A review of Praia da Luz (November 2021)

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 November 2021 review:

On a late November morning, I awoke to find that the world had been turned into glass. It appeared that life as I knew it had been paused. The sea lay dormant, reflecting the clouds like a gargantuan mirror, but it did so not out of choice but for fear of shattering into a millions pieces.

What little wind there was merely brushed against the decaying Autumnal leaves offering nothing more than a submissive whisper. The air felt crisp and cool and the birds stood muted, as if waiting for further instruction. The world, it seemed, had been suspended and no one had bothered to tell me. Either that or winter was on its way.

A ‘glassy’ November sea in front of Ocean Villas Luz

I decided to investigate further and view the monochrome world that had seemingly set in overnight. Reluctantly, I was forced to wear a woolly jumper, but I decided to go with shorts rather than trousers, my actions tainted with a mixture of stubbornness and blind hope. I wondered down through the Ocean Villas Luz gardens to get a better look at the vitreous sea that stretched out to the horizon.

It was a few minutes before 8am and there was not a soul to be seen. On one hand, I wanted to shout at the ocean to wake Mother Nature up from her vapid slumber, but on the other, I didn’t wish to be labelled as the man that shouts at oceans. Word travels fast in Praia da Luz. So, instead of remonstrating, I sat down on the rocks in my jumper and shorts, feeling neither warm nor cold and waited.

My patience was soon rewarded. A slither of sunshine appeared through a previously dense cloud, shining like an ocean spotlight in search of an aquatic criminal. The slither quickly broadened and the clouds began to disperse with astonishing rapidity. The transformation was remarkable. In a matter of minutes, the sky was blue. The previously silent birds began to tweet their morning song and I felt a reassuring breeze against my bare legs. The world had restarted.

An exceptional November low tide at the beach of Prainha

We all know about being caught in the eye of the storm, where everything takes on an eyrie calm before the high winds return to cause their havoc. But perhaps I was caught within the eye of the season? An interval – where autumn acknowledges that it’s time to yield to waiting winter. Well, perhaps not. But watching the seasonal transformation in front of Ocean Villas Luz merely added to the majesty of this mercurial, undomesticated part of Portugal. 

Regardless of my theory, winter is indeed coming, but it was a reminder that winter in the Algarve is, on the whole, a thoroughly agreeable season. On sunny afternoons (of which there are many), winter can feel like a distant memory as people live their days in shorts and t-shirts, basking with a slight smug satisfaction. 

As the sun begins to drop, so do the temperatures. But each villa and apartment at Ocean Villas Luz offers cosy log fires (and free logs) to keep us warm till the next sanguine sunrise.

November in Praia da Luz

I headed back up through the gardens towards the villas but was interrupted by a ‘Good morning – lovely day again’ from the voice of a passing stranger. Momentarily, I considered commenting on my ‘eye of the season’ experience but instead I echoed a cheerful reply. After all, it was indeed a lovely day.

I checked my watch – it was only 08:23, but it had already been an eventful morning. I had seen the world turn to glass, had coined a new expression and, just as important, I had decided that wearing shorts was a good idea and subsequently removed my woolly jumper. If you haven’t booked a winter stay at Ocean Villas Luz, may I recommend that you do so – just don’t forget your shorts!

More news next month.

David Lugg


(All photo images owned by David Lugg)

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