Portugal City Travel Guide: Ferragudo
Ferragudo with its picturesque church, fisherman's houses and Castel de São João do Arade makes for a pleasant half-day or full day excursion from Praia da Rocha, though increasingly visitors are renting a holiday home in the village and enjoying its tranquility for longer.
There are frequent boats that make the short crossing from the marina at Praia da Rocha or there are buses from Portimão.
The small harbour where the ferries dock is lined with popular fish restaurants with fishing boats bobbing in the water.
Ferragudo has a quiet, tranquil feel. Narrow, cobbled streets radiate out from the main square Praça Rainha Dona Leonor and the Igreja da Nossa Senhora.
The 17th century Castel de São João do Arade in Ferragudo along with the Fortaleza da Santa Catarina on the western, Praia da Rocha side of the river were built to protect Portimão from attack by pirates. The building was restored by the poet Coelho de Carvalho in the early 20th century and remains in private ownership. (It is closed to the public). A little further down the beach is a headline and lighthouse from where there are excellent views back across the estuary.
A pleasant, sign-posted walk continues south to Praia do Molhe, the lighthouse (farol) at Ponta do Altar, Praia dos Caneiros and the hamlet of Siesmarias. The round trip which is indicated by colored arrows painted on walls is about 9km.
A couple of kilometres south of Ferragudo is the ocean beach of Praia Grande at the very mouth of the river.
Getting to Ferragudo
Many visitors come for the day or just for lunch from Praia da Rocha on the frequent small ferries from the marina.
From Portimão there are EVA buses running from 6.45am-7.40pm approximately every hour. The journey takes 10 minutes and the buses stop near Praça Rainha Dona Leonor.
Accommodation in Ferragudo
Accommodation in Ferragudo is mainly rental homes, villas and apartments. There are no large scale hotels. Some recommended places to stay are: Vila Castelo Parque, Vitor's Village, Hotel Casabela and Casa Rei das Praias.
Getting to Portimão
Portimão is 62km west of Faro and 18km east of Lagos. There are abundant scheduled, charter, budget and no-frills flights to Faro Airport from all over Europe. Portugalia and TAP Fly from both Porto (via Lisbon) and Lisbon.
There are local trains from Faro Station (tel. 289 801 726) to Albufeira (30 mins), Ferragudo (78 mins), Portimão (81mins), Lagos (105 mins), Loule (20 mins), Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio. From Portimão change at Tunes (via Silves) for trains to Lisbon.
From Faro and the west, take Route N125. From Spain, get onto N125 going west.
There are local buses from Faro to Albufeira, Lagos, Olhao, Portimão and Vila Real de Santo Antonio (via Tavira). EVA bus company runs a service to Sevilla in Spain via Huelva. The bus leaves Lagos at 6.30am and arrives in Portimão at 7am. There are regular buses from Portimão railway station on the outskirts of town to the town center. Regular buses also make the short journey to Praia da Rocha.
Buses to Lisbon take around 3 hours, 45 minutes from Portimão, which is also connected by bus to Albufeira, Lagos, Salema, Silves and Cabo São Vicente.
The average high June temperatures for Portugal is between 22 degrees Centigrade and 26 degrees Centigrade.
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