When you arrive in Monchique, you may get the idea that you’ve fallen into the picture on a postcard, as this rustic little town of 10,000 people has remained relatively unchanged despite the ever-growing influx of tourists looking for fun in the sun. Monchique’s chief businesses revolve around agricultural products such as grains, oranges, olive oil and a liqueur called medronho, distilled from the berries of the strawberry tree.
The town itself is settled between to large hills, Foia and Picota. And fitting with the postcard-perfect, European-seaside surroundings, Monchique is essentially a maze of rolling cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses and colorful shops where local artisans peddle their wares. Overlooking the town is a 17th century Franciscan monastery, and from this vantage point, visitors can get panoramic views of the entire countryside and the Atlantic coast (possibly for their own postcard pictures).