How unique is Monchique?
Whilst my boyfriend was visiting, we drove to other nearby towns/cities in the Algarve to see how they promote themselves in comparison to Monchique. All places were inland about 20 minute drive from one another. We visited Salir, Alte and Silves (view map). The first impression worth sharing is that the tourist offices not run by the ‘Allgarve Tourism Board’ have much more informative materials about walks and things to do, including leaflets and mapped out town walks (as shown above). They even contain more information about Monchique than Monchique tourist’s office has itself.
The tour of Salir’s and Alte’s tourist offices (PDF) from the previous post show greater charm and emphasis on local handicrafts and tradition (Cork in Salir and traditional life in Alte, despite not being actually all that local specific to the town). However the aspect of story and variety of information for such small towns, Monchique should really consider how they are promoting themselves. Having a closer look at the leaflets I picked up, it becomes quite obvious of what touristic information could be provided easily (to catch up with the smaller neighbours). In terms of USP, a real uniqueness in less than a 50km radius is quite unlikely, but it’s all about the story and different perspective to create character. Not even Medronho is particularly specific to Monchique, in other regions it’s called ‘Medronho brandy’.