Less than 30 minutes from Lagos and Reserva da Luz, is Monchique which is commonly recognised as the “The Garden of the Algarve.” The area is home to lush greenery and rolling hills, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and therapeutic retreats.

Monchique is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by the Serra de Monchique mountain range, offering spectacular panoramic views of the Algarve countryside. The mountains are home to diverse flora and fauna, making it a popular spot for hikers and birdwatchers. The highest peak, Fóia, stands at 902 meters above sea level and provides awe-inspiring vistas.

One of the standout features of Monchique is its thermal springs, known for their healing properties. The town has a long history of wellness and spa treatments, dating back to the Roman era. The Caldas de Monchique spa is famous for its mineral-rich waters that are believed to have therapeutic benefits. Visitors can indulge in a range of spa treatments and relax in the soothing hot springs amidst the natural beauty of the area.

Monchique preserves the authentic Portuguese way of life, and wandering through its charming streets feels like stepping back in time. The town’s cobblestone streets are lined with white-washed buildings adorned with colorful flowers, creating a picturesque ambiance. You’ll also find local markets selling traditional handicrafts, ceramics, and handmade products that make perfect souvenirs.

The culinary scene in Monchique is also a delight for food enthusiasts. Local restaurants serve up traditional Portuguese dishes with a modern twist. Try the Cataplana, a seafood stew cooked in a special copper dish, or the hearty Feijoada, a stew made with beans, pork, and sausages. Don’t forget to sample the local cheeses, sausages, and the famous Medronho brandy, made from the fruits of the Arbutus tree.

Monchique hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year, offering an opportunity to experience the local traditions and festivities. The Feira dos Enchidos Tradicionais (Traditional Sausage Fair) is a popular event where you can taste a variety of sausages and traditional foods. In the summer, the Feira de São Sebastião features live music, dance, and colorful processions.

Complementing the rich history of Lagos, the world-class golf courses and award-winning marinas, the availability of the Monchique highlights further how the West Algarve is the perfect destination for those seeking to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Living in the West Algarve offers a tranquil environment where natural beauty, wellness, culture, and adventure come together to offer an unforgettable experience.