Here's an opportunity to tell us what you think about Monchique. Did you rent a villa, stay in Hotels, camp, just a day trip, tell us what you like or disliked. Whether you came on vacation, business or to buy property or whatever have your say.
Like others, we first spent time along the coast. Portimao is where we stayed but we spent time in Lagos as well. Eventually we trekked inland and discovered Monchique. Our trip was primarily house hunting and we have chosen Monchique Parish to live and within the Parish we are hoping to buy some land in Foia. There is a certain charm about Monchique that does not exist in the other cities we visited. I would echo another comment which is tourists are noticeable but seem different than those along the beach area of Portimao. We met a couple of British expats who were and remain exceedingly helpful. To echo another comment, we've seen a lot of Europe and nothing really compares with the Algarve and with Monchique. For those who might be interested in buying property, the Monchique Camara (council) is one of the less bureaucratic ones in the region. Staff are very helpful and some of them speak perfect English as well.
We have just spent 3 weeks staying in Monchique in a self catering cottage. We had plenty of time to explore the whole area both by car and on foot and discovered some amazing places. It is truly the unspoiled Algarve and we hope it stays this way. We had some fantastic meals at very affordable prices we tried a different restaurant each time the service and food was better than we had experienced before on the coast, I guess there they are sick and tired of tourists on the coast. The Monchique locals are friendly and could not do enough to keep us happy. We can't wait to return.
There is an honesty about this part of the world which is difficult to put one's finger on. Today we went for a hike with friends over in Alferce. After a steep climb we entered the village of Alferce by way of an old donkey track, two ladies one elderly and her daughter were standing there, chatting, with a plastic bucket of soil sitting on the ground between them. They greeted us all with a smile and started to talk with us.
Can you imagine such a scene anywhere else in the world, two ladies standing over a bucket of dirt in London, Berlin, Toronto, Chicago inviting us to join in their conversation? The elderly lady invited us all to her home for a coffee, we declined because we were many, but bless her.
So we continued on leaving our new found friends with their bucket of dirt, not sure what it was for but they did of course! Just another day in the Serra da Monchique,
We visited Monchique several times on our recent holiday in Lagos. We found the coastal area very nice but too busy with too many tourists. The restaurants there also cater mainly for the tourist and we don't appreciate that type of food. We discovered Monchique and just love the feel of the place, the countryside is peaceful and the views are splendid from just about everywhere. The restaurants have real Portuguese food which we love and at half the price of the coast. Next year we are going to book our accommodation somewhere in Monchique, it's a gem of a place.
We spent two weeks here before Easter, the weather was very agreeable for most of the time but we had two days where it rained, so we took a drive to the Alentejo. A wonderful place to relax, hike and take in the views. I ama photographer and the opportunities are amazing. This is one of our most favourite places in Europe.
Monchique is probably one of the nicest places in the Algarve if not the whole of Portugal. You realise this when you just sit and relax and take in the views or in the town just watching and listening to the locals going about their daily business. It's unique these days to find a place that is not ruined with tourists, yet there are plenty of tourists about, they just seem different. I think Monchique attracts a different type.
One of the major attractions apart from the beautiful scenery is the food. We could not find a restaurant we did not like, everyone is a bit different with such a variety of dishes, all local, reasonably priced, actually half the price of those down on the coast. A litre of house wine for 5 Euros, really!
The peaks of Foia and Picota are well worth a visit either walking or by car, the views are spectacular. There are plenty of level walks along the contour roads and tracks, they are well signposted so you won't get lost. Thee is plenty of accommodation, from Hotels to Bed and Breakfasts to luxury villas, we stayed at Caldas and found it more than satisfactory. The Tapas bar there is quite good too.
We can't wait to return.
Visited Monchique a couple of years ago and enjoyed it ever so much. The scenery and views are wonderful and so green compared to the rest of the Algarve which is dry and scrub. Its the cork oaks which make it so green. We went on many a picnic in the area next to streams, I can't remember the names and we ate out in a couple of the restaurants both were excellent value and great traditional food.
The town centre is cute with cobbled streets, cafe's, restaurants and craft shops. Some great architecture and chimneys. All in all it is a very safe and relaxing atmosphere and it is still the old Portugal. I would consider retiring there if ever I get the chance, but in the meantime will just have to settle for holidays, having a look now that's how I found this site.
We arrived on our boat from the UK on our world tour and stayed in the marina at Portimao, we loved the Algarve so much that we started to look at buying a bolt hole here. This is when we discovered Monchique, it is beautiful, there is no other way to describe it, so we bought a villa, sold the boat and have no regrets, we don't need to see the world anymore, we have everything we need here.
We spent 4 weeks in our motor-home exploring this region and alternated between campsites and dry camping. We had spent a few weeks down at the coast but found that was just too busy so the mountains of Monchique beckoned which suited us much better. We have a biggish rig but found parking okay in most places including the Intermarche Supermarket where we stocked up on provisions several times. Parking at the heliport was great too which made it easy to walk into town where we ate at several of the restaurants there, our favourite was O Parque just up the hill opposite the tourist information.
We camped right at the top of Foia Mountain, a bit windy in the daytime but the wind dropped and the night was just peace and quiet and the views to the coast at night are amazing, lights stretching for probably 80 miles or so.
We enjoyed every minute and can't wait to return to explore more next year.
Our first visit to Monchique and we think it is a great place to spend a holiday. We had two weeks in October in a lovely villa we rented which really made the whole trip worthwhile. We spent a couple of days just relaxing and taking in the panoramic views from the villa but for the rest we were out and about. There are some great scenic drives around both mountains and took picnics with us each time. We walked from where we parked, my wife is a photographer so there were plenty of opportunities for her. We saw vultures on the one day circling high above.
We went to several beaches on the west coast, they are simply stunning, Arrifana, Monte Clerigo, and Amoreiras, so natural and unspoiled, we ate at one of the beach restaurants I forget its name, it was good too. We ate at several restaurants in Monchique all were good. Loved Jardim das Oliveiras and A Charette in the town also Foz do Banho at Caldas de Monchique is excellent too, we like our food and love Portuguese cuisine, such variety and so different to what we are used to.
The town of Monchique is cute and we spent many an hour at cafes in the square just watching the world go by, there are some interesting sculptures dotted around the town. We took a walk up to the ruined monastery its a pity it is not restored. There are some great shops too, the wife bought some gifts and cork products to take home.
We spent a day in Lagos and a day in Portimao, the Sardine museum in Portimao is very interesting. We had a great time in Monchique and there is so much more to see so we will be back to sample more.