Family-friendly holidays

Ferragudo is a smaller and more traditional place than its neighbour, Portimão. Located across from Portimão at the River Arade estuary, Ferragudo is a beautiful village and has been tipped to be one of the Algarve's new hot spots.

Many of the houses in Ferragudo are traditional fisherman's homes - although it won't be a 'traditional' price to buy one these days thanks to it being such a picturesque location.

Ferragudo is embraced by palm-fringed gardens, which run alongside a narrow riverlet up to the main cobbled square that has cafés and restaurants, where you can sit for a delicious pastry and a coffee for breakfast, or something more substantial for lunch or dinner. Take a walk around the corner onto the quay where you will find some restaurants with views across the Arade and that offer delicious, fresh fish dishes. The aromas from the barbecues outside are very tempting.

For a relaxing holiday including good beaches, plenty of places for an evening meal and scenic walks, Ferragudo is hard to beat.

Local beaches

If you wander down to the beach nearest to the village (Praia da Angrinha) you will find the Fort of São João de Arade. It was originally a lookout tower in the 15th century and was extended during the 17th/18th century as part of the fortifications protecting the mouth of the river. On the opposite bank, above Portimão's marina, is the fort of Santa Catarina which is not open to the public.

There are some lovely beaches in Ferragudo, including Praia Grande and Praia do Pintadinho, which are worth exploring. You'll find signposts for the beaches and also for several bars and restaurants should you want to stop for a drink or something to eat.

Activities and excursions

There are many fun activities that will keep families of all ages entertained in the vicinity. The calm waters of the river are particularly good for windsurfing and other water sports and Slide & Splash water park is just a short distance away at Lagoa - ideal for cooling off on a hot summer's day.

There are various boat trips from the river front both in Ferragudo and also in Portimão - fishing, trips around the coastline and caves, dolphin watching plus a trip up the river to Silves.

If you are a golfer there are numerous golf courses nearby whilst tennis fans don't need to miss a game as there is Carvoeiro Clube de Ténis at Sesmarias which is conveniently positioned between Ferragudo and Carvoeiro. And for those who enjoy other activities you will find cycling routes, diving centres, various gyms and centres to enjoy yoga, tai chi etc plus great local areas for bird watching and the opportunity to enjoy walking trails.

If all that isn't enough to keep you busy then there are lots of fascinating places to explore locally. The historic town of Silves really is worth a look. It sits on the banks of the Arade river - the same river that opens into the sea at Ferragudo - and has a skyline dominated by a large and well-preserved, Moorish castle. The castle is easily reached by car or by foot - although the cobbles on the fairly steep streets leading up to the castle can be quite slippery, particularly on the downward journey. If you prefer to keep to level ground there is a pretty walk along the river front and lots of cafés and restaurants around the town to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

For more information on places of interest in Silves, Lagoa and Portimão, click on the links.

Events

Late in August there is a county show, held in Lagoa, called Fatacil. It attracts visitors from far and wide offering them everything from handicrafts to livestock.

Early in June the Caldeirada and Seafood Festival is held in Armação de Pera with Ferragudo hosting Fisherman's Day, again early in June, where the visitor can enjoy live music, grilled fish and a variety of Portuguese tapas.

For up-to-date events in the area we suggest you download the tourist office guide

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Shopping

There are a few shops selling local produce however the nearest supermarket is Aldi on the road to Portimão. In Portimão itself you will find various supermarkets including Continente, Intermarché and Pingo Doce that all stock a wide-range of food to suit all tastes and cater to any special dietery requirements.

There is also a shopping mall, Aqua, that is signposted across the bridge from Ferragudo. Here you will find many shops including H&M, Triumph and Primark plus Jumbo supermarket. There are plenty of cafés and places to sit for the non-shoppers with restaurants in the food hall to fill any grumbling stomachs.

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