West Algarve

Praia da Luz

Praia da Luz is a resort in the Algarve that has been popular with holiday makers from all over Europe, and indeed the world for many years. It has retained its appeal and attractiveness by being held to a relatively low-rise landscape. A lot of the development has gone to the west of Praia da Luz, but it now boasts a wide selection of accommodation, with several hotels in the central hub of the village and many private holiday rentals. Despite its growth, much of Praia da Luz accommodation is easily accessible and within walking distance of the town and the beautiful beach, whose bay is sheltered by the 'Black Rock'.

There are lots of restaurants, cafés and shops along the promenade, which runs behind the beach. There are also all sorts of market stalls and artists displaying their work where you can browse if you want a break from the beach. There are also some ruins of Roman baths from 3rd to 5th century A.D just behind the wall that runs along the promenade. There is a door in the wall which is open from 10am to 5pm every day and just up the steps are the remains of Roman baths. Luckily this last piece of history was saved from the developers and preserved and is now overlooked by modern villas.

There are several mini-mercados (including a Spar) and a main supermarket ('Baptista') for your everyday needs and also a good shop selling natural products and all those alternative food products you thought you wouldn't be able to find; but if there is anything else you need, Lagos is around a 10-minute drive away. There is also a regular bus service.

Praia da Luz is an excellent family resort and you really don't need to travel further afield, but there are other fun things for families to do close at hand. Lagos Zoo is only a short drive away and it concentrates on smaller animals (the monkey islands are brilliant!) and birds and is ideal for an afternoon out. It's not too big, so not overly tiring for young children and also has a 'pets corner' which is very popular with 'children' of all ages!

Slide and Splash at Lagoa is the nearest water park for somewhere to cool off on those hot summer days and Zoomarine at Guia (near Albufeira) although a little further away, (about a forty minute drive) is another great family day out - take your swimsuits as there are pools as well. Going west towards Sagres, there is a Blo karting track just beside the N125 past Vila do Bispo and of course there are always the more exposed beaches of the western Atlantic coast around Sagres for surfing.

It is well worth a day out in Lagos as it is so close and one of the most attractive towns in the Algarve. The main avenue runs the length of the town with the marina and town beach on one side and the cobbled squares and streets that make up Lagos town centre on the other. There are restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and a lot of them have fantastic views across Lagos Bay. Lagos also has plenty of shops to tempt you and a splendid fish market which is open in the mornings. It is also a town with history - the narrow streets of the old centre are still ringed by 15th century defensive walls and a fort still 'guards' the entrance to the harbour. Take your beach gear with you as there are plenty of beaches to choose from - whether you fancy secluded, cove beaches with calm clear waters ideal for swimming, or the 4km long stretch of golden sand around the bay, Meia Praia which doesn't get crowded even at the height of summer.