It may be a neighbouring parish of the larger Lagos, but Praia Da Luz has an identity very much of its own. The area has been shaped by numerous cultures over thousands of years, with its Neolithic, Roman and Moorish history all evident. More recently, it was known as a small fishing village on Portugal’s pretty Algarve coast.
Today, Praia da Luz is a favourite amongst English holidaymakers looking for a resort with a prime coastal location, a multitude of activities on offer and its beautiful and interesting topography. The promenade running behind the beach offers a selection of restaurants, bars and cafes. Just behind the walls, historic Roman baths are waiting to be discovered.
The name of the resort translates as ‘beach of light’, which should give you some idea of what to expect in terms of sunshine if you take up cheap Praia da Luz holidays. In midsummer, holidaymakers can expect a good 11 hours of warm sun and temperatures remain mild in the winter.
The mountainous topography of the region helps Praia da Luz to maintain its warmth from December to February, but the breeze coming in from the Mediterranean means that summer days remain pleasantly fresh.
Praia de Luz is a quiet beach resort, for those looking for peace and relaxation. The Blue Flag beach of Praia da Luz is a sheltered spot, popular with holidaymakers in the Algarve. “Black Rock” at the eastern end of Luz Bay, provides a dramatic backdrop to the beach and towards the western end, rock pools provide the perfect place for families to explore.
For energetic types, watersports are available in the summer or, alternatively, you could just relax on the fine white sand and enjoy the sun.
Behind the pedestrianised promenade are the remains of a 17th Century Roman Bath which gives an insight in Praia da Luz’s history. Also along the promenade are market stalls and local artists selling their art. Further into town is Igreja da Luz Lagos, a pretty whitewashed and yellow-painted church which stands in the central square.
Praia da Luz is a fine place to head to for golf and walking opportunities, because the climate and terrain lends itself well to outdoor pursuits.
A short journey to Lagos can keep the kids entertained, as they meet the animals at the town’s zoo, which is open all year round. Heading further west, a drive to Sagres offers a great day out if you have access to a car. Often dubbed ‘the end of the world’, its location right at the southwestern tip of the Iberian Peninsula means that those who make the trip are rewarded with awe-inspiring views.
Like most of Southern Portugal, Praia da Luz is known for its Mediterranean diet and locally sourced ingredients, with fishing at the heart of it. In particular, the place is known for octopus potting, which may interest the visitor looking to try something rarely seen on British menus. Often served with tomatoes or white wine sauce, octopus is an acquired taste, but one savoured by many.
If the tentacles don’t tempt you, consider trying out some of the English and Irish-themed pubs in the area for some home comforts, and there is a selection of Italian and Chinese options on your doorstep too.
The palm tree-lined promenade of Praia da Luz is an ideal place to dine during the day. Restaurants and cafes border this pretty area and serve anything. For an extra special evening, the fortress at the western end of Luz Bay is actually a restaurant where guests can dine in an ancient building and enjoy a glass of sweet Port Wine – a Portuguese speciality!
Though the resort is heavily oriented on families, there are smatterings of bars and clubs to keep people entertained without venturing too far away. If you would like to make a real night of it, it might be a good idea to head over to nearby Lagos, which offers greater variety and later closing hours.