Termas da Fonte Santa da Fornalha

By Paula Martins, in Hidden Gems, News · 12-02-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

In Alfarce, near to Monchique, there’s a place that many consider to be a hidden gem.

Fonte Santa is said by some people to have “healing powers”. Arriving at this place promises a long walk, but it can be an interesting weekend activity and is perfect for breathing in fresh air and avoiding crowds.

Outside it looks like a small and slightly dilapidated house, but when you enter you find small tanks with water on the left side and a fountain on the right together, with an image of our lady, accompanied by some coins that people leave in honour of our lady and to make a wish sometimes.
After the walk, many of the visitors take a dip in the waters, enjoying the pleasant water temperature. So don’t forget your towel and something to eat. It’s also a good place to relax and have a picnic.

It is said that Termas da Fonte Santa da Fornalha directly receives water at 27 degrees and is believed to have curative powers. Fonte Santa consists of a small thermal complex made up of a line of single-storey houses with empty tile tubs, with house tanks for bathing in the thermal baths and even compartments where people stayed for a few days while experiencing water healing.

Curious origin of the fonte

The origin of this font is uncertain. Some theories point out that this place became famous when in century XIII and in century XIX, D. Sancho II, and D. João I, kings of Portugal, went there for a thermal treatment, according to a text circulated by the ex owners of the font.

Other sources make us believe that on a day in July 1788, a woman put her foot in a place where there was hot water, then her child, who had some wounds in his legs, got better quickly. After this day, many visitors reported that this water has healing powers based on their own experiences.

In that time, with two tubs for four people each and six rooms for accommodation, the space started to attract people from all over the place to take a bath in the healing waters.

Nowadays it is not so popular anymore, but it continues to be visited by the curious that know this place exists and want to venture on a walk to discover new spots.

Recently, Monchique Council bought Termas da Fonte Santa da Fornalha, in order to preserve the space and improve the public access through a thematic route. However, in spite of the improvements for car access; Monchique Council decided to keep the space preserved to not lose its peculiarities. To get to the place, you have to walk a long and beautiful trail, but be prepared! Cars do not have access!




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