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The ‘Serra de Monchique’ rises up on the south western tip of the European continent equidistant from the west and south coast (20 km). It ascends 900 m, offering spectacular views over the coastal plains to the Atlantic Ocean and the gulf of Cadiz.
Millions of years ago igneous rocks (syenites) broke through the schists of which all the other hills of the Algarve are made. Today freshwater springs (some hot, like in ‘Caldas de Monchique’), clean air, and an environment free from light or noise pollution characterise life on the mountain.
Temperature and precipitation are subtropical: Two rainy seasons (March & April / October & November), a hot and dry summer and unpredictable winter months. Nights are generally cool and when the sun shines it is hot – even in December. For a current weekly weather forecast refer to: http://www.ipma.pt/en/otempo/prev.10dias/?localID=8&cidadeID=138
In 1997 76 km² of the ‘Serra de Monchique’ region were designated as an European ‘Natura 2000’ zone due to its rich bio-diversity and habitats. It is home to more then 1.000 plant species, abundant bird life, butterflies, reptiles – ‘Bonelli’s Eagle’ (Hieraetus Fasciatus) and the ‘Iberian Lynx’ (Lynx Pardinus) are only two examples of predators on the endangered species list.
Since the Bronze Age the ‘Serra’ has been inhabited, both the Romans and Moors also left their mark. A visit to ‘Monchique’ is a winding journey from the busy coastal tourist destination into the rural past of Portugal.


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