Carvoeiro To Ferragudo

Ferragudo, like Carvoeiro, was a place I hadn’t really heard of until I was on my way there.

After exploring the coastal cliffs of Algar Seco, S and I decided that we wanted to explore further afoot and so we hopped on Carvoeiro’s Land Train to see what lay waiting for us in the nearby town of Ferragudo.

Carvoeiro’s Land Train departs from the main square by the beach at 11am before taking you along a tour of the coast and stopping off in Ferragudo for a few hours. This was perfect for us as we basically travel for food anyway, so the timeframe left us with a brand new destination to find lunch in! Our tickets to Ferragudo were €12.50 each for a return ticket. After paying the driver we nestled into the seats at the back and settled in for what can only be described as one of the bumpiest rides of my life.
My word that little land train does not have suspension.
But it did get us to Ferragudo in one piece via an incredibly scenic route, so I guess I’ll stop moaning now.

The route the train takes to Ferragudo varies depending on the driver, but typically the land train goes from Carvoeiro to Sesmarias water tower, before heading to Quinta da Boa Nova to pick up the next batch of people. It then drives past the new bridge to Portimão, to Praia do Molhe and onto Ferragudo where the train stops for a few hours before dropping everyone back in Carvoeiro at around 2pm.

The route the land train took us on weaved up the hill along the coast of Carvoeiro before meandering through one of the most gorgeous villa developments I’ve seen. Tall villas overlooking the coast with landscaped gardens, infinity pools and the prettiest of flowers growing up and over the walls and buildings. I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy gawking and thinking to myself “hmm, one day” but yeah. They were a pretty damn fine feast for the eyes.
After doing a loop of pretty houses we travelled along some rather unpretty roads passing numerous unfinished developments with rubble strewn across the edge of the road, before it returned to colourful villas with manicured lawns and our first stop: Praia do Molhe.

The land train stopped in the car park which overlooked the beach below. As we peered over the edge I could see a runway on top of the water ending in a lighthouse.
I wanted a picture of that lighthouse.
I looked at the lighthouse.
I looked at S.
“The man said we had ten minutes before we departed. You’ll never make it.”
I frowned.
Never make it. Pssh.
I looked at the lighthouse then back to S.
“ Amy, there’s hundreds of stairs – you honestly won’t make it.”
I looked at the stairs leading down to the beach.
I furrowed my brow, and looked at S as a smirk grew across my face.
“Amy, NO, you wont make it”
I took two steps towards S and gave him a peck on the lips before skipping off towards the stairs with the coastal breeze carrying my words back to him “Maybe not, buuuuut I can try!”
I began my descent down what felt like three hundred steps.
One minute.
I went down another million stairs.
Two minutes.
I stopped to snap a photo.
Three minutes.

S appeared behind me.

(I was not expecting him – hence the blurry photograph)
“You’re a bloody nightmare, woman”
I snapped another.
Four minutes.


I also realised that it’s easy to descend a kajillion stairs when you have long man legs and a wide stride.
Four minutes ten.
We crossed the beach onto the runway.
Five minutes.

We took some photos.
Six minutes.
We stared ahead at the lighthouse ahead and realised that we weren’t even a quarter of the way along the runway.

Seven minutes.
I contemplated carrying on.
Seven minutes ten.

I realised that it’s considerably harder to go up stairs than it is to go down them
Seven minutes twenty.
I decided it would be better for my thighs if I turned around.
Eight minutes.

We passed a group of elderly men who were trying to fix a seagull’s wing before releasing him back onto the sea, before realising we should haul-ass as we still had a while to go.

Eight and a half minutes.
We began our mission back up the stairs.

8 minutes forty-five.
I realised I shouldn’t have attempted this whilst wearing flip-flops.
Nine minutes.
S strode ahead with his giant man legs.
Nine minutes ten.
I was sure he was going to leave me behind.
Nine and a half minutes.
I wasn’t sure I could make it.
Nine minutes forty-five.
Ten minutes fifteen.
I made it to the top, lacking breath but full of surprise that I actually managed to make it in the short amount of time I had allocated myself. Turns out that yes, S was right and no. I couldn’t make it to the lighthouse and back in 10 minutes. As I stood up in an attempt to look less disheveled, I looked around people were still standing around chatting. So really, I could have taken it a hell of a lot slower. Humprh.
With my lesson learned, I sunk back into my seat and made a mental note to run up stairs more and with that, we continued on our journey. The train rode along Ferragudo, through the town, past the cruise ships and up to a roundabout before going back on itself. Turns out trains are super long so sometimes journeys are longer because turning can be difficult. But after a slight detour, we all hopped out ready to see what Ferragudo had to offer.

S and I walked along the back alley, peering into abandoned houses and admiring the tiling that so many of the buildings were decorated with. Elderly locals hung their washing out of windows and the sound of civilization and sizzling from the kitchens began to creep up on our senses.

We walked along the seafront to try and locate a restaurant before thinking nah because, to be honest, many of the restaurants served freshly caught seafood and I was on the budget tour until dinner that night.
We walked to the end where we spotted the world’s smallest beach

Before turning back to watch as local fisherman unloaded their catch of the day, with many gutting and filleting them right there and then.
Birds and people alike stood watching and the smell took me straight back to my childhood, when I would sit on the edge of my dad’s boat as he’d load up the catch of the day to take home with us.

Eventually we moved on (because, well, the smell of fish is gross) and ended up in outside Salsa E Sapori. Plastic chairs and wobbly tables were outside but each one of them was filled with people. Families, couples and single dinners all sat in the shade and so as soon as a table became free, we slid right in. The menu was affordable and as we only wanted something light I went for a caprese salad, and S had a wrap. It was delicious. After sitting and enjoying a few drinks in the sun, we made our way back through the streets, stopping to admire trinkets and antique shops as we went. I was determined to find some gorgeous plates to take back (Portuguese pottery is incredibly beautiful) but to be honest I didn’t want to spend £12.50 on one plate. Not when I needed at least four of them, so with a heavy heart and empty hands I walked away… Straight into a pastry shop. Because overindulging on Pasteis de Nata (egg custard tarts) was a daily occurance this trip and I’m not even a little bit sorry.

The train ride back from Ferragudo was pretty uneventful, but once we were dropped off I did venture off to a secluded little beach… But more on that in my next post!
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