What it’s Like to Live in Ferragudo… Should You Move Here?

By James Cave / Published: September 2020October 13, 2021.
Posted in: The Algarve

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Once a quiet fishing village, the quaint little town of Ferragudo is characterised by fishermen’s cottages, whitewashed buildings, and narrow cobbled streets. It’s one of the prettiest towns on the Algarve and, although the town’s focus is now tourism rather than fishing, Ferragudo has been fairly unaffected by the worst parts of tourism: you won’t find any neon or high-rise hotels here.

Life congregates around the town square, Praça Rainha Dona Leonor, which is surrounded by cafés, restaurants, and an ice-cream parlour. There’s always a friendly and relaxed vibe here as holidaymakers dine in the square’s restaurants, local residents sit and chat on the benches surrounding the square, and children play together in the middle of it all.

Fishing is still a big part of Ferragudo’s culture and is constantly happening in the background. Walk down to the harbour and you can watch the fishermen as they moor up with that day’s catch. Living here allows you to do as the chefs and restaurants owners do and buy directly from them. 

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful small town with a picturesque old town area
  • Completely walkable
  • The nearest beach (Praia da Angrinha) is just a five-minute walk from the town centre. It’s not the only beach either – there are another 3-4, like Praia Grande and Praia dos Caneiros, close by
  • While tourism-focused, it attracts a quieter crowd (mainly families and older visitors)
  • Close to Portimão, the second city on the Algarve, where there are hospitals, shopping centre, a cinema, and other amenities 
  • Ferragudo’s location on the western side of the Central Algarve offers easy access to the West Coast while also being able to easily enjoy the beaches and towns of the Central Algarve

Cons

  • Hard to find a long-term rental
  • Public transport is limited (but there are options in nearby towns)
  • There isn’t a large supermarket in the town centre (but there are some close by)

Where to Live

As Ferragudo is quite small, you don’t have to pay a huge amount of attention to where you live, particularly if you have a car. If you don’t have a car, you’ll need to prioritise between living near the beach and living closer to the nearby town of Parchal, where you have amenities like the train station and Lidl supermarket. 

Unfortunately, you don’t always get a lot of choice. It can be hard to find houses and apartments for rent, as most properties here are for short rather than long-term rent. Idealista.pt is a good place to begin your property search. 

Things to Do

  • Beaches – Ferragudo has some great beaches nearby. Praia da Angrinha is just a five minute walk, while Praia Grande is around 15 minutes and Praia dos Caneiros is  around 35 minutes away
  • Waterparks – Some of the Algarve’s most popular waterparks, including Aqualand, Slide & Splash, and Zoomarine, are all a short distance from Ferragudo
  • Cinema Cineplace in the Continente Shopping Centre is the largest cinema in Portimão, but equally popular is the small, two-room cinema, Algarcine
  • Boat trip to Silves – A 4 hour scenic boat trip up the River Arade to the medieval town of Silves.
  • Boat tours – As well as the river trip to Silves, several other boat trips leave from Ferragudo to explore the nearby caves or to go dolphin watching.

Supermarkets & Shopping

While there are several small supermarkets in Ferragudo, most people travel to the Lidl in nearby Parchal to do their shopping. Cross the bridge into Portimão and you’ll find even more options, including Lidl, Continente, and Auchan (formerly Jumbo). Auchan is situated in the Aqua Shopping Centre, one of the main shopping centres on the Algarve. Here you’ll find shops like Berksha, H&M, Pull & Bear, and Primark. 

There’s also the local market, Mercado de Ferragudo, which has a great selection of produce, particularly fresh fish. 

Hospitals & Healthcare

Ferragudo is conveniently located around 15 minutes drive from Hospital de Portimão, one of the largest public hospitals in the Algarve. Private hospital, Hospital Particular do Algarve, in Alvor is situated around 20 minutes drive away. 

Public Transport

Public transport connections aren’t great in Ferragudo town centre, but there are good connections nearby at Parchal (rail) and Portimão (rail and bus). Having a car will make getting around easier. Train tickets and timetables can be found on cp.pt

The train doesn’t come into Ferragudo town centre, but stops at Parchal. At around 2.3 km from the town centre, this should take around 30 minutes to walk. This train connects Lagos on the Western side of the Algarve with Vila Real de Santo António on the Eastern side (there’s a change at Faro). 

Bus #110 goes between Portimão and Lagoa, stopping in Ferragudo on the way. It also stops at Praia dos Caneiros and Sesmarias, allowing you to reach nearby beaches. 

There are excellent bus connections from Portimão, both regional, national, and even international (to Seville especially). Tickets for long distance trips can be purchased on Rede Expressos. There’s also Flixbus.pt, which is a useful website for discounted tickets to popular locations like Lisbon, Porto, and Madrid. 

There is also a ferry which goes between Ferragudo and Praia da Rocha in Portimão, but this is aimed at tourists rather than locals. 

7 thoughts on “What it’s Like to Live in Ferragudo… Should You Move Here?”

  1. looking for a beautiful little town to retire to ..what does it take to move to Portugal and things I should know...good and bad...

    Reply
    • Hi Bonnie,

      That's a big topic and not something I could cover in one short answer, but it's worth me saying that Portugal has a very positive attitude towards retirees and many people choose to retire here every year. If you have a pension or some way of supporting yourself financially, that's a big positive step in the right direction. There are some challenges in terms of visas and paperwork, but that's the case in a lot of countries.

      In terms of downsides, no country is without its faults and it's something I've written about here: https://www.portugalist.com/portugal-downsides/

      I hope to cover retirement in Portugal in more detail over the coming months 🙂


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
      • Yes! Thank you James. I'm thinking about retiring in Portugal. I have a pension and looking to purchase a home and make the move. I need to go stay in a couple of seaside villages and decide where to settle, maybe live there for a few months and then settling on a location. Thanks again. Rachel

        Reply
  2. We are a group of four with luggage and hand luggage. Wanting to travel from Porto to Ferragudo by van or a larger vehicle mid September. Could be a limo or private transportation company.

    Reply

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