Explore The Algarve
Four kilometres north of Parque da Mina is the Serra’s principal attraction at Caldas de Monchique, a celebrated spa since Roman times. In 1495 Dom João II came here to take the waters (though he nevertheless died soon afterwards in Alvor), and in the nineteenth century the town became a favourite resort of the Spanish bourgeoisie. It was sympathetically restored in 2000, transforming a somewhat ramshackle spa resort into a tourist village – and the results have been fairly successful. The cobbled, tree-shaded main square, fronted by the pseudo-Moorish windows of the former casino – now an exhibition hall – is surrounded by lovely nineteenth-century buildings and the setting is as beautiful as any in the region. At the foot of the village, the modern thermal spa (wwww.monchiquetermas.com) offers various specialist water treatments – including water massage, jet-showers and steam room – on the ground floor of a modern hotel.