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Body, soul and spirit, in harmony

Between Thursday 27 and Saturday 29 December, the International Hiking Week 2018 offers guided walks with different themes. Between Christmas and the New Year, nature lovers will have the opportunity to get to know the landscape of the Algarve mountains on seven trails of varying lengths. On foot, we get to know Monchique through all our senses: the mountains with their streams, mills and waterfalls, the forests of cork oaks and ancient chestnut trees; wild and aromatic edible plants, local delicacies and specialties such as bread, ham and chorizo and of course the local fruits, pastries and cakes. We will visit workshops of craftsmen, where clay is worked (pitchers); along with leather (shoes), wood (Roman chairs and tools) and jewellery. We will also visit a medronho distillery and an olive-oil mill.

On Sunday 30 December, at 6 am, the Monchique Mountain Marathon will start, with a course of 42.6 km, and also a half marathon of 22 km. All participants can leave a lasting legacy by planting a tree in the new Monchique Botanic Garden. This circular route begins next to the water bottling plant in Caldas and passes through the parishes of Fornalha (Alferce), Monchique and Marmelete, conquering the summits of Picota (776m) and Foía (902m), then continuing on to Casais and finally returning to Caldas. During the hike, all participants will be able to enjoy hot and cold drinks, snacks and soups at seven service points. In the adventure park, there will be an archery competition and a quiz about the fauna and flora of the region.

Maps for walkers are available in pdf and can be downloaded at https://monchique-mountain-marathon.org/de/karte-topographie/. Participation in this event costs € 50, and also includes a small backpack with accessories, which may be needed on that day. The local sponsor of the hiking week is www.vilafoia.com.

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