Praia da Luz
Praia da Luz is another Algarve resort that has seen much development in recent years and it has become a firm favorite for the English ex-patriot community. 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 variety of villa areas and only a handful of apartment blocks which are all just a few stories high. 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. Surprisingly, 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.
It is easy to see why Praia da Luz is so popular, the village has everything you need - a lovely beach; lots of restaurants, bars and cafés; a bank, shops for everything you are likely to need and all in a very attractive setting.
There are several mini-mercados 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.
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!
For golfers within a 10 minute drive from Praia da Luz you will find 3 golf-courses. To the west you have Parque de Floresta golfcourse, on your way to Lagos you will pass Boavista Golfresort en just north of Espiche there is the recently opened Espiche golf course.
Lagos is well worth to visit 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 center on the other. There are restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and a lot of them have fantastic views across Lagos Bay.