Escape to the hills of Monchique in Portugal's Algarve for a week of restorative spa treatments and wellness practices. You'll relax in therapeutic waters, enjoy hiking through eucalyptus and cork trees, participate in a transformational Zen practice, and paddleboard in the azure waters of the Atlantic.


  • Join a guided cycling tour through Serra de Monchique
  • Walk the Seven Hanging Valleys trail in Lagoa for breathtaking views of the Algarve
  • Enjoy an alkaline water spa treatment in Caldas de Monchique 
  • Experience mind and body transformation with a Zen healing practice

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive; Transfer to Monchique Monchique
Day 2 Explore Monchique hills Monchique
Day 3 Sensorial spa morning; Visit an organic spirulina farm Monchique
Day 4 Walk the Seven Hanging Valleys trail  Monchique
Day 5 Get pampered in Caldas de Monchique Monchique
Day 6 Join a Zen workshop or stand up paddleboard Monchique
Day 7 Free day in Monchique Monchique
Day 8 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive - Transfer to Monchique

Monchique Resort & Spa's indoor pool
Monchique Resort & Spa's indoor pool

Welcome to the Algarve! As you touch down at the Faro airport, you will be greeted with the stunning view of the Ria Formosa lagoons. Meet your private chauffeur and drive a short distance (about an hour) to your hotel in the Monchique hills.

You will stay in the luxurious five-star Monchique Resort & Spa for the duration of your trip. Located high up in the hills above the coast, it is the only five-star resort in the area that combines modern design with stunning scenic views of the surrounding mountains and Algarve coast. Settle in, before exploring your surroundings. You may wish to meet with a personal trainer to discuss your wellness goals, before enjoying your free time relaxing by one of the three pools or indulging in any of the spa services.

Day 2: Explore Monchique hills

View of Monchique
View of Monchique

Start your day early with a pre-breakfast fitness class of your choice or enjoy a swim in one of the hotel's swimming pools.

After breakfast, spend the rest of the day as you like, choosing from one of three options: a guided cycling tour downhill through eucalyptus and cork tree forests to the coast (5.5 hours); a Roman Trails walking tour covering 5 miles (8 km) of trails (6 hours); or a Jeep mountain tour in and around the area, stopping to visit nearby villages (7 hours).

Day 3: Sensorial spa morning - Visit an organic spirulina farm

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

This morning you will get to indulge in the resort's many spa services, from exfoliation to stone massage to a detox wrap.

After a light lunch and a full morning of relaxation, head to Serra de Monchique to an organic spirulina farm to discover how passionate owners, George and Christina, produce this superfood. Learn of its amazing benefits as well as sample the spirulina, before returning to your hotel, possibly with some spirulina of your own.

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Day 4: Walk the Seven Hanging Valleys trail 

Praia da Marinha, Portugal
Praia da Marinha

Today you will meet your guide and transfer to Lagoa for a gentle walk on the Seven Hanging Valleys trail, a scenic coastal path offering stunning views of rock formations, caves, and hidden beaches of the western Algarve.

Stop for lunch in a local restaurant or if you prefer, enjoy a picnic on Praia da Marinha, one of the Algarve's most beautiful beaches.

Day 5: Get pampered in Caldas de Monchique

Algarve - Caldas de Monchique
Caldas de Monchique

After breakfast, join your guide for a walk to Caldas de Monchique, a picturesque village famous since Roman times for the healing properties of its alkaline mineral waters.

Choose from a lengthy list of spa treatments at Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa, the only thermal spa in the south of Portugal whose alkaline and rich fluoride waters promote immediate wellness. 

Day 6: Join a Zen workshop or stand up paddleboard

Japanese Art of Touch
Japanese Art of Touch

If you're in the mood for a transformational experience, you will have the choice of choosing from two different healing practices, Activate Breathwork or Japanese Art of Touch. Both practices are guided, run two hours, and help to rebalance the body and mind.

If you're feeling more energetic, transfer to Portimão for an afternoon of stand up paddleboarding. Explore interesting caves and rock formations as you paddle the coast's beautiful waters.

Day 7: Free Day in Monchique

Aerial view over Monchique
Aerial view over Monchique

Today is yours to do as you like. You may wish to spend time at the gym, enjoying the amazing spa facilities of your hotel, or schedule in other activities, including a guided tour of medieval Silves, try Nordic walking and experience its benefits, join a Jeep mountain touror go for a gentle trek following the Roman trails to Foia, the highest point of the Algarve.

Day 8: Depart

Ria Formosa, Portugal
Sunset over the Ria Formosa wetlands

Depending on your departure details, you may wish to do any last minute souvenir and gift shopping. Catch your return flight home saying farewell to the Algarve with one last look of the impressive Ria Formosa from your airplane window.

Written by H ., updated Feb 18, 2021