Algarve’s riverside gem to get total makeover
Ferragudo, known as one of the Algarve’s most beautiful and traditional riverside villages, is due to undergo a total makeover. Lagoa council has announced plans to remove all parking and most traffic from the village’s riverside, plant more trees, and transform the rundown and mostly dry canal that separates both parts of the village into a steady stream. The project is estimated to cost up to €8 million and will be brought to life in phases. A tender for the work is due to be launched at the end of 2018.
“What we want is to think of downtown Ferragudo as a whole, and not as a space broken up into sections. We want to create an impressive ‘entrance hall’ that is welcoming, with more green spaces for people to enjoy,” said Lagoa mayor Francisco Martins. In other words, make the main square and adjacent streets more appealing for people to enjoy a leisure walk along the riverside and admire the natural beauty the village has to offer.
The Rua Infante Santo that runs parallel with the main D. Leonor square as well as the Ponte dos Arquinhos bridge (the first that you see when you drive into the village from Parchal) are going to become totally pedestrianised, and the pavement will be uniform throughout. The riverside esplanades and grills will remain, as “visitors like to watch the show” of food being grilled against a riverside backdrop.
The area where fishermen tend to their fishing gear is also going to be reorganised and “blended in” with the urban landscape. The water channel, which is often dried up, is going to be “demolished, widened and renaturalised”, to make sure it always has water flowing. The banks are going to be “embellished” with grasses and trees to blend harmoniously into the surrounding area.
The road that enters Ferragudo from Parchal will become a one-way street, and all parking spaces will be removed to make way for wooden boardwalks. To exit the village towards Parchal, drivers will have to use Rua Zeca Afonso, on which the ACD cultural and sports centre is located, which will also become a one-way street.
Text: Michael Bruxo