Are you ready for a tropical and historic vacation that balances peace, nature, and social engagement all in one? Monchique in the Algarve is a historic coastal village located in Portugal that’s a stunning combination of natural landscapes and human craftsmanship for the perfect peaceful experience and vacation. Situated within mountains and tucked into the hills of the villas of the Algarve, Monchique is a stunning testament to the natural beauty of Portugal and makes for a stunning resort destination and vacation visit.
How to get to Monchique
Traveling to the Monchique is a simple journey that begins with traveling to Portugal. Portugal can be reached through direct flights from many major cities or other airports in the world. Once you’ve landed in Portugal, you can begin your journey to the Monchique. You will travel through the Serra Mountains, a range of stunning mountains draped in heavy foresting and greenery that coats the hills. You will likely fly or travel past the largest point on the Algarve, the peak of the mountain Foia. Once you pass Foia, you will travel to Monchique itself. The city is nestled within pine, oak, and eucalyptus forests, quietly isolated and protected from developers or other modern cities. You can hike, bus, or bike here also, as the city is connected by a number of roadways and trails as well.
What is the Best time to go to Monchique?
When you’re preparing for your trip, you’re going to want to think about the activities you’re planning on doing as well as the weather that will be present when you’re visiting. The best time to visit Monchique is in October, where you can expect regular sun and less rain than normal. During the summer months, Monchique gets rain almost every day, so going in the fall ensures the same balmy weather as the warmer summer months but less regular rain or precipitation that can squash regular travel plans. Temperatures are usually around 20 degrees Celsius during the day, making it a phenomenal warm vacation year round. Assuming that you’re traveling during this time, you’re going to want to pack a combination of athletic, beach, and casual clothing as well as a nicer outfit or two for days when you’re going out on the town.
What to Pack
We recommend packing the following items when you’re preparing for your trip to Monchique: First off take waterproof luggage, a rain jacket, an umbrella and waterproof footwear — we’re not kidding about the chance of rain!
For regular day to day use you want to pack shorts, capri pants, skirts, sandals, tennis shoes or athletic shoes, short sleeve shirts, tank tops, long sleeve layering shirts, dresses, flip flops, swimsuit, and beach coverup.
For warm weather remember a sun hat and sun lotion.
Where to Stay in Monchique Algarve
Once you’re in Monchique, you’ll need to find a place to stay! There are several great locations to stay at when you’re traveling or visiting Monchique. Monchique Resort and Spa is a popular location to visit as it combines both relaxing luxury resort stays and a full-service spa and pool for double relaxation and zen-like experiences on your travel. Aesthetically designed without inserting itself too sharply into the local culture or architectural landscape, the Monchique Resort is a top-tier destination to stay at.
If you’re looking for a more personal stay, consider the Vilafoia, a guest house tucked into the foothills of the mountains. Cozy, sweet, and covered in greenery and other foliage that makes it feel as though it blends right into the hills around you, staying at the Vilafoia is the perfect homage to the natural beauty you’re surrounded by.
The Hotel Termal works to encompass a similar perspective, combining the comfortable and natural feel of the hillside it’s built into with top-tier guest satisfaction and hospitality amenities. If you’re looking to experience relaxing views alongside your morning coffee, consider checking into the Oasis Algarve, a stunning hillside lodge with balconies that overlook the rolling hills of Monchique and feature sun-dappled hills with relaxing mountain air.
The Nave Redonda Do Cerro is a small and rentable guest house that’s perfect for renting out for a family vacation, or if you’re looking for a less formal stay you can try the Casa dos Batalim, a comfortable local cottage that’s available on a budget. Wherever you choose to stay in this area, you’ll be able to find a comfortable and spacious accommodation that meets all your needs and your budget as well.
What to do in Monchique
Once you’re settled into your accommodation, it’s time to get out and start your fun activities! There are plenty of things to do in Monchique, including hiking, sightseeing, swimming, and more. The central small village of Monchique is a quiet and peaceful place with stunning architecture and streets to walk through and admire. The central square is comfortable and familiar, decorated with fountains, flowers, and cobbled streets just like the rolling hills of countrysides from across the world.
Houses in Monchique are historically very colourful and painted all shades of fun and fresh colours, making it very fun to sight see and snap pictures of. You can also wander towards the centre of town and visit sights like the Igreja Matriz de Monchique or Parish Church, a 16th century church that’s been preserved for over 200 years.
Admire the classic architecture and stunning interior art and carvings before heading to the Convento de Nossa Senhora do Desterro, a ruined Franciscan convent and monastery that’s been on the grounds of Monchique since 1631. Decimated by an earthquake in 1755, this stunning and simple building is a testament to the history and culture of Monchique and a beautiful sightseeing location.
Another must-visit location is the Caldas de Monchique, one of the several famous hot water spas that are naturally located in the land surrounding Monchique. The healing properties of this naturally heated water spring can be used as a relaxing treatment for many different people, making it a warm and beautiful place to rest and recover. Hop on the nearby trails for a long hike through the stunning natural beauty of the hills of Portugal or take a ride to the top of Mount Foia to take in the panoramic views over the entire Algarve landscape.
If you want a local’s opinion on the best parts of Monchique, consider signing up for a guided tour led by an expert that will walk you through historic and delicious aspects of Monchique. Pile in to your guide’s transportation and travel around Monchique and Foia for a half day tour that walks you through the beautiful local and natural sights of the area with fun facts and local history.
For the adults in your group, plan a Silves, Caldas, and Monchique Winery Tour and travel around the stunning local scenery of Monchique all while enjoying some deliciously locally crafted wines and other drinks and beverages.
Portuguese Food and Delicacies of the Local Area
After all of this physical activity, you’re likely going to be very hungry and ready to eat more! Monchique is famous for their seafood and local Portugese culinary traditions. Charred fish, black pork, piri piri chicken, and local produce-laden dishes are all popular dishes among locals and visitors alike, as are their green soups and bean dishes. Most of the food you’re going to want to eat will center around seafood because that’s a major export and trade item on the Atlantic coast, making it perfect for Monchique diners to enjoy year round.
Monchique is a stunningly beautiful and relaxing location. Whether you’re traveling for the history, the natural beauty, or the relaxing spa scenery, you are sure to find something for everyone to enjoy in Monchique!
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Carvoeiro Algarve Guide.