not to be missed.

The name MONCHIQUE was given to the region by the Romans who developed and built the Spa in Caldas de Monchique. Little is known about the history of the area, but it is a well-known fact that several kings and queens of Portugal visited Monchique – to use the healing water from the hot springs. Today visitors enjoy the various treatments in the hotels and filling up their bottles at several fountains to drink the fantastic Monchique water for free. The environment supports the well-being with healthy fresh air (no industry and no pollution), beautiful scenery, quietness, peace and beauty. The mountain with pine, eucalyptus and cork forests feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the coasts. For those who are nature lovers there are plenty of marked out walks, bird watching opportunities and stunning panoramic views from the peak of Foia and Picota (second highest mountain 773 m) inspiring sports fanatics,  artists and photographers. People belonging to the patient group of mushroom or herb collectors will also find their luck here.

Monchique town is nestled in the heart of the Serra de Monchique with narrow steep roads and most of them paved with cobblestones in the traditional way and with the main square surrounded by cafes, restaurants and handicraft shops. There is a morning fish and vegetable market also with home grown produce. It is well known for its local products such as cork products, timber, handicraft, smoked ham, honey, Medronho and brandymel, basket work, leather, wooden products, artist work, local sausages and meat (delicious “porco preto” = black pork) and woollen goods. Some of the Monchique housewives produce fruit chutneys and “piri-piri”oil (chilli oil). The scenery is tranquil, no stress and no hassle. To visit Monchique town it’s best on foot to stop, shop and eat the traditional food such as local sausages “chouriço”, “piri-piri” spicy grilled chicken, traditional stews like “cozido à portuguesa”, boar and black pork. Although it has a timeless feel Monchique also has our modern requirements such as well stocked supermarkets, banks, schools, pharmacies, post office, indoor and outdoor municipal pools, doctors/dentists, internet hotspots, nightlife, live music, a huge traditional market once per month with all kinds of produce, Monchique local food fair and also very fine restaurants. There is always something of interest going on.

At the foothills of the Serra is the famous spa town named Caldas de Monchique with its healing spring waters and revitalising massages and other wellbeing treatments.  A modern five star hotel with all these treatments has just opened on the doorstep. The hot, healing waters appreciated by the Romans are today enjoyed by many visitors who come to the local clinic at the Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort. Various therapy treatments are offered for muscular complaints, bad skin, digestion and rheumatism. The main square in the village has a large and attractive handicraft centre, surrounded by cafes and restaurants with open terraces.

There are beautiful properties nestled in the Serra de Monchique, countryside/rustic style properties – which you normally find in France or Tuscany, but also modern ones.  Some with exotic gardens and stunning views to the coastline; others are tucked away in the hills on huge plots with beautiful views to the countryside and forests.  For those who fancy a spectacular view from their own poolside the Serra de Monchique is the right location. To live in this area means more than just buying a holiday home, it means the decision for a tranquil and peaceful life but not far away from everywhere. Have a look at these properties for sale and contact Phillippa Birchenough on: 00351 914 817 862 or email: pb@togofor-homes.com  Phillippa lives in the Serra de Monchique and knows this area well. Please have a look on our fantastic properties located in the Serra de Monchique:

Properties in the Monchique Area