Lost in the time and the deepenings of Serra de Monchique, there is the Fonte Santa of Fornalha. Close to where join the riversides of Monchique and Odelouca, more below of the future construction of the barrage of Odelouca, it is this place. Calm, with water everywhere, has been used as spa for some hundreds of years. Its water of thermal origin sprouts lukewarm for the still existing tanks. This is medicinal, saying that it is good for problems of bones.
The existing infrastructures consist of two rooms with tanks of bath, and separate, some rooms that served to lodge visitors in another times (even so currently still some people use them). There’s also a small cascade
before arriving to the houses, where’s another medicinal water spring
(it have a strange smell). This is said to be good to heal cuts and wounds.
There’s an old tradition of the people from that region, to take a bath in this springs, by São João celebrations (24th June). Still today in this height some people go there to pass the night and have a bath. The people also say that in the year of 1495 the king D.João II in its visit to Monchique took bath there.
This is the only thing I know about that place, even after contacted the council of Alferce. However if I know more anything about that place I will update this text.
This is also known as one of the 3 "Fontes Santas de Monchique". The other are from Malhada Quente
and from Caldas
is a small container of 15x18x5 cm and it’s placed where you can’t see it from the spring tanks. You need to do a small ascent to go there. To go to Fonte Santa you have some alternatives. You can take the road from Alferce to Laranjeiras, or from the N266/N124 to Laranjeiras. Then you will find a plate saying Fonte Santa. Turn there and follow that off-road. I advise you to leave the cars in N37 17.301 W8 29.113 and doing the rest by foot, appreciating the place
. It’s possible to get closer but I don’t advise unless you have a jeep. Attention also to the clothes, therefore its necessary to cross 3 times the riverside
. In case of heavy rains it can not be possible to cross that riverside, so I advise you to not try this cache in this situation.