PRAIA DA LUZ
To the west of Luz, there are Megaliths dating back to the Neolythic period. In Espiche an axe from the iron age was found and in Luz there are still The Roman remains of a small aquaduct, a spa and fish salting tanks. The Parish of Luz dates back to the 13th Century.
The Church was built in 1521 whilst The Fortaleza dates back to 1575. In 1755 an earthquake and tsunami badly damaged the Church. In the 19th Century, there was a thriving tuna fishing industry and canning factory (now The Fabrica Restaurant). Tourism only came to Luz in the late sixties with the building of the The Luz Bay Club followed by The Ocean Club.
Praia da Luz is located in the Western Algarve, one hour west of Faro airport. It is sandwiched between the towns of Lagos (6km) and Burgau (5km) and is ideally situated for exploring the best sights of the region.
The wild, untamed west coast is only a 25 minute drive, whilst the forested mountains of the Serra de Monchique are little more than half an hour away.
If driving from Lisbon, then the quickest route is down the E1 road which takes around 2 and a half hours.
SIGHTS OF LUZ
CHURCH OF NOSSA SENHORA DA LUZ
The medieval Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz (dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Light’) was built around 1521. As a result of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake it was badly damaged and its restoration in 1874 was funded by local contributions.
In the 20th century a violent storm and the 1969 earthquake caused similar damage to the church body. There is a weekly services in English and everyone is welcome to worship at the Church.
The Fort (Fortaleza)
The Fortaleza is thought to have been built around 1575. The fort was in military use until 1849 and was immensely important to the security of Lagos and the surrounding area. It was auctioned off by the government in 1894 .
Nowadays it is a private residence and restaurant with exotic gardens overlooking the sea. It is a great favourite for weddings and Sunday Jazz buffet lunches.
Tucked away through a small gate in the wall on Avenida dos Pescadores – (The Promenade) is the entrance to an important archaeological discovery of a Roman spa and fish salting tanks.
The ruins date between the 3rd and 5th centuries but there is a suggestion that the origins are Carthaginian and are hundreds of years older but were updated later by the Romans.
Entry is Free to the public daily from 10.00 – 17.00.
The remnants of a small Roman Aquaduct can be seen half way down Rua do Poco now set in small landscaped gardens.
Walks from Luz
Luz to Porto do Mos (approx 90 minutes)
Make your way up the steep pathway to the monument at 109 metres. Good footwear is a must. Follow the cliff path 3 km eastwards to Porto do Mos beach. A bus can take you back to Luz. The headland of Ponta da Piedade is a further 3km away.
Luz to Burgau (approx 60 minutes)
Follow the undulating path westwards where you will pass pretty unspoilt coves as you search for dolphins. The old fishing village of Burgau is around 5km away and has a pretty beach and a range of bars and restaurants. There is a bus link to Luz.