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Our Visit to Monchique in Algarve, Portugal (Pictures)

We left our hotel near Rocha Brava and we went to visit Caldas de Monchique and the town with the same name. At first we stopped and visited the famous castle of Silves. The spa town in Monchique is very pretty. Unfortunately like almost any hot spring town in Portugal only people who used the spa are allowed in. They do not have any common swimming pool where you can swim like they have in Canada (Banff, Jasper etc). We left quickly and we went to Monchique a town of 10 000 people nestled between two mountains or hills: Foia and Picota. There we went for lunch at a tiny restaurant who served good local food. The waitress got quickly annoyed with my questionning of the menu. Once we had ordered they became more friendly, we were quite pleased with our cheap meal. Later on we walked around in the rustic cobbled streets. We decided to go to the top where there was a spectacular Franciscan Monastery (seventeen century). The monastery was pretty much in ruins more shockingly is the fact that there is a man living there with some kids. I think he told me that they were his nephews. He has also a bunch of chickens and animals running around. I could not believe anybody could live in those conditions but in a way they seemed happy and organized. What I hated was the dampness, that's what the boy told me...I hate the winter and the cold, obviously there was no heating system. Overall it was a very pleasant trip. I wanted to see the real Algarve not just its beaches.

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Caldas de Monchique resort

Casa do Gato Zeca ( the cat's Zeca house)

The girls at the resort

The town of Monchique

Streets made of cobblestone

Street in Monchique with a beautiful mural

Walking the green hills of Monchique towards the convent

The girls in the convent with the chickens roaming

A boy living in the convent with a dog

The refectory, the inside garden

Chicken pen with numerous chickens running around 2008

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Swimming pools in the Caldas the Monchique

The beautiful Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique -
SPA Resort, Algarve

Isabelle and Nadia by an old fashioned community
oven In Monchique

O Caminho do Convent...the convent way

Colorful buildings in this unpretentious town

Near Downtown Monchique

The occupant of the convent apparently living there since 1977

The squatter and the red graffitis

Wild flowers add charm to the old building

In front of the convent of Nossa Senhora do Desterro, Our Lady of Exile

The convent may have been founded in 1631 by Pro da Silva

Making our way down through the shadows of the forest