It’s directly across the Arade River from Portimão, but Ferragudo escaped the overdevelopment of its neighbor and maintains much of the charm of a fishing village. It’s mostly visited on a day trip from Carvoeiro and Praia da Rocha, but has cheaper accommodation, so those on a budget and interested in exploring the beautiful beaches of the Lagoa region might want to stay here.
It’s a family-friendly destination, with a small but pretty Old Town and a couple of picturesque beaches divided by a 17th-century castle. You can see almost the entire town from the harbor, on Rua Infante Dom Henrique.
The main landmarks are the castle and a small church standing on the town’s highest point. The main square is Praça Rainha Dona Leonor, surrounded by outdoor restaurants.
Tourist Attractions in Ferragudo
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Ferragudo’s church has crowned the town since 1520. Like much of southern Portugal, the original building was destroyed in an earthquake in 1755. It was rebuilt with a plain exterior, but inside it preserves images from the 16th and 17th centuries and a gilded retable. This is where the local fishermen made promises to Our Lady of Conception, in the hope of protection at sea.
Castle of São João de Arade
In the 15th century, King João II built a small castle at the beach and it was fortified in 1640 to protect the city of Portimão from pirates. Miraculously, it suffered little damage in the 1755 earthquake, and monitored the coast until 1896. It was sold at a public auction and is now private property. It's a classified monument since 1974 but not open to the public. You can always get a close-up view at the beach.
Praia Grande do Ferragudo
Ferragudos’s main beach faces the Portimão skyline and is where you find the Castle of São João de Arade. It’s very picturesque, but with so many beaches in the area, it attracts very few tourists, except those staying at the hotels nearby. It’s mostly frequented by local families, who bring the kids for the calm waters and the small playground. Even on the most crowded days, you can find a quiet spot. There are good restaurants and bars behind it, which remain open outside the bathing season.
See the Praia Grande do Ferragudo guide.
Praia da Angrinha
Separated from Praia Grande do Ferragudo by the castle, this is an even quieter beach. It’s even closer to the center of Ferragudo, but has no facilities, so most people prefer the neighboring beach. The few people you’ll see here are fishermen and local families, who enjoy the view of Portimão and the calm waters in peace.
See the Praia da Angrinha guide.
Trail of the Headlands
From Praia Grande do Ferragudo, you can walk along the coast and over the cliffs for 6km (close to 4 miles), all the way to Carvoeiro. Along the way, you’ll find displays explaining the vegetation and geology, and will pass by the Ponta do Altar lighthouse from 1893 and several headlands sheltering small beaches. The first one is the tiny Praia do Molhe, which is divided in two by a pier (“molhe”) that gives it its name. It’s accessed via a stairway and very popular with local families due to the very calm waters. The second beach is Praia do Pintadinho, close to the lighthouse and also very popular with locals. It has a large cave on the northern end and calm waters for children. After you pass the lighthouse (which is not open to the public) you reach the bigger Praia dos Caneiros, which is highly recommended and has a restaurant where you can stop for drinks and a meal. Continuing east, you’ll see a number of beaches that are only accessible from the sea, before ending at Praia do Paraíso in Carvoeiro. This hike takes about three hours and is not recommended for children. You should keep a safe distance from the edges of the cliffs, take proper footwear and not forget water.
See the Trail of the Headlands guide.
How to Get to Ferragudo
Vamus bus 110 travels between Portimão and Lagoa, and stops in Ferragudo. However, this is a very infrequent service, with just eight departures on weekdays and four on weekends. By car it’s 10 minutes from Carvoeiro and 15 from Portimão. There’s a parking lot behind Praia da Angrinha, but it’s not difficult to find parking on the streets. During the summer, there’s an inexpensive water taxi from Portimão, and you can always go by taxi or Uber from the neighboring city.
Hotels in Ferragudo
It’s in a central but quiet location and quite a good value. There are spacious apartments and twin rooms, plus an outdoor swimming pool and a gym.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: One2Seven
Hotel Rural Brícia du Mar
Just a 10-minute walk from the beach, this hotel has double rooms and studios, the largest ones accommodating up to four people. There’s a swimming pool with a seasonal poolside bar and a restaurant serving regional cuisine.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Hotel Rural Brícia du Mar
From this hotel, you can go directly to the beach (Praia Grande do Ferragudo). It’s surrounded by a tropical garden and some of the rooms with balconies face the sea. There are also views from the restaurant and the outdoor swimming pool.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Hotel Casabela
Located on a quiet hilltop, this hotel has double rooms and fully-equipped apartments. Palm trees surround the large swimming pool, the restaurant serves Portuguese and international cuisine, and a mini-market offers what you need to to prepare your own meals if you stay at one of the apartments.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Vitor’s Village
Apartamentos Turísticos Praia Grande
These studios and apartments could use an update, but they’re perfectly fine if you’re on a budget. The beach is a short walk away, and you can save a few extra euros by cooking in the equipped kitchens.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Apartamentos Turísticos Praia Grande