PR2 MCQ - Caminho das Caldas - Picota (Caldas-Picota Walking Path) | Monchique
Circular 18km path, departing from Caldas de Monchique. A deep dive into the fresh and lush landscapes of the mountains, passing by close to Picota.
PR2 MCQ - Caminho das Caldas - Picota (Caldas-Picota Walking Path) | Monchique
Location
Region: Algarve; Municipality: Monchique; Civil Parish: Monchique.
Accessible by car
From the EN 125 national road, take the EN 266 until you reach Caldas de Monchique.
Starting Point
Type of route
Circular
Location
Region: Algarve; Municipality: Monchique; Civil Parish: Monchique.
Accessible by car
From the EN 125 national road, take the EN 266 until you reach Caldas de Monchique.
Starting Point
Type of route
Circular
Degree of difficulty
Hard
Minimum Altitude
132 m (Ribeira do Banho)
Maximum Altitude
702 m (At the intersection leading to Picota)
Water available
Yes.
Local corner shops
Yes.
Length
18 km
Time required
5 h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
1323 m
Cumulative elevation loss
623 m
Degree of difficulty
Hard
Minimum Altitude
132 m (Ribeira do Banho)
Maximum Altitude
702 m (At the intersection leading to Picota)
Water available
Yes.
Local corner shops
Yes.
Length
18 km
Time required
5 h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
1323 m
Cumulative elevation loss
623 m
Description of Itinerary

This path starts at the car park near Caldas Chapel (Saint Teresa’s Chapel). A walk up to the chapel is highly recommended to appreciate the view and the freshness of the surroundings, due to the waters of the Lageado Stream that flow past.

Continue uphill and take care when crossing the EN 266, heading towards the Mirante da Mata viewpoint. Once there, a small detour is highly recommended to admire the exceptional panoramic view. Back on the route, follow the paved road until you reach a dirt track to the left. Continue uphill until you reach another paved road that runs along the southern side of Picota.
When you reach it, turn right.

Carry on straight until you reach the next sign telling you to turn left. From here, the path slopes uphill until it reaches the top of the mountain. Take this opportunity to enjoy the impressive natural landscapes that surround you. If you are in search of a little more adventure, when you reach the top of the mountain, you can take a detour to the right and climb up to the lookout point at the very top of Picota.

From this point you will cross the GR13 – Via Algarviana. Go straight ahead, heading downhill along the dirt track. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the descent that takes you past a staircase of cultivated terraces and families of farmers working the fields. Still further down the hill, a sign to the left will point slightly uphill once again when the path nears Pé da Cruz. Meanwhile, you will go past fields where subsistence agriculture can still be witnessed.

Past these fields, the path finally heads down towards Pé da Cruz again – the perfect place to refuel and recharge your batteries for the final stretch of this path.

Get ready to work hard, pushing uphill until you reach Covão d’Águia. Turn right onto a dirt track and head uphill a little further. Once you’ve made your way across, the path takes you downhill back to Caldas de Monchique.
Continue down a narrow, winding path until you reach the paved road at Palmeira, where you should turn right. Cross the EN 266 once again, heading towards Cortês. Go straight ahead and turn left when you reach the next downhill stretch. Keep going until you cross a bridge.

Next comes the penultimate climb before you reach Caldas de Monchique. At the next junction, turn left. Carry on down the dirt track and enjoy the last downhill stretch to the Caldas Stream. Cross over the bridge and head uphill to the “Água de Monchique” bottling plant. Go past the Hotel Termal, through the centre of Caldas de Monchique and you'll find you’re back at the car park you started in.

What will I see?

» NATURAL HERITAGE

Caldas de Monchique
This is a place that could have come straight out of a storybook, so enjoy the moment and surrender to its charms. Take in the small square surrounded by big shady trees, the park, the babbling brook, and, above all, the deep peace Monchique is known for – allowing all who visit to take peaceful walks and have family picnics on the stone tables scattered across the hill.

Monchique Thermal Spa
Records show that the spa dates back as far as the time of the Roman occupation. Flowing through the rich soils of the highest mountain in the Algarve, this healing bicarbonate water is rich in sodium and fluorine, perfect for preventative care and healing. In fact, this water is prescribed to treat respiratory diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. As far back as 1495, João II of Portugal is known to have visited the spa to bathe and recover from his illness.

Mirante da Mata Viewpoint (N37°17'09.08" W8°33'00.82")
Located at Mirante da Mata, from here there is a view over Caldas de Monchique and a significant section of the Barranco do Banho historical path.

Miradouro da Picota (N37°18'27.06" W8°31'54.13")
Located 774 m above sea level, Picota is the second-highest point in the Serra de Monchique and the Algarve. This viewpoint provides a fantastic 360º view on clear days.


» RELIGIOUS HERITAGE

Caldas de Monchique Chapel (N37°17'11.02" W8°33'08.98") 
Also known as Saint Teresa’s Chapel, this chapel was built in 1940 following a design produced by architect Guilherme Rebello de Andrade. His brother, Carlos, was also an architect, and his designs were also used in Caldas de Monchique, though not in the chapel itself. The building work was verseen by Mestre João Moura, replacing the chapel that had stood in the same spot previously. Construction of the chapel was an initiative undertaken by the spa’s administrative committee. Excellently integrated into the surrounding landscape, nestled among the greenery next to the Lageado Stream, the syenite rock found in the region was used throughout its structure. The gilded altarpiece is said to have come from the Estrela Basilica, in Lisbon. Composed of a single nave, the chapel stands at the head of the construction with the sacristy to the right. The main façade features a doorway framed in stonework, preceded by a porch that rests on pillars and two columns, and there is an oculus at the top. It is worth noting the beauty of the tile panels painted by Gilberto Renda and which date back to 1945. The tiles depict the life of Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint John of God, the patron saints of the chapel.

Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross Chapel (N37°18'44.48" W8°33'19.28")
A chapel dedicated to Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross, alongside which the Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross is held on the 3rd of May every year. The chapel is filled with images of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross, Saint Joseph and of Saint John the Evangelist. The engraved stone above the door indicates that it was built in 1680.

Useful contact information
  • Monchique Town Hall: (+351) 282 910 200
  • Monchique Civil Parish Council: (+351) 282 912 871
  • Almargem Association: (+351) 289 412 959
  • Monchique Health Centre: (+351) 282 910 100
  • Monchique Volunteer Firefighters: (+351) 282 910 000
  • National Republican Guard - Monchique: (+351) 282 912 629
  • Monchique Tourist Information Office: (+351) 282 911 189
  • If you see a fire, call: 117
  • In the event of an emergency, call: 112

 

More information?

Download the files below.
And have a nice walk!

Leaflet with Map
Track GPX PR 2 MCQ – CAMINHO DAS CALDAS – PICOTA
Track KML PR 2 MCQ – CAMINHO DAS CALDAS – PICOTA