What springs to mind when you think of the Algarve? Sun-kissed golden beaches? Check. Vibrant street festivals? Check. Championship golf courses? Check. Exquisite seafood and luscious wines? Check.

What if we told you there was a place that gave you easy access to all of this, but at the same time offered complete tranquility, surrounded as it is by mountains and trees? Where, even in peak season, you can still wake up to the sweet sound of birdsong, the heady scent of pine trees and breathtaking views across rolling hills to the sparkling blue sea.

That place is Monchique, a peaceful oasis set high up in the mountains, boasting its own natural thermal spring, and living up to its reputation as being the garden of the Algarve.

And it’s here that we’ve opened the doors of our brand new resort, bringing a new level of luxury hospitality to this beautiful area. Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa embraces the kind of sophisticated style and level of service you’d expect to find in a fashionable European city, but combines it with all the laid-back charm you’d expect to come across in a Portuguese rural hideaway. We like to call it casual chic.

From the upscale spa and fine-dining restaurant, Mon-Chic, to the outdoor pool with cascading waterfall and generous sun loungers, everything feels luxurious. And one thing’s for sure: you’ll never be short of space in our suites, as they come with huge bedrooms, separate living/dining rooms with kitchenettes, spacious bathrooms and separate shower rooms, all given a sophisticated, contemporary finish. Additional perks such as Nespresso machines and delectable toiletries from Monchique Cosmetics are the icing on the cake.

Whether you’re after relaxation or adventure, you’re sure to find it here, and our temperate climate means many pursuits are available all year round. Thrill-seekers will be spoilt for choice, with trekking and cycling trails, rock climbing, abseiling and kayaking all nearby, and a choice of beaches within a 30-minute drive. Picturesque beaches include Alvor and Portimão in the south, and, to the west, the Costa Vicentina, its golden sands and wild waves making it the perfect destination for surfing and paddleboarding.

If that’s all too much, you can always opt for a more relaxing getaway. The nearby town of Monchique, with its narrow cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and charming little cafes and gourmet markets offers a slower pace of life, while Caldas de Monchique – a short stroll from the resort – boasts its own natural thermal spring, said to have healing powers.

Back at the hotel, be sure to make use of our Sensorial spa, which has a wide range of thermal facilities including a Turkish bath, a rock sauna and sensorial showers, as well as a sublime indoor pool. Here, you’ll find treatment menus from luxe spa brand ESPA as well as local brand Monchique Cosmetics, and those after a little more privacy can opt to have treatments in our VIP suite, which has a private relaxation area and an outdoor hot tub.

Whatever you’re looking for from your holiday, our knowledgeable team is always on hand to assist you, whether it’s booking a yoga class in our relaxing studio, a table in our Portuguese tapas restaurant, A Petiscaria, or a surfing lesson in Sagres. In future blogs, we’ll be bringing you all the latest news from the resort as well as insider information on the Algarve region, from the finest foodie festivals to the best beaches.