Ferragudo - Algarve - Portugal
Welcome to Ferragudo Uncovered! Your Ferragudo holiday guide!
Welcome to Ferragudo Uncovered! Your guide to holidays in Ferragudo in western Algarve on the south coast of Portugal. For tourist information about Ferragudo, its beaches, holiday accommodation, restaurants, bars, shops, things to do and in fact, all things Ferragudo Uncovered!
Ferragudo is smaller and more traditional than it’s neighbour, Portimão. Located across the river estuary of Rio Arade, Ferragudo is a beautiful village and has actually been tipped to be one of the Algarve’s new hot spots! Many of the houses in Ferragudo are traditional fisherman’s homes - although it won't be a 'traditional' price to buy one these days! It really is a very picturesque scene when you arrive in Ferragudo to see the whitewashed houses 'tumbling' down the hillside towards the river front and people sitting outside the cafes around the village square, passing the time of day!
Ferragudo town is embraced by palm-fringed gardens, which run alongside a narrow riverlet up to the main cobbled square, Praça Rainha Dona Leonor. This is a lovely square, with lots of café’s where you can sit for a delicious pastry and a coffee for a breakfast in a morning, or something more substantial at lunch. Take a walk around the corner onto the quay and there are some more restaurants with a lovely view across the Arade and offering delicious, fresh fish dishes. The aromas from the barbecues outside are very tempting!
If you wander down to the beach nearest to the village (Praia da Angrinha) you will see the rather amazing Fort of São João de Arade. It began life in the 15th century as a lookout tower and then was extended in 17th/18th century as part of the fortifications protecting the mouth of the river. (On the opposite bank above Portimão marina is the fort of Santa Catarina.)
At the beginning of the 20th century it was turned into a home on the initiative of the poet, Coelho Carvalho which is how it came by it's present day, rather romantic, appearance. It is still private property, so unfortunately you can't go inside.
The whole of the Algarve coastline had various fortifications and watchtowers to protect it through the centuries and some other historical remains in the area are those of Atalaia and Quinta da Torre which were medieval watchtowers to give warning of attacks by pirates and corsairs.
As you move away from the town centre there are many beautiful villas higher up and a lighthouse down a one-way track towards the coast on Ponta do Altar. To get up this far and to travel around Ferragudo you may want to have a car because it is quite spread out, but if you like to get out and about on foot you can walk from the town, to the furthest beach, Praia dos Caneiros. There are painted arrows from the town and out along the coast to help you.
From the point beside Ferragudo lighthouse there is a fantastic view of Portimão across the river, the Monchique hills in the background and the sea stretching into the distance.
There are some lovely beaches in Ferragudo, Praia Grande and Praia do Pintadinho being just two, but it is worth exploring, either by car, or by foot. You’ll find signposts for the beaches, and for several bar-restaurants as you travel around in case you want to pit stop for a drink or something to eat.
For a relaxing holiday - good beaches, plenty of places for an evening meal and scenic walks, then Ferragudo is hard to beat.
There are also lots of fun activities that will keep families of all ages entertained close to hand. The calm waters of the river are particularly good for windsurfing and other water sports and Slide and Splash water park is just a short distance away at Lagoa - ideal for cooling off on a hot summer's day! There are all sorts of boat trips from the river front in Portimão - fishing, trips around the coastline and caves, dolphin watching or even a trip up the river to Silves.
If you are a bit of a golf nut, then there are numerous golf courses nearby. One course has been designed by Nick Faldo and the other by Christy O'connor Jnr. You won't miss out if tennis is your game either as there is Carvoeiro Clube de Ténis at Sesmarias which is conveniently positioned between Ferragudo and Carvoeiro.
If all that isn't enough to keep you busy then there are lots of fascinating places to explore close to hand. The historic town of Silves really is worth a look. It sits on the banks of the Arade river - the same river that opens into the sea at Ferragudo - and has a skyline dominated by a large and well preserved, Moorish castle. The castle is easily reached by car or by foot - although the cobbles on the fairly steep streets leading up to the castle can be quite slippery, particularly on the downward journey! If you prefer to keep to level ground there is a pretty walk along the river front and lots of cafes around the town to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Don't miss out on a trip to Lagos - one of the most attractive towns in the Algarve. The main avenue runs the length of the town with the marina and town beach on one side and the cobbled squares and streets that make up Lagos town centre on the other. There are restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and a lot of them have fantastic views across Lagos Bay. Lagos also has plenty of shops to tempt you and a splendid fish market which is open in the mornings. It is also a town with history - the narrow streets of the old centre are still ringed by 15th century defensive walls and a fort still 'guards' the entrance to the harbour. Take your beach gear with you as there are plenty of beaches to choose from - whether you fancy secluded, cove beaches with calm clear waters ideal for swimming, or the 4km long stretch of golden sand around the bay, Meia Praia which doesn't get crowded even at the height of summer.