A review of Praia da Luz (August 2022)

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 August 2022 review:

The aim of a successful holiday is like watching the football highlights – you want to see as many of the best bits as you can whilst the boring parts are edited out. At the end of your trip, you can sit down and analyse the performance with photos, videos and such like. So, to continue this (wholly unnecessary) football analogy, allow me to introduce you to the first (and thankfully only) edition of ‘Win or Luz’.

I’ve narrowed the highlights of a successful holiday down to five categories. Let’s Put Praia da Luz to the test.

The neighbouring beach of Prainha

1) Location – I am often asked if Luz is close to the airport which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing. But upon reflection, my answer is usually ‘close enough’. It’s far enough away to put off mass tourism but close enough (1 hour) that you never feel like it’s a long slog after a flight. What’re more, as Luz is not on the train network or the mainline bus route, it remains a secret little haven that you want to keep to yourself. This is probably why Luz has an aura that very few Algarve towns can rival.

2) Natural Beauty – With its two vanilla-coloured beaches, there is no doubt that the beauty of the town has few parallels within Portugal or indeed within Europe. Fringed by palm trees and surrounded by rolling hills, the setting is breathtaking. Add in some extraordinary all-year-round flora and fauna and we have a winning combination.

3) Hospitality – There’s a lovely community spirit in the town with a cordial blend of locals, expats and tourists. A recent survey by the InterNations Expat Insider rated Portugal to be the friendliest country in Europe. The locals were also rated as the kindest. Thankfully, there was nothing on the list about speed of supermarket queues or driving standards but, in terms of hospitality, it’s another goal for Luz.

Fortaleza da Luz

4) Entertainment – Okay, I admit it, the theatre scene doesn’t compare to London’s west end but on the other hand, I wouldn’t go to London with the aim of a refreshing swim. Where Luz succeeds is in its consistent high standards and quality – it excels in being the best it can be. I have travelled extensively throughout the Algarve and I firmly believe that the standard of restaurants is higher than in any other town in the region.

5) Activities/Attractions – This is where Luz comes into its own. The coastal paths to Burgau and Porto de Mos offer stunning perspectives of some of the prettiest scenery in the region. Then of course there’s boat trips and watersports and cycle paths and surfing. There’s a zoo just up the road and a plethora of golf courses as well as stables for horse riding. You don’t have to go too far to find waterparks and vineyards and skydiving.  

Sunset over Ocean Villas Luz

The more critical eye might suggest that I have slanted the categories in favour of Praia da Luz, but it begs the question of what is most important when it comes to a holiday? Most of us would put ‘location, beauty and things to do’ as the three most important factors. But there are plenty of other facets. if you’re an historian, we have the marvellous cities of Lagos and Silves within a short drive, both of which have excellent museums.  Are you looking for bars and nightlife? Yep, round the corner in Lagos. Praia da Luz is a big winner in so many ways.

To borrow football parlance one final time, the summer has been a game of two halves. The vibrant days of August are now beyond us, leaving a far more tranquil September. Set yourself a goal and create your own highlights.

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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