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Monchique

Monchique is a small market town in a scenic range of rounded hills of the same name. Its steep, cobbled streets and its parish church, featuring a Mainline doorway, are overlooked by a derelict 17th century Franciscan convent, Nossa Senhora do Desterro. The shops are full of local produce, including baskets, rough woolen sweaters, soft leather slippers and gloves, honey, and medronho firewater.

The slopes around about are terraced for farming or forested with cork, oak, pine and eucalytus. Six kilometres south and 300m below Monchique is the spa village of Caldas de Monchique nestling in a wooded ravine. Eight kilometres up from Monchique, the rocky summit of Fóia is the Algarve's highest point at just under 900m. The winding road to Foia is lined by restaurants famous for their barbecued chicken piri-piri.

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