Mountain & Coast
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 4 Hours
This excursion runs inland through cultivated and picturesque countryside into the foothills of the Serra de Monchique -- a green wooded mountain range of cork, chestnut and eucalyptus.
You will stop at the center of Monchique village, where you can view the façade of the ruined 17th-century Monastery of Nossa Senhora do Desterro. Follow your guide on foot through the narrow streets and visit one of Monchique's most impressive buildings, the local Parish Church, up in a steep cobblestone street away from the main square. This monument features a Manueline portal and inside a small chapel with a façade of azulejos (blue tiles).
Next, you will drive to the small village of Caldas de Monchique. This is one of the oldest spas in Portugal and a number of its 17th-century buildings have been restored to their original elegance. Make the most of some free time to admire the protected vegetation and visit the local souvenir shops.
Back at the coast, you will reach Alvor, once a typical, ancient fishing village but now brimming with hotels and beautiful summer villas. It is one of the most scenic and visited areas on the Algarve. You can still watch fishermen bring in their daily catch down at the old quay, but now there is also a new marina and numerous up-to-date visitor facilities. The narrow streets of the old village have many attractive restaurants where fish is the specialty dish.
After spending some free time at this village, return to Portimão and the pier.