These maps were created by a small group of Europeans who were resident in Monchique for 13 weeks at the end of 2011 as part of the Leonardo Da Vinci Mobility Program. Shortly after their arrival it became apparent that Monchique has heaps to offer in terms of activities with walking, cycling, climbing; unique flora and fauna due to the many micro climates, amazing views over two coast lines, crafts and processes unique to the area, and communities and individuals who live alternative sustainable life styles. But most tourists only drive through to reach Foia, the highest point of the Algarve, to only drive off again having enjoyed the view. As a result a small group of 3/4 decided to create new Maps which communicate Monchique as what it is: a place to easily stay a week, packed with different activities! For this the group researched walks, plants, craft and producers of local produce and collaborated with local organisations to collect the juicy content packed into these five new maps available on this site.

Existing routes were packaged and themed to give the routes more meaning beyond a beautiful view. Why are there not more maps? What you see on the site currently is the result of 4 weeks work. The maps were exhibited in the Monchique Novas Direcoes Exhibition, an exhibition set up and curated by this small group to also display a unifying brand for Monchique’s produce and further business opportunities, involving the community and residents of Monchique in conversation. An underlying purpose of the maps and the exhibition were also to show that it does not take lots of funding to make change, to improve something like providing better information about walks that already exist but simply need to be ‘packaged’. Don’t think too big, but in incremental steps, and yes, the maps are only really the seeds of what the Veredas de Monchique could be.

If you like these maps and like to give a contribution towards updating and translating them to Portuguese or create new ones you can flattr a donation or feedback to feeschmidts. Thanks!

The current maps are freely available to everyone under a non-commercial common creative licence to replicate for personal use. Creative Commons License

There is more to Monchique than Foia… come and see yourself!

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So what’s the Philosophy behind the maps?

1. Increase quality of information provided about walks with geographical, historical and cultural relevance and promote people lodging in the area contributing to Monchique’s economy.

2. They are black and white and mostly A4, for you to print easily, using little ink and less energy. You simply print what you need. (If the maps make it into the tourism office of Monchique, as the designer of these maps, I’d like to see them being available for a small fee of EUR0.50 to reduce the number of unused leaflets.)

3. The maps are only the first step towards a product service system combining walks, with a caring community and quality information bridging the challenge of multiple languages by technology elements.

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