Monchique

Monchique is the living example that the Algarve is much more than just sun and beach. Located inside Algarve, this municipality is situated in the mountain range with the same name, between the pico da Foia and that of the Picota. The landscape, rich in vegetation, and the mild climate made many baptize it as "Garden of the Algarve" or even "Algarve's Sintra". Between lush greenery and fresh air, the refreshing serra de Monchique proves to be ideal for nature walks. And it is in the midst of the mountain that the Monchique thermal baths & spa is located, in a peaceful surrounding with plenty of shadows and a perfect place for a picnic. From the viewpoint of the Largo de São Sebastião you may see the entire urban center of the village with its characteristic white houses and "skirt" fireplaces. The quiet, narrow streets adorned with camellias, hydrangeas and fruit trees, from which one has a view over the serra landscapes. When it comes to handicrafts, Monchique is famous for the scissors chairs – a legacy of the Romans – but also for the manufacture of footwear, for the wicker baskets, for the ceramics and even for the modern floral arrangements. In the gastronomy of the region stand out the honey and the traditional sausages, such as the chouriça and ham, which fame originated the “Feira do Presunto” (ham fair) and the very busy “Feira dos Enchidos Tradicionais de Monchique” (Fair of Monchiques' Traditional Sausages) in March. In desserts, the highlight goes to the bolo de tacho (typical chocolate cake made with corn flour, coffee, anise and cinnamon), exclusively baked in the month of may, and for the much appreciated folar de Páscoa (kind of sweet bread). But the ex-libris of the region is undoubtedly the famous aguardente de medronho (strawberry tree brandy), from the medronheiro (strawberry tree), which is very abundant in this region.

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