I’d rather be in… Caldas de Monchique

You might remember the camelias from my Monday walk post? I thought I should finish that lovely day off, whilst it’s still in my head.  And those darned March Squares– there’s just no getting away from them, is there?

If you drive up the N266 towards Monchique, from the coast, you will pass the sign for the thermal spa, Caldas de Monchique.  It’s easier to turn off on the way up, but be warned- you mighty dally there longer than you had planned.  You also need to like gradients, but if you just want a flavour of the place you don’t have to climb much.  Set at the bottom of a valley, it’s in a world all of its own.

Better in Spring, the season of wistfulness here on the serra, because in Summer the spa becomes a popular place.  The path drops down to the main buildings, or you can follow a series of woodland paths, in and around the boulders.  The fonte chuckles to itself and, even on a not-so-sunny day, families will be having picnics at the shady benches provided.

Caldas de Monchique was a spa even in Roman times, and was once popular with Portuguese royalty.  The springs (caldas means ‘hot’) are at a temperature of 32C, and are used as a curative for rheumatism and respiratory problems.  The water from some of the springs is bottled.

The combination of Moorish styled main buildings and more rustic dwellings, in such a setting, seems to lend an element of fairytale.  It’s one that appeals to me very much.  I hope you like it too.

The storks?  If you remember, they line the roadside on the way to Monchique.  These are just two of many.  Where would I rather be? asks Krista.  Well, it’s not a hard question, is it?


  1. That was an easy place to choose for “I’d rather be …!” So cheery and warm-looking, with trees, gardens, walls, blue skies … oh, I’d rather be there too!

  2. I can see what you’d rather be there Jo! The warm thermal springs sound most inviting – lovely photos of the town and mountains too! Hope you’re well rugged up this weekend! Xx😃

    1. I did zumba at 10 and have been ensconced with the laptop since then. I hosted a Girls night last night and was feeling a little over-indulged. Leftovers to eat today so I’m staying put 🙂

      1. Glad you had a good night! We had a lovely time in the East End with Mlle. Too cold to do much today – we’re still in the pub Monsieur has been watching the football and now we’re into rugby! At least it’s nice and warm 😃

  3. I can see why you love this beautiful place. Where I am, we received about 100cm of snow this past week. Looks a little different than this landscape!

  4. What does Chagas mean? or was is a person’t name? How long does it take to get there from Tavira? I don’t think it’ll be this year but I will return to the Algarve, it’s so lovely and if I can meet up with you again even better!

    1. Chagas? I’m on my phone at present Gilly cos the Girls are due soon. I don’t recollect it but it will be a name. About an hour and half by car. Have a great weekend xxx

  5. I would rather be there too right now Jo. It looks lovely and warm. Our weather here is a bit too chilly for my liking! Of course it is going to warm up once the school break is over!

  6. An enchanting place Jo, definitely an element of fairytale and wistfulness. Were the yellow trees Wattles? I love the splash of yellow among the green. Aussies colours…..

  7. What a beautiful little place Jo, I could quite happily live there. I love the shot of the garden with the square terracotta wall, it’s gorgeous 🙂

    1. It’s just a tiny pocket of the Serra de Monchique, Tina, and the whole area is beautiful. Very unlike the coastal strip of the Algarve. So easy to find variety in this place that I am soon to call home. I can’t wait! 🙂 🙂 Thanks for joining me there.

  8. What a beautiful place and I hope you are not just enjoying for yourself, but on our behalf as well. 🙂 I hear the Portugal, and the Argalve in particular, is a beautiful place.

    1. I was going to include them in Monday’s walk but sometimes enough is enough. I thought they deserved a spot of their own. Thanks a lot, Marion 🙂 🙂

  9. I have a few “I’d rather be in” thoughts today, too, Jo! I’m so glad you shared a photo of the storks. I’d be absolutely enthralled to see them in a natural setting. And I also love the boulders. In my next blog post I’m going to share part of our trip to Napa and the natural springs “spa” where we stayed. Prior to our visit I really didn’t know about the natural hot springs and the geologic history of the area. The setting of Caldas de Monchique is spectacular. I can see why it would come to mind and probably warrants a return trip! 🙂

    1. I stopped by the roadside for a while, and was ashamed that I didn’t get better photos of them, Debbie. Too busy gawping! They were literally everywhere. Nested in the orange groves, on lamp posts, you name it! I’m used to seeing them in the Algarve but never in such numbers. 🙂 🙂

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