A review of Praia da Luz (April 2023)

A brief recap: Since arriving at Ocean Villas Luz in August 2020, resident writer David Lugg has been experiencing all aspects of Luz Life. This is his April 2023 review:

As it does each year, spring provided us with a much-needed wake up call. The towns and villages of the Algarve have seen increased numbers of people as the tourist season has begun in earnest. But, it’s not just the beaches that are teeming with life. Spring has also provided us with some spectacular wildlife. If you find yourself away from the clamour of the tourist hotspots, you don’t have to wait too long before you encounter something multi-coloured or multi-legged.

Just this week alone, Ocean Villas has played host to a rather elegant ‘cattle egret’, a handful of ‘Iberian magpies’ and a friendly ‘cricket’ who was about the size of a cricket bat. Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but let’s just say that he definitely had a healthy appetite. We also had a pod of dolphins passing in front of the Ocean Villas gardens. Not that I saw them as dolphins always seem to know when I take my lunch break before making an appearance. There have been scores of dolphin sightings from guests sitting on the balcony – most of which when I was off having a sandwich.

Our secret beach of Prainha

Other spring sightings include a wild boar that merrily made his way down through the streets of Luz and a family of little hedgehogs out snuffling for food. And I’ll never forget the day when an enormous griffon vulture soared past my head like an avian jumbo jet. He was genuinely bigger than a cricket bat. The wingspan of these beautiful creatures can reach up to an astonishing 2.8 metres.

Further afield, the Algarve is home to the wonderful Iberian Lynx. Only a small number are living in the wild, but there is a marvellous breeding centre that, for the past eight years, is doing its upmost to reintroduce the animal to the region. Add in that the Algarve is an important breeding ground for chameleons, flamingos and dozens of exotic birds. Seriously folks, cancel your African safari plans and come to Praia da Luz. It’s as wild as it is wonderful.

Take a boat trip passed our gardens

There are, of course, plenty of not-so-exotic animals that deserve just as much love and attention. Ocean Villas recently donated around twenty blankets to the Cadela Carlota dog shelter near Lagos and I popped along to see it in person. The team at the shelter have been doing a fabulous job of looking after abandoned dogs and cats for the past fifteen years. The love and care the animals receive is wonderful and I urge you to sponsor, volunteer or make a donation to this great cause. (www.cadela-carlota.com)

Back in Luz, those other loveable animals – humans – have also stirred from their seasonal slumber. The town is now buzzing with its usual ebullient mix of bars, restaurants and music. The sound of merriment echoes through the streets as people trade stories about how nice it is to be back in the town. Not a day goes past without a new guest describing how much winter rain or snow they have had. But through their despairing tones, what I see is an over-riding sense of joy, perhaps even relief that they are finally here.

Some of our local animal friends – dogs, egret and cricket

Finally for this month, regular readers will remember that last year, I released an E.P with my band Division Code.  Well, now we have a new single out and even a new video. Don’t worry, the fame hasn’t gone to my head yet. – I’m still waiting for my first million euro pay cheque. Until that day arrives, you can rest assured that I will provide you with plenty of Luz updates. But, if you do get a moment, please kindly have a listen to us on Spotify – and have a watch of the video (links below).

Righto, I must be off. It’s time for some lunch – no doubt, a hundred dolphins will perform a tap dance routine in my absence.

Division Code Spotify Link:

Division Code Video:


More news next month.

David Lugg
#oceanvillasluz #davidluggwriter
(All photo images owned by David Lugg)

Previous blogs can be viewed HERE

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