Facing the sprawl of Portimão across the Rio Arade estuary, FERRAGUDO is an attractive former fishing village centred on a strip of palm-fringed gardens that spread up to the cobbled main square, Praça Rainha Dona Leonor. A waterfront promenade lined with fish restaurants skirts the estuary – you can take various boat trips from here, most linking up with those departing from Portimão. The old town spreads steeply uphill behind the estuary, its warren of atmospheric cobbled backstreets gathered around Ferragudo’s church, with a terrace that offers great views. The town has an estuary beach, which gets progressively more appealing as it approaches the impressive Castelo de São João do Arade. The castle (closed to the public) faces its partner fort in Praia da Rocha across the river, both of which were built in the sixteenth century to defend Portimão against attack.

The nearest ocean beach lies a couple of kilometres south, where you’ll find the broad sands of Praia Grande at the mouth of the Rio Arade, with a scattering of restaurant-bars.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Lisbon’s accommodation scene has exploded in recent years, so there is no shortage of places to stay, from histor…

08 Mar 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
Porto versus Lisbon: which should you visit first?

Porto versus Lisbon: which should you visit first?

Porto and Lisbon have much in common – both are hilly cities, with attractive riverside quarters and winding warrens of old lanes and alleyways. Portugal's tw…

07 Mar 2018 • Amanda Tomlin insert_drive_file Article
An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

Porto’s cityscape of narrow streets and stepped alleys spreads up the steep slopes of the Douro river to a centre full of broad squares, Neoclassical building…

13 Feb 2018 • Amanda Tomlin insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right