1. Wander the Pretty Streets
The cobbled narrow streets of Ferragudo are an activity in themselves. Grab your camera and get some gorgeous photos of the typical white cottages, the summer flowers, and the traditional doorways.
Make sure to spend some time relaxing in Praça Rainha Dona Leonor: the main square of the town. Here you’ll find lots of restaurants with open terraces, as well as a buzzing night-time atmosphere with musicians and singing.
2. Go on a Boat Trip from Ferragudo
Ferragudo sits at the mouth of the river, close to the Atlantic, so there are plenty of boat trips on offer. One of the most popular things to do in the Algarve is the famous Benagil Cave Tour. The cave has huge archways and a large opening, which lets in enough sunlight to make the water turn a variety of sparkling blues; absolutely magic!
A less well-known tour is the boat ride upriver to the town of Silves. The scenic cruise takes 1-2 hours between the river reeds and cute riverside villages of the Algarve. Once you’re in Silves, spend some time at the huge red brick castle which sits on top of the hill. The town was once the ancient capital of the Algarve, so it’s bursting with history!
3. Explore Forts and Ruins
One of the most unique things about this area is the many cliff-top forts to explore. The most iconic of Ferragudo is the ancient Fort of São João de Arade. The pale terracotta castle is built into the rock just above the shoreline and was home to the famous Portuguese poet Coelho de Carvalho. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to visit inside, but the exterior is beautiful enough to make up for it!
4. Relax on one of the many beaches
Ferragudo might be technically on the river, but it’s just around the corner from the windswept Atlantic coastline. Here you’ll find yellow sand beaches, clear blue waters, and top surfing spots.
Praia da Angrinha
This is the main town beach, sitting on the riverside. It’s also connected to the Praia Grande, so it’s a long stretch of sand divided into two beaches. This means that there’s plenty of room to relax and enjoy the views across the river to the marina of Portimao.
Praia do Pintadinho
This beach is a beautiful sweeping arc of sand and one of the first beaches as the sea coast begins. It’s home to incredible arches and caves, which are great for exploring. It’s also the perfect spot for swimming.
Praia dos Caneiros
Just a little bit further along is this secluded yellow sand beach, backed by cliffs with caves and rock pools. It also has beautiful views of the lighthouse!
5. Walk Along the Rugged Coastline
Symbolic of the Algarve coastline are the impressive cliffs that run for miles and miles on end. This is one of the reasons that it’s a top road trip location, as well as being great for hiking. Choose from many cliffside paths that take you to secluded coves, limestone cliffs, and the perfect viewpoints for sundown.
A popular walk is the one to the charming Ferragudo Lighthouse (Ponta do Altar), just a 20-minutes from the center of town. The little white cottage with its red signal tower sits on the cliff edge with views that stretch out down the coastline.
6. Enjoy Atlantic Watersports
The Algarve is the home of watersports, famous for its waves and winds that make it a surfing hot spot. Ferragudo is a great base to explore all the best surfing spots, especially if you have a campervan.
If adrenaline sports aren’t really your thing, opt for the more tranquil option of paddleboarding. Paddle peacefully along the deep blue shoreline, stopping for breaks in the caves or finding a remote rock to sunbathe for a while. Snorkeling is also an option, as there are many beaches with transparent waters, underground caves, and colorful marine life.
How to visit Ferragudo
Ferragudo is only a 50-minute drive from the international airport in Faro. It’s also possible to take a train from Faro to Portimao: the town that sits across the water from Ferragudo. It’s possible to take a 10-minute water taxi from Portimao to Ferragudo.
If you’re staying in Lagos and visiting Ferragudo as a day trip, it’s a 40-minute drive.
Once in Ferragudo, it’s super easy to explore on foot or by bicycle. This is a great way to see the beautiful fishing village and find all the secret corners of the local beaches.
If you have a camper van/car, this gives you the freedom to explore the surrounding areas around Ferragudo. For example, great surfing spots that sit a little further down the coastline.
Best Time to Visit Ferragudo
Ferragudo is, like the entire Algarve, beautiful all year round, with many days of sunshine. Summer is a great time to enjoy all the watersports on offer and enjoy the warm evenings. However, the high season is busier, and prices are higher.
Spring and Fall is a great time to enjoy pleasant temperatures, sunny days, and calm streets. It’s also a great time to go on a Portugal road trip and stay cozy in your camper during the evenings! The waves are higher during these seasons (especially fall), making it the prime time for surf fanatics.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Ferragudo
Fishing is at the heart of Ferragudo, so enjoy some fresh fish from one of the many seafood restaurants. The atmosphere is great, with locals sitting outside enjoying each other’s company and children playing in the squares as the sun goes down. Some great places to eat are:
- Rei des Praias
- Salsa and Sapori
- Sen Tonkin
- Gaspacho and Migas
- Kalu beach bar
Where to Stay in Ferragudo
There’s a mixture of all accommodation types in Ferragudo, from reasonably priced guesthouses to hotels with swimming pools. Ferragudo is also a great day trip from bigger towns such as Lagos or Faro. These are preferable for those who want a more buzzing nightlife.
Where to camp
On a road trip in a campervan? Ferragudo is the perfect peaceful location to camp for a night or two. There is a campsite close to the river in Ferragudo, or choose a more remote spot out on the cliffs close to town.