Praia da Luz (now Vila da Luz)
Praia da Luz has evidence of Roman occupation and was probably settled long before the Romans by those seeking a living from the sea and the fertile river valleys of the Western Algarve.
Situated only 6 km from the historic town, and one time capital of the Algarve, Lagos, the village today still boasts a cobbled main street and a local population following traditional occupations.
Although tourism plays a large part in the local economy, the village is largely unspoilt with few high rise apartments and just one hotel on the outskirts. The village is well kept with small houses painted in white whose gardens overflow with oleander, hibiscus, geraniums, bougainvillea and fragrant jasmine and gardenias. Palms, almonds, orange and lemons trees grow in abundance and support a wild bird population of great variety.
Luz’s south facing golden sand beach with its famous “black rock” (basalt – ancient volcanic origin), fossil bearing cliffs, flat rocks and rock pools offers something for everyone. The beach is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs alike and beach bars can be approached from the traffic free promenade and the sand. In summer the beach offers sun umbrellas, chairs, water skiing, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, and “banana rides”. In winter the beach is truly magnificent in its natural state.
The village itself has all the facilities you may need and boasts four supermarkets offering local, and a vast range of international goods.
You will be able to buy locally everything you could possibly need from nappies to fois gras, and you will recognise a good many of your favourite brands on the supermarket shelves. (Should the local supermarkets fail you, even bigger supermarkets are available within fifteen minutes drive).
The village has a pharmacy, doctor, dentist, optician, bank, post office, hairdresser, laundry/dry cleaning service and a church offering Catholic and Anglican services. It has newsagents, tobacconists, souvenir and local craft shops, restaurants, cafes and bars to suit every taste and pocket.
Praia da Luz also boasts a night club and a local cinema (open evenings) showing the latest films in the original language, but these, along with the restaurants and bars, are the extent the of “night life” available in the village. In short, a very sophisticated but unspoilt gem of the Algarve.
Lagos has a greater range of evening activities and is easily and cheaply accessible by taxi.