The county town of Monchique (about 4,800 inhabitants) is located 450 m up (above sea level) on the slope of the mount Foia.
Coordinates: 37° 19′ N, 8° 33′ W
The small town is well signposted starting from the N125. Via the N124 one reaches directly the town center.
The country had been settled since the New Stone Age. Only in 1773 Monchique has been raised to Vila (small town) and county town and thus obtained (by separating the region from the county Silves) an own county.
Today Monchique is internationally known for its culinary specialities. Thus, festivals take place several times a year, where visitors can try the traditional kinds of sausage and ham, the Aguardente de Medronho (schnapps from tree strawberries) and honey.
A visit to Monchique should be part of every stay in the Algarve. The sight over the south coast of Portugal is impressing and along the N124 exist parking places at special points with panorama view that are well signposted. The town itself offers to the visitor diverse shopping opportunities, the post office, banks and several restaurants as well as cafés.
The streets in town are narrow and in part very steep. In the town center are a big and free underground carpark as well as various parking facilities.
Here it is tranquil and relaxed, an agreeable contrast to the excitement in the coastal towns and on the beaches. Some handicraftsmen show in town their products like e. g. wickerwork, pottery and knitwear.
The monastery > Convento de Nossa Senhora do Desterro < has been built in the 17th century by decree of the viceroy of India who has been buried here. You can reach it within about 20 - 30 minutes from the heart of the town.