Day Trip to Ferragudo, Algarve: Everything You Need to Know (Including 5 Best Photo Spots)

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Ferragudo is a small fisherman’s village nestled along the rugged and breathtaking coast of the Algarve region on the banks of the Arade River. This little coastal village looks straight out of a romantic K-drama series. K-drama fans, ring any bells? To be clear, It is not actually a shooting spot, but it definitely looks perfect for a cute love story.

There is so much beauty all around this village, from the whitewashed houses, with beautifully painted doors, the narrow and steep cobblestone streets filled with arches of bougainvillea flowers, colorful boats gently swaying in the sparkling waters which easily makes it the most prettiest village in the Algarve region.

Ferragudo also has much to do if you want to keep yourselves busy. Alternatively, you could just roam around the village and lazily lie down on the white sand beaches and work on your tan. Oh! I almost forgot all the delicious fresh seafood that you can enjoy while you are here. (You are, after all, in a fishing village.)

Best Things to Do in Ferragudo in One Day

A whole day to explore Ferragudo would be an ideal way to enjoy this beautiful village. It is an insanely picturesque village, and there are the best photo spots that you shouldn’t miss. So I have added a small section with the nearby photo spots. I have also included a map that indicates the photo spots with a different icon.

How To Use The Map?

The orange suitcases are the locations from the post. If required, zoom in and click on a suitcase to view brief details about the location. Click ‘View in Google Maps’ to view the location’s complete details in Google Maps.

1. Take a Stroll Through the Beautiful Streets

If you know us, you already know how much we enjoy exploring new places on foot, and definitely, it is one of the best things to do in Ferragudo. And it is not just because we like it, you will definitely love it, as you will see the prettiest streets ever.

Tip! Wear your flowy summer dresses because you will want to take many pictures here. So try to explore at a more relaxed pace.

Not every street is exactly the same, nor is there a set route. Just go where your feet take you, and I am sure you will end up in the right place. All the streets are interconnected and will eventually take you where you want to go. Do not hesitate to climb up the stairs, as most of the streets will take you up the cliff, and you could also enjoy some great views of the beach on the way.

Photo Spots

The charming narrow cobblestone streets adorned with adorable whitewashed houses painted with contrasting blue or yellow borders and doors, the beautiful potted plants all around the house, and the big bougainvillea arches make a stunning backdrop for your pictures. It is quite difficult to pinpoint this spot as many streets are filled with such cute houses, one more beautiful than the other. However, they are all very close by, so I hope the below tip will help you find the exact location. You can see clustered houses around here and tiny passages between them on the map.

Pro Tip! Ok, well, I know it could be a little vague to say go explore the village, and you will find everything on your own. You would probably want a few more tips to guide you in the right direction. Praça Rainha Dona Leonor, the village’s main square, is an excellent place to start on foot. Head towards the next point of interest Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição.

But do not take the shortest path that Google shows you (Do not ask what’s wrong with me yet!). Instead, wander through the narrow, maze-like streets, taking a lot of stairs up and down. This may look like it’s leading you nowhere, but it’s worth it, as you’ll encounter many picturesque streets. Make sure to free some storage in your phone or camera device, as you’ll undoubtedly be tempted to capture the sheer beauty of the village.

2. Make Your Way to Igreja De Nossa Senhora Da Conceição

This charming little church features the typical whitewashed exterior found in this region. The bright yellow markings and its famous Portuguese tiles, which adorn the walls, seamlessly blend with the surrounding neighborhood while still standing out uniquely. Situated atop a gentle hill, the church overlooks the Arade River and the bustling city of Portimão, offering a serene spot to soak in the views and the refreshing river breeze.

Photo Spots

Indeed, the church itself is adorable, with the sun-kissed yellow facade shining brightly in pictures. However, it’s not just about the church; this location offers an excellent opportunity to capture the vibrant city of Portimão and the picturesque Arade riverfront. Take advantage of the carved benches on the church walls, providing a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy the stunning vistas.

But don’t stop there – on the left side of the church, you’ll notice a small pathway leading down. While it may be a dead end, it rewards you with even more mesmerizing views, perfect for capturing beautiful pictures. (Pose away, people!)

3. Admire the Ruins of the Castle of São João Do Arade

This is unlike the other castles I have seen in Portugal. The terracotta-colored exterior of the castle sets it apart from the usual ones, which mostly have stonework on their exterior. This medieval castle was built on top of a cliff along the shoreline to strengthen the mouth of the Arade River from pirate attacks.

There is another fortification just on the other side of the river in Portimão, which was later constructed for the same reason. This castle was renovated in 1640 during the reign of King John IV. The renovation had quite some effect on the castle as it was one of the few castles that had not been affected much by the massive earthquake of 1755. Later in the 19th century, it was sold off to Joaquim José Coelho de Carvalho, the writer who used it as his summer house.

Unfortunately, it is closed to the public and has been mostly unoccupied and abandoned after the writer’s death. Don’t be spooked; the ruins are still very beautiful to look at from the outside.

Photo Spots

You can get closer to the castle, but you must be further away to get a complete view of the castle in the backdrop of your pictures. There are some viewpoints from where you can capture the full view of the ruins of the fort and the river in the background.

Pro Tip! Try to use some plant bushes or flowers from the viewpoint in the foreground to give a nice depth effect in your photos. (I am not a professional photographer, but just sharing some tips that might be useful.)

  • The passageway next to the Ferragudo church we discussed above also offers a stunning view of Castelo de São João de Arade.
  • Another spectacular viewpoint would be from the Mother Mary Shrine, which is just a small shrine along the road (nothing special about the place itself). It could be easily overlooked if you are driving past. But from behind the shrine, you could enjoy the views of the castle up close yet still be able to capture it wonderfully. You could also walk down to the coast from here and get to the beach. There is a parking spot right behind it (which could be a little hindrance when taking pictures; you don’t want to see them in the foreground of your photos, do you?). Nevertheless, it is still a great viewpoint that should definitely be on your list.

4. Go Shopping and Have a Hearty Lunch

Ferragudo, however, being a small village, has many shops to shop some cute Portuguese souvenirs to take back home. I love shopping in Portugal, especially here in the Algarve, because you can find so many artistic gifts for an affordable price. If you enjoy decorating your house, you will find a lot of stuff here. I loved their hand-painted bowls the best.

Walk in the street of R. Vasco da Gama, and you will find a lot of souvenir shops here. We shopped a lot!

You could also sit down for lunch or drink in one of the restaurants here or walk up to the main square, which is just a few hundred meters from here and has many more options. Many tiny Tapas bars and restaurants offer good food and a great ambiance.

Photo Spots

As I already mentioned, the street R. Vasco da Gama is brimming with charming gift shops and has a lovely display of their products outside. This bustling street is one of the most attractive and vibrant avenues in this quaint village. The vibrant hues of painted doors and the elegance of flower-draped arches make it a perfect place for capturing candid shots.

5. Enjoy the Views From Ferragudo Lighthouse

The Ferragudo lighthouse (Farol da Ponta do Altar) is a little further from the center of the village. If you are up for the walk, it is only around 3.5 km. Still, you could always save your energy for something else (it is coming up next, so I don’t want to give it away already) and take a cab to the lighthouse, which will only cost you about €4 (if you are even traveling solo I think that’s still quite an affordable option). The lighthouse is located on top of a cliff which serves as a good vantage point to enjoy views of the blue ocean and the rugged coastline.

It is just so calm, peaceful, and so beautiful.

Photo Spot

Not the lighthouse, I mean, it is still beautiful, but the fences around it make it less appealing. But with those gorgeous views, you could have your own private photo shoot, and it is mostly free from tourists, so you can capture some great views without the crowd. If you fancy flying a drone, then this place would be an excellent option.

For drones, however, check the rules for flying in the area, and also, please make sure you are not disturbing the birds around. We saw a few seagulls that did not like the drones around them, probably threatened at the sight of these drones and became a bit restless. After all, we are in their natural habitat.

6. Hike Along the Rugged Coastline

Remember that I suggested you save energy for something later? This is it. The rugged coastline of the Algarve region is so beautiful that you can hike all around it. You can always get off at a nearby beach and be done with it if you do not have more time or energy. That’s the beauty of being able to enjoy all beauty without having to worry about being able to finish the entire hike.

Well, if you can, then that’s great. The hike actually starts from Praia do Molhe, in Ferragudo, and goes via the Ferragudo lighthouse until Carvoeiro. It is called The Trail of Headlands. The overall distance is about 6 km, and it is well marked by red and yellow stripes on half-sized poles. So you can just keep following them. Unfortunately, Google Maps does not seem to be aware of this trail, so probably if you ask for directions, it would reroute you to take the nearby road. But just keep following the red and yellow stripes, and you will find your way.

Bring some snacks and your swimsuit so you can relax and get off on some of the beaches in between. If you don’t want to proceed further after your time at the beach, you can always call an Uber, and it’s quite affordable.

Tip! Wear your hiking shoes or some comfortable walking shoes with a good grip because walking in sandals or flip-flops will be challenging.

Photo Spots

This place is no short of photo spots, the view of the beaches from the cliffs is fantastic, and you cannot get a better place for your pictures. Also, many of the beaches on the way are lesser known, and we found them less crowded even in peak season. So bring on your favorite swimsuit and get posing.

7. Relax on the Serene Beaches

When you are in the Algarve region, you will never run out of beaches. If you don’t like the crowd, you can always find a lovely secluded beach surrounded by cliffs. And Ferragudo is nothing short of beaches. You might be surprised to find some of the beaches all to yourselves. 

Praia Da Angrinha

This is the beach closest to the village of Ferragudo, which means the popular one too. It is also nearby the  Castelo de São João de Arade which adds to its popularity. Access to Praia da Angrinha is fairly straightforward. Visitors can reach it by walking along the shoreline or through the village of Ferragudo.

Praia Grande

This beach is on the other side of the castle, but it could be much less crowded than the first. But it is also quite close, so don’t be disappointed if you see a crowd. There are a lot of beaches nearby which are a lot emptier.

Praia Do Pintadinho

This beach is located on the right side of the Ferragudo Lighthouse. You could also access this beach during the trail of the headlands hike. It is a beautiful beach with golden sand and many arches and cliffs to admire. It is mostly quiet and is a perfect place to relax and go for a swim.

Praia Dos Caneiros

This beautiful beach is located on the other side of the lighthouse, just after Praia do Torrado, another beautiful small beach. This beach is surrounded by massive cliffs that look like there is a huge wall next to the shore.

There are many more beaches along the hiking trail. Still, these are the closest ones that can be accessed from Ferragudo, even if you are not taking the hiking path.

8. Take a Boat Trip in the Arade River to Silves

A boat trip on the river is one of the best things to do. There are boat trips that take you to the castle city of Algarve. But these trips run only on specific days and at specific times. Most trips take 4 hours, so you must plan your trip accordingly to visit Silves. I would recommend staying a night in Ferragudo to visit Silves on a separate day trip. This city is known for its huge red brick castle in the center of the city. It is a great place to experience more about Portuguese history and lifestyle.

Check and plan your trip here.

You can also visit Silves by taking a boat trip from Portimão. Book this famous boat trip to Silves from Portimão.

Other Boat Trip Options From Portimão:

How to Reach Ferragudo?

Ferragudo is located on the coast of the Algarve, next to the famous city of Portimão. It is about 70 km from the Faro International Airport, just about 50 minutes drive. If you are staying in Lagos, Ferragudo takes about 40 minutes by car. You could also take an Uber or Bolt from Lagos (like we did because the next train from Lagos was after an hour), which will cost you around €20.

If you want to explore Ferragudo by public transport, the easiest option would be to take a train from Faro. Still, it takes a considerably long time, and trains are not frequent. Also, the Ferragudo railway station is a bit further away from the main village, so you will have to either take a taxi or a bus from the station to reach the main center. Another option would be to hop off in Portimão and take the water taxi to Ferragudo.

If you are taking public transport, plan your journeys well ahead of time and stick to the schedule.

Within Ferragudo, you can cover almost all the places on foot, and you can readily take a taxi for €3-€4 for places a little further away, like the lighthouse. You can also rent a bicycle.

What is the Best Time to Visit Ferragudo?

Ferragudo, part of the Algarve region of southern Portugal, enjoys good weather throughout the year. But summers are the busiest time for this region when tourists worldwide hoard to Algarve to enjoy the sun, sand, and beach. This makes the stays expensive, and since Ferragudo is a small village and is surprisingly not very popular amongst the tourists yet. Hence, it is still possible to enjoy a crowd-free experience even during peak season.

Spring and Fall would be the best time to visit the Algarve region, but if you want to visit during the summers, plan your trip well in advance to get good deals on the stays.

Winter sees the most amount of rainfall in this region, but the weather is still mild and not too cold like most of Europe. The entire region will be completely free of crowds. But also, not all water sports activities might be operating, so make sure to check before planning the trip.

We visited at the end of June. The weather was perfect, and it wasn’t extremely hot in the afternoons yet. But the week after our visit, the temperature soared in this region, making it too hot to be outside in the afternoons. If you don’t like being outside when it is hot, try to visit before mid-June.

Should You Stay in Portimão or Ferragudo?

Portimão is loved by tourists and becomes flooded with tourists in peak seasons. All party lovers usually stay in Albufeira or Portimão, which are known for their nightlife scenes and beaches. Portimão is not a very attractive city if not for its beautiful beaches.

But if you are looking for peace and quiet, Ferragudo is a perfect option. It is so close to Portimão, so you can always head over there for a party night but enjoy the quiet village filled with charming streets and peaceful beaches for the rest of your stay. You can drive around to all the places in Algarve from here without any hassle. However, if you prefer public transport, then Lagos would be a better alternative.

Where to Stay in Ferragudo?

Since it is a small fishing village, there aren’t many options. However, there are some great gems here to enjoy your time.

Want to explore more options in Ferragudo? Please search on here. We use to book all our stays and have always had a good experience.

Ferragudo is a cute little village that has recently gained popularity due to its picturesque streets. But it is definitely worth the visit on your trip to Algarve. I will be thrilled to hear about your experience visiting Ferragudo. Feel free to reach out through the comment section.

Oh, and as you are already in Algarve, check out the wonderful city of Faro. We have created the best self-guided walking guide for Faro already for you. You can also go on a day trip to Carvoeiro.

If you are traveling to Lisbon after exploring Algarve, check out our posts about the best things to do in Lisbon in Fall, some helpful information you need to know before visiting Lisbon, and the best way to spend a day in Lisbon. Also, the beautiful town of Sintra is near Lisbon, so consider visiting it. Check out our posts about the best things to do in Sintra, some useful information you need to know when planning a trip to Sintra, and our flexible Sintra itinerary for 1, 2, and 3 days.

Kiki from RooKiExplorers posing in a field of pink hyacinths in the Netherlands.
The Face Behind the Post

Hey, I am Kiki! A full-time software developer and hardcore travel enthusiast who is always up for a new adventure and the author of RooKiExplorers. I love to travel the world and enjoy talking about it, helping everyone around me plan their trips, and avoiding making the mistakes I made.

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