The highest mountains of the Algarve


Monchique is a colourful, picturesque little mountain town at the foot of the Foia, a half-hour drive from the Atlantic. There are many traditional workshops in the centre of the town, which are joined onto little shops and markets where they sell the wood and ceramic handicrafts as well as embroidery.
There is also a number of small, good-value restaurants around the well-preserved centre. They offer the traditional cuisine of the region (see Food and Drink).
A tip – one can walk through the small windy alleyways to reach mysterious ruined walls above Monchique – the ruins of a nearly 400-year-old convent. From here one can enjoy the unique view over Monchique to the Atlantic.


The Algarve is the most southwest part of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic on the south and west. The western beaches are some of the most beautiful in Europe. The Serra, a landscape of sandstone and slate hills which covers around half of the Algarve, is only sparsely populated and hardly visited by tourists. The Serra de Monchique rises up in the north west with Pico da Foia the highest point at 902 metres above sea level.


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