August 26, 2010

Beautiful Monchique - Part II

As we drove into the little mountain village of Monchique, we could see that the town has retained a rustic sense of simpler times.  It's narrow cobbled streets took us past traditional whitewashed houses with frames of doors and windows painted in bright colours.  But yet when we pass by the main square we see modern water features.  I just love how the Portuguese use so many hand painted tiles on their buildings. 

Just about 1 mile on the Fóia road from Monchique, we have finally made it to our lunch destination "O Luar Da Foia".  Alice says this is a place where you won't see a lot of tourist going to have a meal. So what better place to eat than a good traditional grill with local fare I say!

I love eating outside, and this little place had the most spectacular views!  However, it is February and the temperatures up here are quite a bit cooler, so we opted to eat inside.

Alice takes over and starts ordering us some very traditional Portuguese food.  For lunch today we start with some green olives, goat cheese, and a plate of thinly sliced boar.  And of course some great Portuguese red wine for the ladies and a Sagres beer for Stijn!

Okay, here comes the food!

Here you see a platter of some pork with a mashed bread that reminded me of stuffing, a pot of various sausages and a plate of rice and potatoes.

And to add to all of that, we had a pot of boar with cooked plums.

No meal is complete without some dessert, right?  And of course we need to try as many as possible!

It's time to get going and see some more of the Monchiques!
We arrive at "Fóia", the highest point of the Algarve at 2,959 ft above sea level.


There is a spectacular view from here looking down on the coastline.  In fact they say that on a clear day you can see from Cape St. Vincent in the west, to Faro in the east and to the Serra da Arrabida, near Lisbon, to the north!

Unfortunately the landscape at Fóia itself has been rather blighted by an array of military communications installations, as you can see in the background of one of the pictures below of a farmer with his burro and grazing goats.

 And of course there was the typical souvenir shop where we picked up some items made of cork!

It's time to start heading down the mountain, and on the way we come across one of the many spots where you can just get yourself a drink of the pure spring waters of the Monchiques.

As we continue down the mountain we take a small detour into the spa of "Caldas de Monchique". This is where the Romans built baths to utilise the natural spring waters which are still in use in the current 'thermal treatment centre' for treating rheumatism and respiratory illnesses or just plain relaxation. 

There are several walking paths here and we took the opportunity to take a little walk to a small waterfall.


The architecture here is quite different then what we saw earlier in Monchique.  I get a feel of Victorian maybe.

We decided to stop into a little wine bar here before heading back to Ferragudo, O Tasco.  I just loved the cut off stumps that double for tables and seating on the cobble patio.


But inside was amazing!  It was like walking into a cave with the rock walls and brick ceiling.  A roaring fire was perfect as everyone gathered around to watch soccer on the tv while enjoying their drink.

What a fantastic day this was back on February 13.  Starting with a morning walk on the beach, a Galão  on the square, a fabulous lunch in the beautiful Monchiques and a glass of wine next to a roaring fire to reflect on our day!

If you would like to see more pictures of our day, just click here "Where's Debbie" and then on the albums  "A Morning Walk in Ferragudo" and "Beautiful Monchique - Part I and II"


  1. What a beautiful place Debbie. How long were you there? How do you stay for thin and fit ---after all of that delicious food????

    I love the architecture there also. It does look a little Victorian.

    Pretty waterfall.. You know how much I love waterfalls... ha.... People ask us when we are going to publish a waterfall book. WELL--when will YOU publish a book of your travels????

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks for taking us along on your drive. I don't know which is more interesting -- the views or the food! But it definitely was day to remember.

  3. Great pictures. It really looks delightful!

  4. Debbie, This was a fabulous journey and I enjoyed seeing your beautiful photos. It certainly looks like you had some marvelous meals.
    Enjoy your weekend.


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