Last Updated on 17th March 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
Nestled in a little area known as the Natura 2000 Network, Querença has a population of around 750 inhabitants and is named for the same hill on which it sits. It’s a great spot to experience the inner Algarve, away from the crowds of the more popular destinations. Here’s your guide to the best of Querença, as well as what to know before you go.
Situated 10 km from the town of Loulé, and just a 15 minute drive from Salir, Querença is characterised by its white houses, terrace walls, cobbled streets, and chimneys which have been handcrafted. The Algarve village lies in the confluence between the Algarve mountains and the rolling foothills, making it a particularly unique spot.
In times gone by, residents of the village and its surroundings largely made their money from processing lime in the lime ovens and agriculture, making use of the nearby water sources via water mills and mill races. Today, residents make their money from making traditional goods and tourism.
Some of the most interesting products made in the area include fig brandy, rag dolls, and cane basketry. These all make for great Portuguese souvenirs by which to remember your trip.
One of the most popular dishes made in the area is roast chorizo sausage. There’s even an annual Portuguese Sausage Festival held every third Sunday in January, known in Portuguese as Festa das Chouriças. Another annual event is the Easter Festival.
Highlights of Querença
Igreja Nossa Senhora da Assunção
The main church in the village is Our Lady of the Assumption, a whitewashed building with roots dating back to the 16th-century. Right in front of the church, on the main square, there’s a large well-preserved wooden cross.
There are a few small eateries scattered around the square surrounding the church and we enjoyed ordering a coffee, soaking up the village’s ambiance, and simply watching the world go by. A smaller chapel in town is called the church of Pé da Cruz.
Polo Museológico da Água
On the same square as the church and restaurants (to be honest, everything worth seeing in Querença is grouped around the main church), there’s a small museum dedicated to water, and more specifically the history of water use in the parish. The museum was established in 2012 and there’s various displays about the streams, waterways, dams, mills, etc in the area.
Fonte Benémola is a protected area of natural beauty that is now a classified site and covers 392 hectares. The site lies between the parishes of Tór and Querença and features the Menalva stream, a unique waterway in that it remains flowing at 60%, even during the summer months.
This has led to an increased biodiversity in the area. Visit today and you can expect to find an abundance of ash, willow, tamarisk, and cane plantations. The year-round lush fauna also means that there Fonte Benémola is a great spot to go bird watching and see herons, titmice, bee-eaters, and kingfishers.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.