PRAIA DA LUZ
Praia da Luz is a popular holiday destination, which is located 6 kilometres west of Lagos. The name Praia da Luz refers to both the beach and its nearby village. Praia da Luz is also known as Luz de Lagos or Vila da Luz. Literally, Praia da Luz means the beach of light. Although Luz can be pretty lively during the summer, it is less crowded than some of the other hotspots of the Algarve. The beach is popular among families and tourists.
The beach of Praia da Luz has fine sand, which has a yellow colour. It is very nice to walk on it. The sea is calm and shallow and the water is clean. It gets deeper only slowly, which makes this beach perfect for families with small children.
The beach is quite popular during the busy summer months. You will see many families and tourists from all around the world, but especially from the UK. If you prefer more privacy however, you can go to Prainha or walk towards the black rock. The more you walk to the big black rock on the eastern side of the beach, the quieter it will become.
On the western side of the beach (the right side when looking at the sea) you can find a rocky area and a cove with a separate small but lovely beach. This beach is called Prainha (translated as small beach). Prainha is much more quiet than Praia da Luz. Behind Prainha you can find the fort of Luz.
Swimming in the water of Prainha is very nice, since the water is calm and transparent. You can find rock pools here as well. However, when swimming here, watch out for the rocks in the sea.
Behind the beach you can find a nice promenade. Along this boulevard you can find plenty of bars, shops and restaurants. Sometimes you can also find small stands here, where you can buy handicrafts or jewellery.
Black rock and cliff views
On the eastern side of the beach there is a big rock, which is referred to as rocha negra, or the black rock. This is the most unique feature of Praia da Luz. The black rock was formed about 150 million years ago, by lava from volcanoes near Monchique. Nowadays there are no active volcanoes anymore in the Algarve.
You can hike up the black rock, but beware that can be quite challenging. Make sure to wear good walking shoes and bring plenty of water. When you finally reached the top, you have a great view over Praia da Luz and the Atlantic Ocean.
The sunset at Praia da Luz is really beautiful. Don’t miss it. The best place to see the sunset is from either the beach or from the top of the black rock.
There are several water sports available on-site, which are offered by Beach Hut Watersports. On Praia da Luz you can find:
- Jet skiing
- Stand-up paddle boarding
- Water skiing
Praia da Luz is a nice place to have a beach walk after lunch. Although the beach is not very big, it still makes for a nice walk.
From Praia da Luz there are also walking trails to Praia de Porto de Mós and towards Sagres. These are great walks up along the cliffs. When walking here, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery around this area.
Luz used to be a small fishing village, but has focused on tourism since the second half of the 20th century. The village currently has a population of around 3500 people. It is a relatively calm town, with a relaxed atmosphere. If you are looking for hardcore party nightlife, you won’t find it here. Then it is better to go to Albufeira or Portimão. However, the village of Luz has everything you need for a great holiday in the Algarve.
When you are visiting Praia da Luz, make sure to check out the following points of interest in the village.
Make sure to check out the local church, called the Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. This church was built in 1521, but was heavily damaged during the earthquake of 1755. It has been restored in 1874.
There is a small fort in the town of Luz, which dates back to the 17th century. Hundreds of years ago, this fort was used to defend the town against attacks from pirates. Nowadays this fort has been turned into a restaurant. The restaurant also has a lovely garden outside, with great views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You can reach it directly from the promenade.
There are actually some Roman ruins just behind the promenade. You can find them by going through a door in the wall next to the boulevard. The ruins date from the third to fifth century.
If you like to play golf, there is a golf course near Praia da Luz, called Boavista. This 18 hole, par 71 course has some interesting holes. The golf course provides nice views over the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by pine, fig, palm and olive trees.