Praia da Luz, located 1 hour or 100 km west of the airport of Faro, was originally a traditional fishing village. It is the largest of a triad of fishing villages between Lagos and Sagres, and has transformed itself into one of the most desirable small town or large coastal villages in the Algarve. Initially a firm favourite of the English ex-patriot community, recent years have seen the arrival of residents and visitors from multiple countries, and it currently is one of the, if not the, most multinational locations in the region, by population size.
There are lots of restaurants, cafés and shops along the promenade, which runs behind the beach. Inside the town itself and spread around the main street or Rua Direita, visitors and residents will find two large supermarkets, a pharmacy, cafés and take-away restaurants, bakeries, and a range of other expected amenities, including a store selling alternative and organic food products.
The ruins of Roman baths dating back to the 3rd to 5th century A.D add a touch of history to an increasingly contemporary town, and prove that the preservation of the historical is still possible despite the land on which the ruins are located being prime real estate property. The beach itself is fully accessible, one of the first to be so in the Algarve and access does not involve any stairs. A modern beach restaurant and lifeguards in the summer, plus a large flat sandy beach mean that contact with the ocean is easy.
It is easy to see why Praia da Luz has been popular as a holiday destination, and it has slowly transformed itself into a winter residence for the retiree market. Much of this has occurred not only due to the unique location and amenities but because of the development, prior to the crisis, of integrated resorts which have had a broad appeal due to their contemporary design, their on-site services and amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, spa and treatment rooms, on-site restaurant and reception. This service-led model has driven other projects to seek to improve their customer focus and to cater for an increasingly demanding, yet not excessively sophisticated market.
The immediate result has been the increase in demand, which has outstripped supply, the increase in property values and a sustained lack of longer-term rental options. While talk of new hotels has been discussed for some time, no new developments are currently forecast, partly because suitable sites are rare. In fact, some of the suitable sites were previously owned by developers who experienced difficulties during the 2008-9 financial crisis.
Luz Living will be contributing to the improvement of the infrastructure of the village of Luz, bringing the long-overdue introduction of a small roundabout at the entrance to the village, as well as organising the parking situation around the town’s entrance.