During our Portugal getaway this spring, we traveled all over the Algarve for a week to check out various villages, beaches, sights, and sounds. One of the places we went was not a beach area at all – what the Algarve is most famous for – but a village near the highest point in the region. We also hopped up to the top of a mountain there to have a look from above.
The village of Monchique and the nearby summit of Fóia are not terribly far from where we stayed in Lagos, and they make for a nice, relaxing day trip.
First things first, though: Food! A little spot called Foz do Banho came highly recommended by our friends, so we thought we’d stop by for lunch. It was more or less impossible to find the place on a map – Google or otherwise – but we knew the area it was in on our way up to Monchique, and we fortunately managed to find it.
We were told it had very nice views from its balcony, and they did not disappoint.
Neither did the food! We had braised pork cheeks as well as Portugal’s famous chicken piri-piri, and we just sat outside up there, enjoying food and drink and the glorious mountain air for a while.
After lunch, we made our way past Monchique and up towards the summit of Fóia. It’s a nice, winding drive, something I always love.
Once at the top, there’s a small visitor’s center and trails here and there along with a bunch of rock outcroppings.
While conditions weren’t ideal on the day we visited, we were able to see all the way to the ocean over the mountains below.
Top o’ the world, Ma!
After our rather windy and chilly – but very pretty – adventure at Fóia, we made our way back down to Monchique for a walk around and a cup of delicious coffee.
It’s a very small village, but serves as a base for the Fóia area so it does have quite a few restaurants and services for hikers and whatnot. There is also some interesting art, with a couple of murals and some statues.
We mostly just did our best non-hiker imitation and sat at a café, watching the world go by.
While it’s not a destination to stay for a while, really, Monchique and Fóia make for a fantastic day trip away from the beach lifestyle of the Algarve and an interesting vantage point of the region that you certainly can’t get from below. We certainly recommend you make your way up there if and when you find yourself in Portugal. It’s well worth it!
Be sure to check out all of our Portugal posts right here.
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Have you ever been to Monchique or Fóia, or the Algarve in general? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!