We chose to stay in the area of Praia da Luz during our Algarve holiday because of many of the towns and villages in the area, Praia da Luz was on the smaller side and felt slightly less touristy than many of the other areas we’d looked at. It’s on the western side of the Algarve so a good distance from Faro Airport and we figured many who are here on holiday may not want to drive the extra distance to get here.
I think we were right. Yes, Praia da Luz is definitely a British expat haven. Everyone here speaks English which after living in another language the last 6 years is always a nice bonus. So culturally, Praia da Luz doesn’t really feel Portuguese. But nor does it have the feel of the larger towns that we’ve explored. It has it’s own slower pace of life here. Though if it weren’t for the palm trees and typical Algarve homes, I would swear that I was in England at times. But that’s ok as the second part of our holiday is up further north in Aveiro and we’ll get our taste of the culture up there.
The house we rented was in Reserva da Luz, an exclusive area with most homes fenced in on a decent sized plot of land, all overlooking the Atlantic with loads of privacy. It took us less than 10 minutes to drive / 20 minutes to walk into town from here so it’s a bit of the best of both worlds.
Liam and I spent one morning exploring the walking route to get to town. Apparently you can take the street route or do what we did which was follow a tiny little path along the water (cliff)’s edge. I have no idea what might have lived in the bushes that brushed along the path, but I tried not to think about it as we walked along.
Even in the shoulder season, Luz has many stores and restaurants already open. In fact, many of them stay open most of the year. In town, there is a cute boardwalk that reminds me of the streets of Lisbon (in fact, in many towns we noticed that) with it’s black and white stones lining the walkway.
The boardwalk is lined with restaurants and palm trees, all with views on to the Atlantic Ocean. I should note that the Algarve is known for it’s beautiful beaches, many with these crazy cliffs. The ones in Praia da Luz paled in comparison to some of the ones we saw during the week, but we’ll get to those later. But even with the other ones to still see, these ones certainly held their own magnificence!
We spent a lot of time exploring the rocks along the boardwalk, with Liam enjoying using the “force” to get the water to crash over them 😉 Aidan loved skipping rocks and just exploring all the nooks and crannies that the rocks had to offer.
But we also spent time at the beach here in Praia da Luz. Being the shoulder season, it was nice and quiet, though that also meant the water was a tad bit chilly since the air temps were only in the early 70s! Liam was not happy about that as he’d been planning on whiling away the days in the water while we were in Portugal.
All in all, Praia da Luz was perfect for our family. No more than an hour’s drive to anywhere in the Algarve to go exploring, lots of privacy, quiet beaches, great restaurants and beautiful beaches to walk along. I would definitely recommend this pretty beach town to any family looking to relax along the Algarve coast!
Knuffels en kussen,