White houses, Moorish chimneys and a trail of Arabian mist paints the village of Querença in the Algarve with the colours of luxury and privilege. But there’s room for everyone.

In the hinterland of the Algarvian mountains, the village of Querença emerges like a white, Arabian dream in a horizon of drylands and one thousand and one shades of brown.

In the blazing summer sun, you may think it’s a mirage, reflecting the harsh sunshine in the marble-white walls of its churches and the stone-polished edges of its many crosses.

In many ways, the small village of Querença encapsulates the Algarve, Portugal southernmost destination, in its full cultural richness – the fine line the whole region walks between Moorish influence and a heavy Christian heritage. The wars which were fought on its soil and the rich cultural tradition that emerged centuries after.

fonte benemola

Picture from CM Loulé

largo de querença

Picture from Postal

Today, walking through its hand-carved sidewalks, white squares of stone hammered into the ground one by one, you can see not Arab traders or Christian evangelists, but privileged tourists in it for the food, the weather and the many agro-tourism hotels which make an effort to make you feel welcome, and to give back enough so you forget you’re missing out on the sandy beaches of other, more coastal destinations.

Querença is located inland, sitting on top of a hill north of Loulé, in the transitional area between the fertile Barrocal landscape and Serra de Caldeirão.

Far from the cold breeze of the Atlantic, its traditional cuisine distances itself from the typical Algarve. No grilled fish or seafood here. Think rabbit stews, wild boar, 100 different types of game meat and sweets to make you doubt how French patisserie ever ruled the world…

Among its many sights to see, we highlight the Fountain of Benemola, the Roman Bridge of Tor, the Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção and the Water Mill.