A review of 2021 in Praia da Luz

The view of the sunset on the rocks in front of ocean villa luz

A brief recap: Since arriving at Ocean Villas Luz in August 2020, our resident writer David Lugg has been experiencing all aspects of Luz Life. This is his December 2021 review:

Did 2021 fly by really quickly for you or did it drag its feet? I can’t quite figure it out. During lockdown at the start of the year, time seemed to move excruciatingly slowly, but on the other hand, i’m pretty sure that July only lasted for about half an hour. And as for September, did we skip it this year? Let’s have a brief recap and find out.

January began with no more than a feeble whimper. There were several travel restrictions in place and the weather was unusually cold. This was my first winter of residence in the Algarve and people would continually remind me of how “it was not usually like this”. At first, I tutted and laughed away the comments but by the end of February I had become a little frustrated. The world seemed to have stagnated. “It’s not usually like this” offered someone new. I ignored them.

Algarve in the winter is quiet and beautiful on the beaches
The Algarve was quiet at the start of the year

Thankfully, by mid-March the sunny days had begun to return. The same people proceeded to tell me how the weather was now back to normal, but I wasn’t really listening as I was too busy enjoying the best of what the Algarve has to offer – lots of wine. No, i’m joking (kind of)…it was the Algarve spring at its magnificent best. And what a spring it was!

I don’t believe in any kind of geographical utopia as nowhere is truly perfect, but spring here is something to behold. The Algarve becomes a theatre of colour where an abundance of spring flowers takes centre stage. If you take the trouble to head inland then this frenzy of floral fireworks becomes even more impressive – the kaleidoscopic explosion of colour is like nothing else that I have witnessed in Europe. It really is spectacular. 

The birds too play their part, the region being a breeding ground for some extraordinary species of all size and colour. Add in a cliff-top walk or a stroll on the beach and The Algarve must rank as one of Europe’s great spring destinations. Spring was also the time when the bars and restaurants re-opened after lockdown and the air was filled with a forgotten old friend called optimism.

The spectacular flora in pink at Ocean Villas Luz
The flora at Ocean Villas Luz

The summer arrived and with it came the tourists – seemingly the entire population of the Netherlands had booked to arrive on the same day.  Luz was briefly turned into Little Amsterdam, the cheerful sing-song accent of the Dutch providing a welcome, ubiquitous sound. Other nations soon followed when they remembered how safe and friendly the town truly is.

Autumn officially began but you wouldn’t know it as the glorious weather continued to provide us with all the delights of summer. The town remained busy with proprietors commenting that it was their best ever Autumn. Perhaps that’s why September seemed to disappear from the calendar last year – we had four continuous months of August.  

The aerial view of the main beach at Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal
We’ll see you in Praia da Luz for more of this in 2022

In normal years, this might have been an arduous, even exhausting season, but after the first few months where every day was cool and a little ghostly, the sight and sound of happy people gave everyone the necessary impetus to continue. That said, come November, the entire town took a collective sigh of relief as the elongated season finally came to a close. Mercifully, the sun was munificent and shone for the entire month and those lucky enough to spend Christmas in Luz were treated to temperatures of up to 21 degrees.

2021 certainly wasn’t a typical year but as the fine folk of Luz will tell you – “it’s not normally like this”. I have no doubt that 2022 in Praia da Luz will be a cracker. Thank you for taking the time to read my monthly blogs – it’s only a bit of fun but many of you have mentioned to me how they are a welcome reminder about a town that so many of you love. Happy new year one and all – I hope to see you at Ocean Villas Luz very soon.

More news next month

David Lugg



(All photo images owned by David Lugg)

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