Energy Certificates in Portugal

We are about to enter uncharted waters for us here in the Algarve and advertise our house for sale – but don’t worry – we are intending to stay living here – and Algarve Blog will still be here! But we will share our sales journey with you in the hope that the information we share may be of help to others also intending to sell – or buy – a property out here.

One of the first things we have encountered is a new law passed last year which affects all property owners with a house to sell – with effect from the 1st December 2013 it is now a legal requirement for all property that is being commercially advertised for sale – or to rent – to have an Energy Performance Certificate.

Energy Certificate Portugal Algarve Blog

The ‘Sistema de Certificação Energética dos Edifícios – or SCE – is valid for 10 years and measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A+ (top rating) to G (lowest rating).

To be honest, it appears to be a rather crude tool, which looks at the construction of your home, its energy consumption, heat output and insulation, and the ability to produce hot water via a boiler, alongside the position and location of your home and even its sun exposure.

Energy Certificate Portugal Algarve Blog

You will need to provide the following documentation:

Land registration documents – the ‘Caderneta Predial Urbana’ and the ‘Certidão de Registo da Conservatória';

and Plans of the house;

There are also optional architect project plans and insulation project plans which if you have them you can also provide.

Any architect or engineer recognised by the Portuguese Associations; ie the Ordem dos Engenheiros and the Ordem dos Arquitectos; can carry out the survey as long as they are qualified to do so.

The Certificate is issued by ADENE, and the fines for failing to have a valid certificate for individuals can be up to €3,740; and for agencies the fines range from €2,500 to a staggering €45,000. Trust me – an agency is not going to let you advertise your property for sale with them now unless you have a certificate!

We initially contacted an engineer recommended to us by an agency – and soon discovered some problems! First off, the engineers used to charge for the certificate on a sliding scale of prices based on the m². size of your house and we were told that our townhouse would cost €275.00 – a lot of money!! We were then quoted €330.00 as they have now decided that they will calculate it according to the number of bedrooms you have (we have 4) – we were not happy!

Added to that we were warned that since this new law was passed (enforceable since the 1st December 2013) – surprise surprise – everyone is busy trying to get a certificate and that it could take up to 2 months to process.

After 10 days of e-mails and negotiations with this engineer we gave up – and contacted someone else!

We struck gold second time around and found a young Portuguese man who is obviously willing to work long hours and provide a good standard of service – he was  polite, efficient and professional – we booked  him and he gave us a date within 3 days to visit our house, and only 10 days later we had our Energy Certificate – for a total cost of €195.00. If you would like his details just e-mail us at ferragudo@live.co.uk and we will happily pass these on to you.

Energy Certificate Portugal Algarve Blog

So now we have our certificate – and we are intending to trial the successful and highly recommended online website Beverywhere.com

Beverywhere logo

So if you fancy being able to wake up and enjoy a view like this every morning …

Bela Vista Algarve Blog

watch this space!

Posted in About us, Algarve, Businesses, Buying & Selling a House | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Heading into the Alentejo countryside

Although we love the beaches and villages of the Algarve, it’s always fun to explore new places too – and we have been meaning to explore the Alentejo area above the Algarve for some time – drawn by the open spaces, big skies and space that it offers.

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

Our original plan was to go to Beja – but as you will see, we were totally seduced by the views and vistas along the way and didn’t get anywhere near Beja!

We started our day out in the rural district north of Monchique – we know and love Monchique and its surrounding countryside, but this time we turned right as we approached Monchique and took the N267 road to São Marcos de Serra. It was a stunningly pretty road to drive, lined with cork and eucalyptus trees, with amazing views.

We had decided to spend the day meandering and exploring, and shouting ‘stop’ if we saw anything worth investigating or photographing … it wasn’t long before we stopped!

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

The Barragem de Odelouca – or Odelouca dam – is on our list of things to visit soon – it is enormous as it stores water from a catchment area of ​​393 km2, and has a reservoir of about 7.8 km2 We drove north of Monchique and realised we were still driving above and around the dam area, and stopped off at a little roadside turning, expecting to just have a quick look … but we were stunned by how beautiful it was and quickly scampered down the hill to see more!

It was so peaceful and beautiful – the perfect spot for a picnic although we had decided to wait a while before we scoffed ours!

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

I was quite envious of the little house beside the water – just a little boat and some chickens and ducks to keep you company!

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

After climbing back up to the road we were off again, and our next stop was São Marcos de Serra – mainly so that we could stop and have a coffee! It is a little place nestled between the mountain areas of the Serra de Monchique and the Serra do Caldeirão – and as it was Sunday it was shut! Literally! Everyone appeared to be in the pretty church in the centre but we managed to find a little café opposite which was open. I think it was run by a mother and daughter combo – daughter was in her forties/fifties and they never stopped talking to each other the entire time they served us .. it was very funny! They also served the strongest ‘bicas’ (espressos) we have ever attempted to drink, it was like treacle! It certainly kept us awake all day!!

The village also has a life-size plastic donkey sat on the side of the road beside a water wheel – São Marcos da Serra is locally known as “terra de peixe-burro”  (land of the fish-donkey) and tradition goes that a long time ago there was a man fishing in the Odelouca river and he caught a leg of a donkey instead of a fish.

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

To find out more about this little village we can recommend this great website São Marcos da Serra

From here we joined the IC1 heading up to Ourique – our plan was simply to find the first interesting turning on the road that we could explore and stop for a picnic lunch.

We soon found a sign to a river and headed off – north of Monte Ruivo – and discovered the quietest and prettiest little river bank imaginable, which we think is the very edge of the Rio Mira:

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

Nestled in the trees, the trickling water enticed us and the flower strewn field captivated us:

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

As we are not exactly sure the name of this delight – we are just going to have to go back again to check!

From there we did actually continue north and reach Ourique – but we had driven past far too many pretty turnings on the way, complete with trees and flower fields, so we soon turned around vowing to return another day, and instead meandered back down the IC1 stopping off at interesting points along the way.

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

The trees and fields were lovely, it was almost like being back in Devon, with herds of sheep and cows, wide open spaces and big blue skies

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

We also found the signs on the side of the road hilarious – as ‘caça’ translates as ‘hunt’ – we read the sign as being a ‘Zone to hunt  tourists’ … needless to say we didn’t stay there long!

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

Another sign that intrigued us was the sign leading to the church of Nossa Senhora da Cola – well we had to go and have a look didn’t we? A church dedicated to coca-cola had to be worth a shot!

We were however quite blown away when we arrived and found a whole Bronze and Iron age settlement – complete with tourist signs – and open to the public – for free!

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

It was great to be able to wander through this archaeological site and imagine what life must have been like in the past:

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

The views from the edge of the site were amazing:

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

The church of Nossa Senhora da Cola was of course shut – but it was still worth a walk around

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

And of course a shot of the name too

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countrysideOur last stop of the day was to set up somewhere to watch the sun set …we headed back past São Marcos da Serra, and saw a turning marked Miradouro – which usually leads to a nice viewing platform … oh boy did we wish we had a four-by-four vehicle! It was one of those bumpy twisty narrow tracks that once you have started driving – you have to keep going! It had quite a hair-raising drop to one side too! But it was so worth it!

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

The view was spectacular as we watched the sun set, and then the low cloud and mist rolled in behind the Monchique:

Alyson Sheldrake Algarve Blog Alentejo countryside

We drove home happy – sadly our final stop of the day let us down – the wonderful ‘A Rampa’ restaurant near Foia does the best piri-piri chicken for miles around – but they were closed! We ended up at another of the restaurants on the way down from Foia to Monchique – but take note – scrawny pigeon-sized chicken and greasy chips are not what we enjoy :(

But we loved our day trip out to this area nestled between the top of the Algarve and the start of the Alentejo – and we will definitely be returning there again soon.

If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy these posts too:

Spotlight on Monchique

The Hidden Algarve

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Storm Surge hits the Algarve

Monday was quite a scary day – with the bad weather which was affecting parts of the UK also hitting the west coast of Portugal. The initial weather warning was a red alert for the western side of Portugal from Lisbon to the north – so we really didn’t think much about it down here on the southern Algarve coast.

We happened to be walking along Ferragudo’s harbour in the late afternoon when we looked out to sea past the breakwater and saw some pretty big waves! It was quite scary as they were actually bigger than the horizon – which was something we had never seen before. The water in the harbour was rushing in very fast, and we knew we were not even at high tide yet; the water was coming in the harbour in waves and it felt strangely ominous. Lots of locals were coming out to look at it too – so we decided to retreat to higher ground rather quickly!

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge

Praia de Molhe breakwater and beach

We headed up to park on the cliffs above Praia de Molhe, one of our favourite small beaches between Ferragudo and Carvoeiro, which is normally a favourite small beach for surfers offering a gentle stroll along the breakwater to the lighthouse. Lots of locals were already there at the car park at the top and the sight took our breath away – gone was the usual view of gentle waves lapping onto a golden sandy beach – instead the sea was ferocious, kicking up giant waves and storming onto the beach area, which was completely submerged.

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge The waves crashing up onto the cliffs before they even reached the beach area were startling – we have never seen them so high before:

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge

And then they continued to roll in – completely covering the lighthouse as they streamed forward – and flowing over the breakwater:

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge

You can see the difference here between these two shots as the waves relented for a second in the shot above- until the next powerful one arrived in the shot below:

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge

As it got dark and high tide approached, the sea seemed to turn even more menacingly strong, sending waves crashing right into the little beach café.

The waves caused damage across the Algarve, it seems that Armação de Péra, Carvoeiro, Praia da Rocha and Portimão were some of the worst affected areas – we could see the waves crashing onto Praia da Rocha beach from where we were stood on the cliffs:

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge It was a very sobering time standing safely on the cliffs but watching the immense power of the sea claiming land and crashing up the rocks of the cliffs below us. As it got darker the sound of the waves seemed to be magnified – there were a lot of local people stood watching on the cliffs – but no-one was speaking – all just stood in silence, witnessing an eerie and spectacular sight.

It wasn’t until morning that the extent of the damage was uncovered – the Portugal News have reported this in detail on their website – link here  – with information showing the debris and damage across many small coastal villages.

Here is the little beach café on Praia de Molhe beach this morning:

Praia de Molhe storm surge

You can also clearly see the strength of the waves when you look at the breakwater this morning – the rocks that are now scattered across the walkway are giant boulders – they have been moved as if they were small pebbles:

Praia de Molhe storm surge

Although the bad weather had been forecast, it really did seem to take locals by surprise here – we have since discovered this really handy surfers’ website which has a great ‘wave simulation’ programme which will show you the strength of the forecasted waves for the next three days – it’s simple and effective – click here to view the site.

As the clean-up and repairs begin, we are saddened to see how much damage has been caused to small local businesses and beaches – and wonder how long it will be before our beloved little Praia de Molhe beach is back to normal:

Praia de Molhe Storm Surge

 If you would like to know more about the weather in the Algarve – when we don’t have unprecedented storm surges forecast – you might enjoy reading this post:

When to visit the Algarve

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The invitations are piling up – it must be Christmas!

It has been a busy time at Sheldrake Towers, and the mantelpiece has been full of shiny invitations to events. It might be a quiet time of year for tourism here on the Algarve, but there are still a lot of things happening, and many of them are set up to raise money for charity or enhance the profile of the Algarve – all a good thing!

Last weekend we were very busy! On Friday evening we went to the opening of a new exhibition of work by local artist Liz Allen:

F&C-invite

Liz is a really nice gentle person, and it was great to be able to catch up with her again. She paints bright acrylic work in the Naïve style, and is a member of The Association of British Naïve Artists. Her work is colourful, full of pattern and shape, and intuitive, and I always enjoy seeing her new pieces:

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Naïve paintings have a characteristic absence of perspective, which creates the illusion that figures are “floating” and also means that features and buildings that would normally be decreased in size and detail the further away they are in the landscape are painted with the same rich intensity and colours as those in the foreground – which always makes her paintings very interesting as she gives a unique spin on local Algarve villages and scenes.

The exhibition is on throughout December at the offices of Town and Country Estate Agents in Carvoeiro – click here for their website and directions.

You can also view more of Liz’s work on her website Liz Allen Art 

Saturday morning saw us up bright and early so that we could go to Armação de Pêra for the Father Christmas Walk which raises food and money for the ‘Banco Alimentar de Portugal’ or Portuguese Food Bank which does an amazing job collecting and distributing food to those in need:

Santa walk 2013 Dave Sheldrake photography

It was lovely to see so many Santas walking through the town in the bright sunshine, although this dear little puppy looked very tired afterwards:

Santa walk 2013 Dave Sheldrake photography Saturday afternoon saw us dashing off to Vale de Lobo and the Christmas market – there are a plethora of markets and events across the Algarve each Christmas, and we had promised our friends at Birch Photography that we would pop in and see them – we had also had a lovely personal invitation from the organisers Inspirations Algarve who have been a fantastic support all year advertising our exhibitions and events for us – so it was great to actually meet Paul Rouse and his wife Kate at last!

 vdl

The event I have to say was actually quite tricky to find – unless you know the Vale de Lobo resort well – but we eventually found the main auditorium – and it was great! Now in its fourth year, the Christmas market raises money for a number of the Algarve’s leading charities, including the Wolf Valley Charity Fund, Their Voice Portugal, the New Goldra Dog Sanctuary, the Algarve Oncology Association, and the Peta Birch Community Association. All very worthy causes indeed. There were a large number of stalls, mainly selling crafts and gifts, with plenty of food and drink on sale too. We even managed to buy some nice Christmas cards for a very reasonable price too – now all we have to do is write them and post them!

The children’s entertainment was great, with Santa, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, face painting, and even two of the actors from the Zoomarine, who were very funny – and one of them took a particular liking to Dave at one point:

 DAVE-XMAS2013

Naturally we had to have a go in the photo booth set up by Birch Photography - Dan and Natasha are such a great couple and are so relaxed and friendly – which is probably why we ended up with a shot like this to keep – which we have now decided will become our ‘Official Christmas Photograph’ … we have vowed to get our revenge later…

 DAVE&ALY2013

Monday saw us spending the afternoon celebrating Christmas at Cliff’s vineyard on the Algarve, alongside many other friends and family of the estate. It was great to be able to have a quick look around as well, it has been quite a few years since we toured the vineyard, and it has definitely expanded since then:

 Alyson Sheldrake Photographer

We were also able to try some of the delicious Vida Nova Sparkling Rosé wine and enjoy a fabulous hog roast whilst listening to local children sing and entertain the crowds.

 Alyson Sheldrake Photographer

The views from the estate are stunning at any time of year, but there is something magical about the sunlight streaming through the burnished red and orange leaves of the old vines:

Alyson Sheldrake Photographer

It was a lovely afternoon!

We haven’t even really begun to think about planning our own Christmas yet, but all of these invitations and events are certainly beginning to get us into the mood – just one more commission to finish painting this week and then I can begin to hunt out the Christmas decorations!
And wherever you are – and however you celebrate – have a fantastic Christmas!

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Our top 10 beaches of the Algarve

The Algarve is known for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches – and we have enjoyed exploring so many of them over the years. We also enjoy sneaking our way up onto the West Coast around Aljezur as well – so you’ll find some of our top 10 are around this area too.

In 2012 the Algarve was voted Europe’s top beach destination and it’s not hard to see why! Choosing just ten beaches to share with you was an almost impossible task – but here they are – our top 10 beaches – in reverse order!

10 ~ Praia do Amado

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

Wild, unspoilt and great for surfing! This is a great beach to get away from it all, and has soft sand and big skies. There is also an international surf school here – the Algarve Surf School The beach is on the west coast near Carrapateira.

9 ~ Praia de Molhe, Ferragudo

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

A small beach with a big heart. As you can see from the above image, it is one of the most stunning small beaches from which to capture an amazing sunset. On the way to Carvoeiro from Ferragudo, alongside the lighthouse and walkway on the Ferragudo side of the harbour.

8 ~ Praia da Marinha

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

This is a view that is so iconic to the Algarve – crumbling cliffs, hidden coves and incredible arches of rock reaching out into the sea. Marinha is one of several beaches east of Carvoeiro, near Armação de Pêra. Access to the beach is via some steep steps – or you can enjoy views like this from the cliff-top walk.

7 ~ Monte Clérigo

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

Near Aljezur, this is a delightful beach with wide open sand, good body-boarding waves, and the most stunning small black rocks washed up on the beach.

6 ~ Bordeira

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

A wide open large beach, with sand dunes and lots to explore – you are almost guaranteed to find some space on this beach – even in the summer! Follow the signs for Carrapateira, then Bordeira, and then park up and walk along a wooden board-walk to reach the beach – and look out for the surfer’s beach hut above!

5 ~ Armação de Pêra

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

A long expanse of wide sand, beach bars and fishermen mending their nets. As a beach, this seems to sum up the two extremes of Portuguese beaches for you – a working fisherman’s beach and a great sunbathing site!

4 ~ Evaristo beach

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

Near Albufeira, this has a lovely restaurant overlooking the beach, and is a great rocky beach for exploring and searching the many rock pools. With good facilities and even the chance of some celebrity-spotting too!

3 ~ Galé Beach

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

A wide and sheltered beach, with amazing rock formations at the eastern end to explore. This is one for a long leisurely walk along after lunch – and a great place to watch the sun set.

2 ~ Praia dos Três Irmãos

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

This is actually just the eastern end of Alvor beach, and is named after the three jutting rocks that extend into the sea, creating a stunning backdrop and a beautiful beach to relax and enjoy. With golden sand, and smaller coves to explore at low tide, this is a real treasure. There are also several good beach restaurants and cafes here too.

1 ~ Amoreira beach

Algarve beaches Dave Sheldrake Photography

Back to Aljezur on the west coast for this beach – and a real hidden treasure – we even thought long and hard about even sharing it with you on the blog – as it has such an unspoilt and magical feel to it. Drive through Aljezur, then turn left at the sports centre – and then it’s a long drive down a windy track – but well worth it!

Beautiful soft sand, backed by sand dunes, and with the most stunning rock formations and a lagoon at low tide, with a lovely restaurant overlooking the beach – perfection!

So that’s it – our top ten beaches – but which ones would you have chosen?

To be honest we could easily have made this a top 20 of Algarve beaches – because there are so many gorgeous places to enjoy along this stunning coastline.

Please note all the images here on this blog are © Dave Sheldrake Photography Please respect our copyright. Thank you.

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Life in the Algarve Survey – Meravista

What’s life like for you in the Algarve?

Complete Meravista’s survey today and you could win a case of wine.

Meravista logo If you’re an expat living in the Algarve, then Meravista would love to hear from you!

Meravista, one of the Algarve’s newest property websites, is conducting a survey to collect information and personal opinions from as many expats as possible who live in the region. They will use the details they collate to help support their promotion of the Algarve as a wonderful place for a second home, relocation hotspot or retirement destination.

If you live here in the Algarve, you’ll know exactly why you moved here and what you love about life on this charismatic tip of southern Portugal. But think back to when you were just considering relocating to the region and the questions and uncertainties you had about taking such a big step.

By taking part in their survey you will be helping them to promote life and living in the Algarve to people looking to buy a holiday home abroad and to those considering relocating or retiring to warmer climes. The Meravista Algarve Expat Survey should take you about ten minutes to complete. It’s simple to work through and there are a number of multiple choice questions and lots of free text space to give you an opportunity to tell them more if you want to. Basically, they’d just like you to tell them a little bit about yourself, why you moved here and what Algarvean life is like for you.

They ask questions like:

What type of property do you own?

Do you have children at school in the Algarve?

What are your favourite hobbies?

How do you spend your leisure time?

Meravista survey screenshot

They want to hear from people of all ages and nationality to take part in their survey – which is completely free to complete. So, whether you are retired, running your own business or employed here, you can complete the survey and tell them why you chose to move to the region and what you think of the Algarve lifestyle.

To thank you for taking part in their survey, you can opt to be entered into their prize draw to win a case of delicious fine Portuguese wine. Three lucky winners will be drawn when the survey closes and will be informed by email.

So if you are happy to complete the survey – you can click the logo here and be taken straight to the start of the survey:

Meravista survey

Alternatively you can click this link here:

http://www.sogosurvey.com/k/SWsQSQXWsSsPsPsP

The survey closes on 9th November 2013

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Please don’t forget to tell your friends and family about their survey too! 

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You will be able to read about the survey results and see how your view of life in the Algarve compares to others. Meravista will be posting results and information on their Blog page http://pt.meravista.com/en/blogs soon after the survey closes in early November; and we are hoping to have links to the results here on our Algarve Blog too.

 *Just to be open and transparent here – we don’t have any involvement in the survey or its results from this blog – we were just asked if we were able to promote it for Meravista – which we were happy to do free of charge as it seemed like such a good idea – anything that promotes life in the Algarve seems like a positive thing to us!

And just to remind you of how beautiful life here in the Algarve can be, here’s one of Dave’s recent photographs of Alvor for you to enjoy:

Dave Sheldrake Photography

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Afternoon tea and Faded Grandeur in the Monchique

It’s not just David Cameron who enjoys the gentle delights of the Monchique area – we love popping up there for an afternoon stroll – and now one of our favourite haunts has just got better as we discovered a quaint little tea shop that sells amazing home-made cakes – more about that later!

First stop for us is always the viewing platform area near the top of town – the views across the town and countryside are spectacular – as you can see from the shot below:

Monchique Algarve Blog Panoramic

Then it’s off to wander the streets and take in the sights – we rarely have a ‘plan’ when we arrive, we just like to amble round and explore the back streets:

Monchique Algarve Blog #001

We always stop off in the square to admire the statues which sit so majestically:

Monchique Algarve Blog #005The whole structure is a tribute to one man –  Dr Humberto Messias, a local from Monchique and noted surgeon in Lisbon. He stated that he did not want a statue on a pedestal, so they have cast him interacting with local people sat in the square. The statues are bronze cast and stunning:

Monchique Algarve Blog #006 There are so many old grand buildings in Monchique that are just fantastic to photograph – I love this old door with its carvings and ornate detail – what a story I am sure it could tell:

Monchique Algarve Blog #007There is even a key hanging up in a side window of the house – long fallen into disrepair – I wonder if it would open the front door?!

Monchique Algarve Blog #008An old carriage wheel lies forlorn nearby – there is so much history to be found in this one town:

Monchique Algarve Blog #016 And even the more modern forms of transport go back to the 1960’s!

Monchique Algarve Blog #009Next stop is a trek up the ‘Monkey steps’ – they are quite a daunting climb – but well worth the effort!

Monchique Algarve Blog #004Half way up is a quick stop – not to catch our breath (!) but to stop to marvel at one of our favourite little streets, with its faded buildings and charming history – the building half way up on the right is still a shoe shop – selling the most fantastic array of old style shoes in boxes. I would love to know how long the old boy has been working there!

Monchique Algarve Blog #003And so to the top – and our hidden treasure – the fantastic ÓCháLá tea room which is a haven amongst the old buildings and faded charms of Monchique.

Monchique Algarve Blog #012 The menu outside hints at the treats to be found inside:

Monchique Algarve Blog #013From the outside it seems to be another faded and dilapidated building – but inside it is light, bright and airy – and even has free wi-fi!

Monchique Algarve Blog #014We were delighted to find ‘afternoon tea’ on the menu, with a vast array of teas to choose from – we chose Earl Grey and it came with its own egg timer and tea strainer so that we could have the perfectly brewed tea:

Monchique Algarve Blog #010

But the real delights were the home-made scones which were warm from the oven and delicious. We were not surprised to find that the cream and jam were not really ‘English’ – we’ve never found ‘proper’ cream out here – much less clotted cream for my Devon boy (!) and the jam was a bit thin and runny – but oh so yummy!!

Monchique Algarve Blog #011We have returned there since then and tried their home made lemonade and it was fab! The place has a very relaxed and homely feel, with comfy chairs and a nice big display of home-made cakes –  the perfect spot to while away an hour or so in the afternoon!

Then of course it’s time for a spot of shopping – the little shops in Monchique certainly have an interesting range of goods for sale – and most of them are locally made:

Monchique Algarve Blog #017

One last stop for another ‘faded grandeur’ shot of an old rusting window frame:

Monchique Algarve Blog #020And a final shot which just seemed to sum up our afternoon in the Monchique – I do hope the Bombeiros are not called out on a shout in a hurry as this dear old thing was fast asleep on their forecourt:

Monchique Algarve Blog #018It was then off to Foia for a great photo shoot as the sun set and a walk amongst the stunning scenery – but that’s a post for another day:

Monchique Algarve Blog FoiaIf you have enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our other posts about Monchique too:

Spotlight on Monchique and Convent in Exile

Posted in Algarve, Eating out, Places to Visit | Tagged , , | 27 Comments