Monchique mountain & Caldas de Monchique
Monchique the Algarve, Portugal’s highest town
With a few exceptions, Monchique has been happily untouched by the invasion of tourism in the last decades. It is located in a saddle formed by the two highest hills of the Algarve, Picota (774 m) and Foia (902 ml). The inhabitants of this town have maintained the rustic atmosphere, and the small dark doorways contain various artisan trades.
Foia the highest elevation in the Algarve and in southern Portugal
Fóia (902 m) is the highest elevation not only in the Serra de Monchique, but also in the whole of southern Portugal. The Serra’s mighty hills are visible from afar. The scarce vegetation of the peak plateau consists mainly of shrubs and various wild herbs.
To see a little more about Monchique and surroundings, please click on the video below:
The 17th Century Franciscan monastery overlooking the town offers a panoramic view over the peaceful countryside. The surrounding area produces cattle, pigs, cork and wood. It is also the place where the famous Medronho , an excellent strong schnapps is distilled from the fruit of arbutus bushes.
The two hills dominating the landscape offer dramatic views to the southern and western coast of the Algarve. Hidden in the valley south of Picota there is a hot spring site named Fonte Santa that is rumoured to have special healing effects. Already the Romans estimated the sulphuric warm spring water emerging at a constant temperature of 32°C and developed the village of Caldas de Monchique as a Spa.