Spend eight days lounging in the Monchique Hills with this wellness-focused itinerary. Located in the Algarve region of Portugal, a trip to this spa town features fitness activities, revitalizing spa treatments, and a thorough exploration of the surrounding natural landscape.


  • Experience the thermal properties of some of Europe's highest alkaline waters
  • Hike past scenic beaches and cliffside rock formations
  • Immerse yourself in nature activities through the peaceful Monchique Hills
  • Find inner focus with breathing and balance experiences

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Monchique Monchique
Day 2 Nature Activities in Monchique Hills Monchique
Day 3 Sensorial Spa Morning & Organic Spirulina Farm Monchique
Day 4 Seven Hanging Valleys Trail in Lagoa Monchique
Day 5 Thermal Spa Treatments with Alkaline Water in Caldas de Monchique Monchique
Day 6 Zen Workshops or Stand Up Paddling Monchique
Day 7 Free Day in Monchique Monchique
Day 8 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Monchique

Monchique Resort & Spa Indoor Pool

Take in the views of the Ria Formosa lagoons, one of Portugal's natural wonders, as you approach the Faro airport. Once on the ground, meet your transfer for a drive of just under an hour to the Monchique Hills.

When you arrive among the peaceful environment, you'll settle in to your lodging at Monchique Resort & Spa high in the hills. Nestled in next to the spa town of the Caldas de Monchique and its famed natural alkaline healing waters, this five-star resort combines modern design with verdant natural surroundings. You'll enjoy views of the mountains and coast as you meet with your personal trainer for a wellness and fitness consultation to help you maximize your stay, then wash off the trail dust at one of the three pools or in the spa.

Day 2: Nature Activities in Monchique Hills

Overview of Monchique
Overview of Monchique

Start the day with a fitness class or swim in one of the pools before breakfast. Afterward, you'll have your pick of three available activities.

Option one is a guided cycling day, suitable for roughly ages 14-70 with some cycling experience. You'll start with a drive up to the highest peak in the Algarve region in the middle of Serra de Monchique, then hop on your bike for a relaxing ride down to the coast. The vast majority of the trip is downhill, giving you plenty of energy to enjoy the views of the eucalyptus and cork tree forest, with stops for lunch and photos as your guide tells you about the area ecosystem.

Your second option is a walking tour along the Roman Trails, a roughly 5-mile (8 km) easy hike that includes a 360-degree view over the region's highest peak. Follow trails created by ancient Romans, as their name implies, up to a historic convent, passing through the rural life of the Algarve on your way. Have lunch in a traditional area restaurant, including a taste of tiborna, a local snack with bread, olive oil, and garlic.

If neither of those appeal, how about a guided jeep mountain tour through the inland Algarve? You'll also pass through rural living areas where local honey production takes place, including the Marmelete and Monchique villages with stops on some of the mountaintops. Visit the dam on Bravura Lake and take a swim, stop for lunch with a view at a countryside restaurant, and observe the wildlife and native plants in their natural habitats.

Day 3: Sensorial Spa Morning & Organic Spirulina Farm

Monchique Resort & Spa Indoor Pool
Monchique Resort & Spa Indoor Pool

Follow the thermal spa circuit of the Monchique Resort & Spa today from exfoliation to stone massage using regional ingredients. You'll have access to the Himalayan rock slat sauna, steam cabin, aroma cabin, indoor pool, marble heated loungers, spa lounge room, relaxation rooms, and foot baths. You'll also be able to choose one of the spa's facial or massage treatments.

After lunch, you'll go out to Serra de Monchique for a tour of an organic spirulina farm location within a natural reserve. Meet the owners and learn about spirulina production and uses, including a tasting.

Plan your trip to Portugal
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Seven Hanging Valleys Trail in Lagoa

Ponte da Piedade
Ponte da Piedade

Take a guided walk through the Seven Hanging Valleys, a scenic coastal path past the caves and hidden beaches of the Western Algarve. Spend as much time as you like stopping for a swim or selfie, then sit down for lunch in a local restaurant or beach picnic along the rock formations at Praia de Marinha beach.

Day 5: Thermal Spa Treatments in Caldas de Monchique

Thermal Spa Treatments with Alkaline Water
Thermal Spa Treatments with Alkaline Water

Follow your guide this morning to the village of Caldas de Monchique, which has drawn visitors to is alkaline mineral waters and their potential healing properties since the days of the Romas.

Take in a treatment at the Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa, a thermal spa known for its alkaline- and fluoride-rich waters. Enjoy both the spa treatment and surrounding facilities including whirlpools, heat spa pool, and Turkish bath.

Day 6: Zen Workshops or Stand-Up Paddling

Japanese Art of Touch
Japanese Art of Touch

Ask yourself what you'd like to explore with today's activity options. 

A two-hour Activate Breathwork experience will lead you through a guided multi-sensory experience using meditation and different breathing methods to connect with your deeper self. Or you can opt for the Japanese Art of Touch treatment, a workshop in the Shiatsu tradition that focuses on using your body's innate knowledge and energy to correct imbalances.

If you're feeling more active than introspective, go stand-up paddleboarding on the beaches of Portimão, paddling yourself past caves and rock formations in the turquoise waters.

Day 7: Free Day in Monchique

Overview of Monchique
Overview of Monchique

Use your last full day to fill in whatever area of your itinerary you've missed. If you prefer to relax, linger in the resort gym and spa.If you'd rather get out into the countryside, take a guided tour of the medieval town of Silves; learn how to go Nordic walking, a full-body style of walking that provides even more exercise than standard stepping; take a jeep mountain tour with plenty of stops for food sampling; or take an easy hiking tour along the Roman trails up to the highest point of the Algarve.

Day 8: Departure

Algarve Sunset
Algarve Sunset

Say goodbye to the Algarve as you catch your airport transfer after breakfast.


Map of Body Balance Retreat in Monchique Hills - 8 Days
Map of Body Balance Retreat in Monchique Hills - 8 Days
Written by H ., updated Feb 18, 2021