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 May 2022 review:
I recently wrote about the thriving art scene that exists in the western Algarve – and we are all better off for its very existence. But there are many other facets that encompass the Algarve’s diverse personality – many of which are little known by those who visit her.
If you think of the Algarve, you will probably conjure up images of golden beaches and cerulean seas. But what if I told you that the Algarve is the perfect place for action and adventure? At this point, you may well have added a golf course into your mental image – and you would be forgiven as I’m sure most people would share that view. But there is a lot more to this region and I’m here to set the record straight.
Did you know, for instance, that the Algarve is home to a Portuguese Premier League football team? Portimonense have just completed another successful season by comfortably finishing in mid-table and reaching the quarter finals of the national cup. The Algarve can also boast an excellent women’s team – Guia FCF – who mirrored their male counterparts by reaching the quarter finals of the national cup competition.
Despite its role as the nation’s favourite sport, it’s not just football that excels in this region. Just to the north of Portimão you will find one of Europe’s leading motorsport tracks. I recently had the pleasure of watching Lewis Hamilton and co, as well as the World Superbikes. To see it live is really something special. They are extraordinary people – also insane, but definitely extraordinary.
You might also be surprised to hear that there is a small but exciting rugby scene. Last month, Loulé rugby club achieved an historic promotion to National Division One by winning the play-off final in Lisbon. Basketball is popular too – ‘Immortal’ (of Albufeira) have just achieved promotion to the elite league of women’s basketball by winning the division one championship.
If you prefer your action at sea, then you will no doubt take pleasure from world championship sailing events in Lagos, or the marvellous Alvor lagoon which is home to world-class kitesurfing. Let’s not forget that the western Algarve has superb conditions for surfing all year round. The untamed, spectacular west coast is only a 25-minute drive from Praia da Luz.
Within the vicinity of Luz, there is also archery, mountain biking, tennis, padel, bowls, netball, water-skiing, hiking, paddle-boarding, yoga, horse-riding, golf, scuba diving, wakeboarding, kayaking and much more. Little Johnny (my generic name for any teenager) need never be bored on a holiday to Praia da Luz.
As I write this, I am conscious that I am alienating those with little or no interest in adventurous activity, so to offer some balance, the following paragraph is especially for you:
On Sunday, I took a gentle stroll down to the beach. The sun shone with an enthusiastic zeal that felt glorious on my skin. The sea glistened like a million diamonds and the air was filled with soft echoes from the anticipation of the summer ahead. I lay on the fine creamy sands of Praia da Luz and closed my eyes. How marvellous it was to do nothing but breathe in the sea air and enjoy the solitude.
There we go – balance restored! At this point, you’re possibly wandering what the moral is from this month’s blog? Simply put, Praia da Luz has far more to offer than most people’s preconceptions. Whether you come to catch some waves or just catch up on some sleep, the western Algarve can be action-packed or packed full of places to relax. Okay, enough action…I’m going back to the beach – sometimes it’s best to stick to what you know.
More news next month.
(All photo images owned by David Lugg)