Monchique What to discover and how to enjoy your visit
The Municipality of Monchique is divided into the following parishes: Alferce; Marmelete; Monchique
Municipal Holiday: Corpus Christi (Thursday)
Inhabitantes: around 6,000
Area: 395 km²
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 Fóia, 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 Camellias Festival is held durinng February and hosts a local contest for the best Camellia arrangement, musical concerts and the “Rota das Camélias” (Camellia Route) in order to admire this diverse flower species blooming around the region almost all year round.
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, honey, etc. 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.
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