The Municipality of Monchique is divided into the following parishes:
Alferce; Marmelete; Monchique
Municipal Holiday: Corpus Christi (Thursday)
Area: 376 km²
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Called “the garden of the Algarve”, it is the most elevated area of the region, with an altitude of 902 metres above sea level at Foia, an observation point over almost all the Algarve, and where the hills of Arrábida in Setúbal can be seen on clear days, to the north. Well worth a visit to these giddy heights, principally to breathe the pure air in this sea of green vegetation.
The traditional “Pork Sausage” Fair of Monchique (Feira dos Enchidos Tradicionais da Serra de Monchique) is held at the beginning of March, with exhibits of local produce such as presunto (cured ham), pork sausages/black puddings, etc. and honey. Some of the typical local restaurants prepare plates of “cozido” – boiled chickpeas, beans or corn with a selection of meats and maize-meal. Have a taste of the Medronho “firewater” made from the arbutus berries, native to the hills of Monchique, Caldeirão and Espinhaço do Cão, distilled over oak wood fires in copper stills. This “life-giving water” goes down well with local sweetmeats made from figs and almonds, the more characteristic being the Tacho cake and Honey Pudding. The Annual Monchique Fair, held in October, exhibits work done by local craftsmen in wood, leather and weaving.
A visit to Caldas de Monchique is a must, with its Roman remains, and the spa waters, used nowadays for the treatment of rheumatic and respiratory illnesses. While here, don’t miss a visit to the nearby Omega Park Zoo, one of the few places that are dedicated to the preservation of animal species in danger of extinction.For further information about Monchique, visit the Official Municipal Website (Portuguese only)
Move your mouse over the aerial view of the Algarve and click on the chosen destination.