Ferragudo is a village in Lagoa’s county, a region in the Algarve. Situated in the west side of the village, it has an area of 5,41km² and 2000 habitants.
This village offers one of the prettiest postcard pictures of the Algarve. A hillside covered in typical houses, a stone wall that divides land from the sea that comes through a river almost into people’s homes, and boats anchored almost by chance, complete the scenery.
In the background, you can see Portimão and the masts of the sailboats that rest in its colourful marina.
This is Ferragudo.
This village was settled in the 14th century and tells the story of poor fishermen searching for food for their families in the River Arade’s mouth, a place abundant in fish.
The name Ferragudo has its origin in the gadget placed on the beach, used to hoist the fish and heavy merchandise from the boats to land.
With beaches of great natural beauty and mild weather, over the years the population grew and nowadays it has a lot of accommodation options available in the nearby areas.
Ferragudo is known for its picturesque places and nice people, making this place a great choice for a relaxing holiday.
Where to stay in Ferragudo?
Close to the River
Close to Angrinha beach, in the area where the sea straightens and the river starts, there’s a hillside covered in white houses. (37.124567, -8.521452)
This is a good choice for families as you’d be able to walk the distance to the beach, restaurants and to the accommodation.
It’s doesn’t have a lively nightlife hence it provides peace.
There is a choice from 4 star hotels to local accommodation so there is an option for every wallet.
Although this is a quiet area, it is only a 15 minute drive from the well known Praia da Rocha with its lively bars, clubs and restaurants, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Vale da Areia
This area extends from Castelo de São João do Arade till Praia da Infanta.
With very few houses, this area is surrounded by great natural beauty where you can take walks in the fresh air ou cycle, without running into traffic.
Accommodation here is mainly comprised of villas and guest houses, enveloped in the rural environment and where the scent of pine trees is always present.
There is a 4 star hotel, the Hotel Casabela, that has a pool and luxurious facilities if you intend to not worry about anything on your holidays.
This area has an extension of fine sand and translucent sea called Praia Grande.
Here you will also find some interesting bars and restaurants to visit: The Club Nau is one of them, with a nice Mediterranean terrace and a panoramic view of the cliff. Or Kalu Beach Bar, right in the middle of the beach, to which you can get to by leaving the M530 Road, turning towards the sea.
If you like restaurants that don’t involve sand, The Piano Garden awaits you. Especially if you choose to stay at the Quinta das Oliveiras Charming Residence, that offers a calm stay with views of Ferragudo’s sea. This typical accommodation has two bedrooms, a private bathroom and shared kitchen. Cars and bicycles are also available to rent here. Shall we go for a wander?
Centre of Ferragudo
In reality, Ferragudo is the coastal area that extends from Rua do Regato, where the sea turns into a river and the further into the villa, the narrower it gets till it becomes a canal that is overpassed by several bridges till Torre da Lapa.
But we consider the centre to be the area that has the most accommodation infrastructures, places to visit and tourist activities.
Ferragudo has one of the best campsites in the Algarve, with swimming pools and excellent facilities. If you enjoy caravaning this is a mandatory stopping place.
From 4 star hotels like the Caneiros Luxury House & Suites to holiday villages with apartments and villas where you can stay with your family or a group of friends: Vila Gaivota. You will find lots of choices without ever leaving the rural charm with sea views.
Ferragudo has a wide choice of restaurants and cafes, as well as leisure activities at this beach destination.
Its close proximity to Portimão has the advantage of being able to enjoy the shops, hospitals and other infrastructures that may be important to you without giving up the peace and quite and sleeping to the sound of night birds.
A water taxi is available which makes reaching Portimão very quick, and its more fun then a regular taxi! The water taxi also runs to Portimão marina which is at the start of Praia da Rocha.
Beaches in Ferragudo
As a beach destination, Ferragudo has strong attraction points and you will be surprised at its beauty that attracts so many visitors, especially in the summer. As much for its blue sea as for its wavy fields of orchards covered in typical trees such as the almond tree, the fig tree or the carob tree.
Praia grande and Praia da Angrinha (37.121883, -8.523201)
In reality, they are the same extension of sand but divided by the Castelo de São João do Arade that was built at that point exactly to oversee both beaches.
They are situated right on the Arade river, with views to the breakwaters that slow down
the force of the sea in that area.
From the beach, you can see Portimão’s marina on the opposite bank of the river.
This beach has a wooden walkway along most of the beach allowing for easy access to all, including baby buggies and people with reduced mobility.
In the Angrinha area, the beach is smaller, seaming more of a river beach with fishermen’s homes in the background.
There is parking, restaurants, toilets and recreational activities.
In the Praia Grande area, there is lifeguard surveillance in the summer between 1st June and 30th September.
Praia do Molhe (37.110060, -8.519150)
This is a small beach located by spring of Rio Arade’s breakwater. Access is made via a steep stairway excavated into the cliff.
These warm coloured rocks face constant erosion and you can see fallen blocks on the sand as a consequence of landslides.
On the surface of the rocks, there’s vegetation that shows their nice contrasting colours.
The waters here are very calm due to their proximity to the rivers breakwater, while on the seaside it is common to see waves and surfers there.
Usually, there isn’t any lifeguard surveillance.
Praia do Pintadinho (37.107796, -8.518831)
This is the start of seashore in Lagoa county. From here we leave the river area and the peace of the breakwaters towards the Ponta do Altar, a long narrow bridge where there is a lighthouse.
On this beach, the vegetation reaches the sand, framing the beach in a patch of vegetation: palm trees, thyme, sargassum, etc…
By looking at the rocks you will see clearly the different colours of these limestones, resulting from sea erosion. It is very pretty!
On the northern cliff by the sea, there are two arches and caves where you can walk and take pictures. The kids will love it!
The beach has a restaurant, toilets and is supervised by lifeguards during the summer.
Praia do Torrado (37.105824, -8.515527)
This is a small beach on the rising side of the one at Farol da Ponta do Altar. It’s a great natural beauty and seldom visited.
On the horizon, you can see two rocks in the middle of the sea. A smaller one, closer to the sand and a larger one in the background: Leixão da Gaivotas, as seagulls are their only inhabitants.
You can see crows, herons and seagulls.
Access to the beach is made by boat or by walking through Praia dos Caneiros, when the tide is low.
Praia dos Caneiros (37.105030, -8.513719)
This beach with views to the lighthouse and Leixão das Gaivotas has a lot more sand and car access.
The beauty of this beach is in its setting, the rocks and the caves that you can explore by foot. In the area where there were landslides, the rocks are scattered down to the water, which leaves small rock poolswhere you can find small fish and molluscs when the tide is low.
The beach has a restaurant, toilets and is supervised during the summer.
There are still other small beaches such as Afurada or Praia do Mato, that are smaller and you can explore while staying in Ferragudo.
What to visit in Ferragudo
Lagoa county is rich in history and cultural heritage. Have a look at the attractions that we have collected for you.
Forte de São João do Arade
A fort located at what would have been a strategic point on the margin of Rio Arade, to guard the passage of boats in the 17th century.
It was built after the earthquake of 1755 and was home to Portuguese poet, Coelho Carvalho where he’d be inspired for his works.
The fort is very well preserved and other that the wall that connects Praia da Angrinha to Praia Grande, it has also several watchtowers and a well tended garden.
Unfortunately, it is closed to the public, but Ferragudo’s visitors are sure to view it from the outside.
Farol da Ponta do Altar
The lighthouse of Ponta do Altar is located at the headland of Ponta do Altar on the east side of Portimão’s port entrance.
The building is made of a square white granite tower, with a red lantern on top.
It is accessible by car or bicycle where you will find the beauty of a higher point and form which you can view the beaches, the sea and the surrounding areas.
If you are in Ferragudo, you will not miss the tour boats.
In any coastal area, it is always a good idea to take a boat tour of the translucent waters that allow you to see the caves, fish and have a broader idea of the surrounding region. From here you can take a boat trip to Benagil with its world famous caves, or you can head further out to sea onboard a dolphin safari trip. Or for something a little different way not head inland on a river cruise to Silves with its historic castle
The rocks, the castle or the red cliffs, viewed from the sea are memories of Ferragudo that you will keep forever.
Igreja de Ferragudo
Located in the middle of the straight uphill alleys, you’ll find this white and yellow church.
Hang around for a bit and you will hear the bell tolls on the hour.
Igreja Matriz de Lagoa
This church in the centre of Lagoa was built in the 16th century.
You can see a statue of Nossa Senhora da Luz in the main chapel on a blue and golden altar.
It is a beautiful typical Portuguese church with wooden benches and white walls.
It is open to visitors during the day and holds several services: from Monday to Friday at 9 am, Thursday to Saturday at 6.30 pm and on Sundays at noon.
They are accessible to all.
Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Rocha
Built over a huge rock where once stood a military fortress, this small church has very ancient elements, from the Visigoths.
Inside there is a statue of Nossa Senhora Com o Menino from the 16th century.
Besides the historical details that this church has, it is located on a high point with a panoramic view of the turquoise sea into the horizon. It is a scenery that never tires and we are sure that you will visit it more than once.
Its interior is not accessible but you can see its inside from the outside.
Slide & Splash Water Park
Slide & Splash Water Park is available for all tastes and ages, as well as lawn or sun lounger areas, animal show spaces, massage and fish spa, restaurants and a shop where you can buy a souvenir or something you have might forget, like the sunscreen.
The park was recently renovated, and this colourful and enjoyable slide park is one of the area’s biggest visitor attractions and is just a few minutes from Ferragudo.
Ferragudo is a rich zone in marine species. Put on a mask and fins and see what it’s like down there with a boat trip and snorkeling tour.
The ride on a small boat, great for a family or group of friends, is already worth the day and is a great way to see some of the coast as you travel to the snorkeling spot.Then in undersea silence observe fishes, molluscs, algae and the sun’s rays entering the translucent waters.Its also possible to see crabs and if you’re lucky even an octopus!
Playing golf in the Algarve is in the memory of all who try it. The reasons are: great courses in stunning scenery, mild weather all year round and the warmth with which golfers are welcomed.
Best time to visit Ferragudo
Ferragudo’s mild temperatures vary little.
Considering its humidity, the temperatures are very nice throughout the year, with little rain most of the year.
If you are looking for a warmer time to visit Ferragudo, June, July and August are the hottest months of the year, when you’d be able to visit the beach, dive into the sea and stroll without a jacket because, even at night, temperatures are rarely below 20º C.
You can check out Ferragudo’s weather here:https://www.bbc.com/weather/2268282
Best places to eat
Ferragudo doesn’t have an endless list of restaurants but it has enough variety for all tastes and budgets.
Marisqueira Maré Viva – This cosy seafood restaurant offers the best seafood and grilled fish in the region, with a menu for all and not only tourists. Here you will feel like a local choosing from dishes such as cockle fritters or “sarrajão de cebolada”- tuna fish with onions.
Restaurante Portarade – This is a nice calm restaurant yet very popular, all inclusive menus are served at lunch time and a la carte served at dinner time, which is a bit more expensive but the food is very well confected. It has a great terrace for sunny days.
It has vegan and gluten-free options available.
Club Nau – The typical restaurant on Praia Grande that no one can avoid. The food is very well confected, with excellent presentation and 5 start service. We recommend the Nau Sangria, the perfect complement to the ceviche. On some evenings they have live music which makes for a real party atmosphere and is a lot of fun!
Gosto na Pedra – In this restaurant, the chef cooks some of the meals in front of the customers, such as Paella or cataplana. This space is very nice and has an excellent terrace to watch the sunset from.
The service is great.
O Molhe – Located at the Praia do Molhe, it has an amazing view over the entrance of Rio Arade. There are several fish options. The scenery is stunning and if you can visit during the week and in low season it is divine as the beaches are empty and the sand is immaculate.
Nightlife in Ferragudo
Ferragudo is a calm and leisurely place and there aren’t many options regarding nightlife other than some cafes and terraces that are open till late during the summer.
Grab a taxi and in 12 minutes you’ll be in Portimão where the nightlife is well known with bars, discos and theme parties throughout the year. If you want to find out more you might enjoy our Ultimate Guide to Portimão.
How to get to Ferragudo
From Faro International Airport you can get a taxi at the exit that will take you to Ferragudo in one hour. However, it can be quite costly so check if your accommodation has a transfer service included or opt for an Uber.
If you prefer the train, you’ll need to get to Faro centre and get the train to Portimão, Ferragudo does not have a train station.
You can rent a car in Faro or at the airport and take your time to Ferragudo. If your holiday is booked in the summer, book in advance as they are in high demand due to the lack of good public transport in the Algarve.