Moncarapacho is a small idyllic village set
amidst Olhão’s countryside.
The village is located 25 minutes away from
the Faro airport and 17 minutes from the centre of Olhão. Around 8,000 people live in Moncarapacho,
surrounded by fields of orange, lemon and olive trees. This is a land of friendly people, where
traditions like handmade crafts and farming are still kept alive by the locals.
In the centre of Moncarapacho, there is Praça
da República, a charming square shaded by palm trees and jacarandas. This is the perfect place to relax, as there
are a few benches and outdoor cafés where you can sit down and order a drink,
whilst watching people go about their business.
It’s also in this square that you'll find the parish church of Moncarapacho, Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça. The church has medieval roots but it was rebuilt during the Renaissance period.
Near Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça, there
is an ancient chapel called Capela de Santo Cristo. The chapel was built in the
17th century and has walls covered with pretty tiles and a barrel vault
ceiling. There is a religious museum attached to the
chapel which features a collection of sacred objects, as well as a few
archaeological artefacts that have been discovered in the region. The museum is
open from Monday to Friday and the entry is free.
Moncarapacho produces some of the best olive oil in the world. You can learn more about this local delicacy by visiting the Monterosa Olive Oil Farm and joining the guided tour around the groves.
Up north, there are the hills of Cerro de São
Miguel and Cerro da Cabeça, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the
Algarve coast. These can be explored by car, bike, on foot or even by horse. If you want the beach, you can head down to
Fuseta, which is only 6 km south of Moncarapacho and boasts some of the most
unspoilt beaches in the Algarve.
Every first Sunday of the month, Moncarapacho hosts a large market next to Rua das Olarias, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables. In August, there is a bigger agricultural market with music, local cuisine and dancing that lasts for four days. Carnival is also a popular celebration in Moncarapacho and usually takes places in February or March. People dress up in costumes and everyone joins in to see the colourful parade.