The "Serras Algarvia", a natural Amphitheatre
Beyond the coast and the barrocal, there is a "third Algarve". Like a gigantic amphitheatre, the mountains of Monchique, Espinhaço de Cão and Caldeirão rise up as a protective barrier against the coastal lowlands, sheltering them from the cold north winds. The Atlantic breeze in turn contributes to a unique vegetation.
Starting from the Eastern boarder with Spain, the beautiful villages of Vaqueiros, Cachopo and Barranco do Velho, introduce you to the Serra do Caldeirão, that despite its modest altitude, forms a very peculiar landscape, where rounded elevations, the hills, are cut by a dense hydrographic network, consisting mostly of temporary water courses. It streches for many kilometers inland, passing through Loulé council up to Salir, Alte and São Marcos da Serra, other three beautiful villages worth a visit.
More west, is the Serra de Monchique, the so called "Garden of the Algarve", with its amazing scenery covering a vast area of the Algarve and the sea. After the viewpoints, it is important to get to know the great charms of a landscape of abrupt reliefs cut by valleys and ravines, of streams and springs, from which cold water flows every day of the year, singing as it leaps from stone to stone. Also remarkable is the Rhododedron Route, a walking path to celebrate the blossoming of a rare plant, only occurring for a few weeks in April.
Further west, the Serra de Espinhaço de Cão bursts into a chain of hills with hillsides full of strawberry trees, imposing eucalyptus and small but fertile valleys, where picturesque villages lurk.
The Honey from the Algarve: one for every season.
This is just a glimpse of what you will learn during our "Beekeeper for a Day" experience.
Citrus, Thyme, Carob, Medronho....Each season, with its blooms, creates a unique Algarve honey.
Spring Time: Citrus blossom explodes in the inland valleys of Silves, Faro and Tavira. The honey collected in this season has this strong a distinctive citrus aroma. It has a light, almost golden color and tends to crystallise and become creamy. It normalizes intestinal and nervous system problems being a natural tranquilizer due to the sedative properties of orange flowers.
Summer time: the taste of thyme prevails. Very aromatic, brownish in color, it has little tendency to crystallise. It comes with a lot of thymol, a natural antiseptic, it is therefore recognised as having therapeutic properties above all for the respiratory system
Fall time: The carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is a flowering evergreen tree widely cultivated for its edible pods, and as an ornamental tree in gardens and landscapes. It is so important for the Algarve region that we dedicated a full day Experience called "The Carob Route", to discover its versatility and nutritional properties. The honey derived from its flowering season occuring in Autumn, has a chocolate aroma. Very dark, almost black in color, it has an intense flavour with a bitter touch at the end. Being quite rare, it is better known as a sweet tooth, much appreciated by experts and botanits.
Winter time: Medronho Honey, with its bitter aroma, is a classic Love-or-Hate product. Very rare and scarce, it is not easy to harvest every year. Rich in antioxidant properties, recognised in urinary tract disinfection, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, contributes to better blood circulation.