A walk from the centre of Carvoeiro to Ferragudo via Monte Carvoeiro resort, Quinta do Paraíso resort, Sesmarias, Presa da Moura resort and Colina da Lapa resort. The walk is along quiet roads and for some of it there are views of the sea. There are a few hills, but it is moderately easy. The walk from Carvoeiro to the centre of Ferragudo is approximately 10km. Allow 2 hours each way.
From the centre of Carvoeiro walk up Estrada do Paraíso (behind the back of Jan’s Bar and Martin’s Grill) until you reach the Monte Carvoeiro resort. When you come to Mama Mia restaurant turn left.
Follows signs to Sesmarias.
Turn left into Rua de Angola at the Quinta do Paraíso sign.
Pass Trattoria Oliveira on the left and a mini-market on the right and follow the road round to the left going uphill.
Turn left at the T-junction with the stop sign, just past the Casa de Pasto Escondidinho on the left.
At the next stop sign turn right. Go past the Restaurant Branco on the left.
At the T-junction turn left, following the sign to Sesmarias (the water tower is visible directly in front).
At the roundabout immediately after the junction turn right following the sign to Ferragudo.
Go past Vale da Lapa resort on the left. A signpost showing you have arrived in Sesmarias is directly in front. At the Sesmarias sign turn right, heading towards the water tower.
When you reach the water tower (at the restaurant Da Donato) turn left. Continue along the road until you come to the entrance to Presa da Moura resort and the Hexagone restaurant. Turn right.
Walk past Colina da Lapa resort on the right. You will see the distinctive Portimão Bridge in the distance on the right.
At the roundabout turn left, following the sign to Ferragudo.
Go straight on (past a turning on the right). Keep walking with the sea on your left and exclusive villas on your right.
Follow the road round to the right heading downhill and then uphill. (The road to Caneiros beach is at the bottom of the hill on the left. A bit further along is a turning on the left to Molho beach and Pintadinho beach.)
When you reach a T-junction (with a car park on your left) you have reached the outskirts of Ferragudo. Turn left following signs to ‘Miradouro‘ (viewpoint) and ‘Igreja‘ (church).
Take the first dirt track turning on the left, which leads to a fishing beach (Praia da Angrinha). You will see a castle, the Castelo de São João de Arade, on the left and Praia da Rocha harbour directly in front across the water. The Castelo de São João de Arade was a fortress built in mediaeval times to protect the River Arade. In the early twentieth century it was turned into a private home and the renowned Algarvean writer Joaquim José Coelho de Carvalho Júnior lived there until his death in 1934. It is still privately owned and not open to the public.
Walk past some fishermen’s huts on the beach.
Walk past the lifeboat station (Socorros a Naufragos) on your left and through a passageway behind it to take you to the quay where you can get the water taxi to Praia da Rocha and Portimão.
From the quay you will come to Praça Rainha Dona Leonor, a riverside square of bars and restaurants in the centre of Ferragudo.
Once you have had a refreshing cold drink make sure you spend some time wandering around the pretty fishing village of Ferragudo before returning to Carvoeiro following the same route that you came by. If you prefer not to walk back to Carvoeiro, unfortunately there aren’t any direct buses between Ferragudo and Carvoeiro. There is a bus from Ferragudo to Portimão and from there you can get a bus to Lagoa or, occassionally, directly to Carvoeiro. A taxi is a better option, but be prepared to pay approximately 15 euros one way.
Ferragudo is still a working fishing village, made evident by the rows of fishing nets lining the small harbour. There is also a small monument by the harbour with azulejos (traditional blue tiles) showing village scenes, along with a statue of a fisherwomen proudly positioned on the top. The small river, which starts at the estuary of the River Arade is surrounded by attractive gardens and pretty wooden bridges. As you would expect from a fishing village there are several fish restaurants near the harbour. From the riverfront the narrow streets of traditional whitewashed fishermen’s houses climb the hill to the photogenic church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição at the top. There are some good views of Portimão and Praia da Rocha across the water from here. Near the church is an incongruous mural of Baden-Powell, the founder of the scout movement, created by the local sea-scout group in memory of their founder. The castle, Castelo de São João do Arade that you will have passed on the way into Ferragudo, is actually a former fort, built in the sixteenth century to protect Portimão. It is now privately owned and not open to the public. If you are interested in forts, the one on the opposite side of the estuary in Praia da Rocha is open to the public. Although there is a beach near the centre of the town, the best beaches are a little way from the centre. The nearest, Praia Grande, is on the other side of the castle.