22kms north of Portimão is Monchique a market town up in the Serra de Monchique, a thickly wooded mountain range separating the Algarve from Alentejo offering spectacular views and is totally different from coastal Algarve. Monchique is a very quiet and relaxed place, the centre is characterised by lots of narrow cobbled streets with a spattering of cafes and restaurants, it is famous for is the production of Medronho - a liqueur and also local honey although it relies more heavily on tourism and craftwork.
Caldas de Monchique is where the Romans built baths to utilise the natural spring waters which are still in use. From the highest point Foia (902m high) on a clear day you can see from Cape St. Vincent in the west, to Faro in the east and to the Serra da Arrabida, near Lisbon, to the north! Monchique offers total relaxation, with spectacular scenery, plenty of places to walk and explore and lots of restaurants to choose from for dinner. Although it may sound quite remote it isn't! So if you want to spend a day at the beach it's only about a twenty minute drive to the coast. The climate is generally warmer in the summer months than the coastal area due to the lack of an Atlantic breeze, in the winter months whilst cooler the difference is minimal to the southern coast.