FERRAGUDO FISHING TOWN ALGARVE
What was once a traditional fishing village in Algarve is now a bustling tourist town. Yet despite its popularity Ferragudo has managed to hold on to its character, charm and authenticity as a Portuguese fishing village. Ferragudo is still home to working local fishing businesses and this is obvious the second you enter the town. The crystal blue inlet is dotted with fishing vessels, the sidewalk littered with lobster pots and come lunchtime the smell of BBQ’d fish is everywhere. With exception to the main square the town centre remains sleepy and magical. The white houses that tumble down from the church to the river bed are the true definition of picturesque and the town really is worthy of your time to wander.
Its name is said to come from a pointy “agudo” machine that hauled fish up from the boats back in the 14th century.
BEST FISHING VILLAGE IN THE ALGARVE?
In the last three years I have been seeking out the best fishing villages in the Algarve and whilst not officially a village any more Ferragudo is still my favourite. I have visited the town many times to soak up the impossibly bright colours of the bougainvillea-clad houses and laid back backstreet vibes.
WHERE IS FERRAGUDO?
Ferragudo is a town in Portugal’smost southern region – Algarve. Ferragudo sits on the bank of the Arade river opposite the much larger and more prominent Portimão. Its coast stretches round to the east making way for several pretty beaches and coves. In 1999 the Village moved from village to Town status and took some of the surrounding areas under its wing. Ferragudo is 50 minutes from Faro and 40 minutes from Lagos by car.
HOW TO GET TO FERRAGUDO
If you’re in Algarve for more than a few days I recommend hiring a car so you can explore the everything the region has to offer.
There are a small number of car parking spaces in Ferragudo near the square but I recommend using the dirty car park at the top and walking down. If you don’t have a car you can also get a train to Ferragudo from Lagos or Faro (or any stop inbetween). Ferragudo train station is not central so you will need to take a short Uber ride. Once central Ferragudo is small enough to walk around easily.
WHERE TO STAY IN FERRAGUDO
Ferragudo is in a perfect location to explore Algarve and with only a few authentic towns and villages offering places to stay Ferragudo is an amazing spot to spend some time. If you decide to stay in Ferragudo I can recommend checking out One2Seven. This boutique style accommodation is tucked n behind the rooftops in the heart of Ferragudo. It features an infinity pool, free bike and kayak hire, a sauna, sunset terrace and real local knowledge about Algarve.
One2Seven have very kindly offered Soi 55 readers 10% OFF all stays when you use the code ‘SOI55’ on the website!
TOP 3 EXPERIENCES IN FERRAGUDO
Fresh Fish Lunch
If you only have an hour to two to see Ferragudo make sure you come and experience a fresh BBQ fish lunch at one of the riverfront restaurants.
Exploring Nooks and Crannies
If you’ve read any of our other posts you’ll know I’m a sucker for getting lost down little back streets that are bursting with character. I love just wandering around a new place with no plan seeing what I can find and Ferragudo is such a fun spot to do this. Follow the cobbled streets to find pretty houses covered in bougainvillea and cute doors and window sills begging for a photo. Take the archway in the centre of the main square and walk up the steps to the residential area and see what you can stumble across.
Praia dos Caneiros
Although Ferragudo has some worthy beaches within walking distance of its centre none feel quite as special as Praia dos Caneiros which sits just a couple of km away. The small sandy cove is backed by cliffs and Car parking here is scarce and in summer the beach, understandable gets rammed. Try visiting in shoulder season for a calmer vibe or during winter for a solo experience.
Considering it is a small town Ferragudo boasts an impressive variation of beaches in addition to Praia dos Caneiros.
Praia da Angrinha is tucked just around the corner from the riverside restaurants and main square so an easy spot to head to from the centre.
Just a little further lies the bigger and busier Praia Grande. This long stretch of golden sand has the benefit of two fab beach bars serving up coffees, food and cocktails. Arrive early and set up camp for the day because Praia Grande is a great spot to soak up some sun or take part in some water-sports. Praia Grande offers kayaks to rent
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK IN FERRAGUDO
Theres no shortage of places to grab a bite in Ferragudo. Unsurprisingly fish is on every restaurant menu and it should definitely be your choice when you visit.
The few restaurants that grace the river bank obviously have the best views yet higher prices. However don’t let the pricier options put you off. Eating freshly caught fish that has been BBQ’d in front of you over coal is an authentic Portuguese experience not to be missed. What makes it all the more special is the local fisherman fixing their nets next-door. In these restaurants expect to pay per KG – always check the price first so you don’t get caught out. Take a look at Sueste and Borda do Cais.
Alternatively sit in at one of the restaurants on the square for a buzzy atmosphere and lots of options. I enjoyed a fresh bass at O Barrel which was great value.
Theres also an number of typical snack bars that serve up coffees, cheap beers and toasties. If you are pastry fan head to any pastelaria and get up close and personal with their sweet selection.
For a cold sweet treat in summer pick up a couple of scoops from Gelataria Tutti.
If you’re looking for a shady afternoon beer walk up to the church and pull up a plastic chair at Café Duplex.
With travel becoming more accessible than ever before more of us are jumping on cheap flights and sharing our experiences with the world. Unfortunately the growth of social media has put pressure on us to travel a certain way. I just wanted to point out the importance of planning your trip for you and not for social media.
If religious architecture is your thing then go tick off those beautiful church boxes, if you are a foodie at heart hunt down those secret local restaurants, if you love photography go and find the perfect vistas to capture the moment. Give yourself time to get to know the destination you’re traveling to, do and see what interests you not whats popular at this moment. Enjoy being in the moment (even if it isn’t picture perfect) and you’ll leave with the best memories.
Of course if there is a super popular tourist attraction you don’t want to miss then you should absolutely include that in your itinerary but don’t feel like you should see something because everyone else has seen it or because Culture Trip says you should do. Aim to arrive at top tiered attractions early and you will almost always be able to enjoy them with less people around. Use our guides to help plan your itinerary and then give yourself freedom to go with the flow when you arrive.
Thanks for reading this short guide to Ferragudo. It is definitely one of my favourite fishing towns in Algarve. Don’t forget to get your accommodation booked up before your Portugal trip.