Luz, Algarve Travel Guide
- Peaceful beachside town with family-friendly vibe
- Lovely seaside promenade lined with outdoor cafes and tourist shops
- Massive beach means lots of space to spread out (not always common in the Algarve)
- Great for self-catering and long-stay travelers
- Popular with mature couples and groups of friends
- A number of casual restaurants throughout town
- Easy 15-minute drives into charming, historic Lagos
- Parts of town can feel essentially abandoned in low season
- Not the right choice for young partiers
What It's Like
With its pretty beach, bustling seaside promenade, and solid selection of dining options, Luz has what many beachseekers want in a vacation. Whitewashed buildings sit alongside winding streets, and there are a few local flourishes in the style around town, but by and large Luz will feel familiar to travelers who have visited seasonal beach towns the world over. By day -- and in high season -- the streets near the beach come alive with mature travelers and families, including a mix of international tourists and local residents. In low season, though, the vibe is altogether sleepy and parts of town can feel essentially abandoned.
Luz makes an ideal getaway for travelers who want lots of beach time and sun without the loud parties and crowds found in Albufeira. In fact, it's the kind of place where retirees post up throughout the duration of the cold winters found in northern Europe. This isn't exactly a big-ticket destination in the Algarve region, though it can be a convenient base for visiting Lagos (which is only a 15- to 20-minute drive away). As the town is almost exclusively visited by British travelers, you can expect English to be widely spoken.
The highlight in Luz is two-fold: the beach and the beachside promenade. The former is one of the largest in the Algarve region, meaning that there's plenty of space for families to spread out without feeling crowded. Behind the beach is the pretty promenade, where lovely cafes are lined up with prime views across the sand to striking cliff headland. In town, there are a few historic sights that nod to the region's past, including a small well-preserved fort, Roman ruins, and a 16th-century church.
Where to Stay
Lodging options in Luz mostly consist of aparthotels that are geared toward self-catering travelers. They pack the streets around the town center, and most have a quiet, sedate vibe. Closer to the beach and behind the promenade are a handful of mid-range properties, many of which overlook the pretty golden sands nearby. There's really not much difference between the two areas in terms of vibe or convenience, as Luz is generally small enough to walk to the beach, even from the more outlying hotels. Keep in mind that the town is moderately hilly, so those with mobility issues will want to consider options along the beach and to the east of the center.