Monchique Madness

On this wonderfully warm Thursday we Canadian Boys (with James in tow) enjoyed a drive to the lovely mountain village of Monchique, which is situated in the Serra de Monchique, about an 1.15 hour drive from our home base in Murta. The drive was easy and fun with all the conversation and arriving near Monchique, always a joy because of the views and especially the storks.

Once in town we parked, which took some time given the number of local and tourist vehicles. Eventually I found a little secure spot on a tiny winding one way street, which meant a bit of a walk, always fun as it allows us to take in some of the local views.

A fellow artist friend of Marc’s, Liz Allen, presently has an exhibition at the Galeria de Santo António in Monchique and we were looking forward to seeing her art in person and for Marc, meeting Liz in person for the first time. Here is a small sampling of her colourful watercolours influenced by her 17+ years living in Monchique.

While Marc enjoyed an extended visit, James and I left to do a bit of wandering until we all met up in the main square. We went up and down a few small streets, alleys, and into the church, which had not be opened on previous visits.

AS you can tell, the sun was beaming down and it was quite warm. By the time Marc met up with us we were ravenous but decided that instead of eating in the village we would head up the mountain further, stop at a place then after lunch continue up to Fóia, 5.5km west of Monchique, and is the Algarve’s highest peak.  Turned out to be a very good decision.

James and I both had the perna de cbrito de leite no forno (baby milk fed goat in the oven) while Marc ate bochechas de vitela (roasted veal cheeks). It was truly food porn as we moaned and groaned through the entire meal. If you are even in that neck of the world don’t hesitate to dine at Restaurante O Luar da Foia (Moonlight of Foia). Then, as if that wasn’t enough……

The drive up to Foia is always breathtaking, but most certainly on clear days such as today was. The road to the summit climbs through eucalyptus and pine trees and views over the hills. On clear days you can see to the corners of the western Algarve – Cabo de São Vicente to the southwest and Odeceixe to the northwest. I did take a few photos but truly they don’t show the beauty at all.

There is also a small chapel at the top of the peak and I took this photo, which is from a very old book they have on display, for my friend PM….who has called on this poor man more often than she has called on anybody else…..he apparently helps people find “lost things”!!!

I think James closed his eyes all the way down the mountain but hey, he’s done it and enjoyed seeing it from the highest peak. We did make another stop on the way down, at a pottery place……way overpriced but fun to wander and poke around.

Another grand and wonderful day it was and as always, a photo or something from the day stands out to me. Today it was this sign, that I thought was fun and clever….it certainly caught the eye of a few as they would walk towards it then smile and walk away shaking their heads.

7 thoughts on “Monchique Madness

  1. Merci Randy, tu as réussi tes deux défis, les cigognes et le hoopoe, même si c’était en céramique. Bravo!


    1. I’m delighted you give me credit for the hoopoe so that my side of the bargain is met. I was truly a wonderful day and your name came up several times. We still miss your presence.


  2. What a great day you had! Liz’s art is wonderful, I like the houses in particular. The storks always fascinate as do the pelicans in our home away from home. Lunch looks fabulous but Portuguese cuisine seldom disappoints in my opinion. Funny, this post has made me miss Portugal more than usual. Thanks for the reminder of what a great country it is.


    1. I’m so happy you enjoy the blog! I’m with you on the Portuguese cuisine, I always find it flavourful, plentiful, and there are so many choices. It’s all about simple but good ingredient.


  3. Monchique is stork city! The most fascinating road I know in the Algarve. Nice paintings too, and thanks for the restaurant tip. Have a great day!


    1. You too have a great day. Off to hike again this morning at Barranco do Velho……seeking the green lavender.


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