Yet another warm, sunny morning so after breakfast we wandered over to the nearby Lagos bus station about five minutes walk away to take a 20 minute journey in a westerly direction to Praia da Luz. Tickets are very cheap on the Onda local service costing €1.60 for an adult single journey payable from the driver and it was not long before we were alighting in the centre of Luz.
Our first stop was at the medieval church of Our Lady of the Light originally constructed in 1521 but as a result of earthquakes both in 1755 and 1969 the body of the church had to be rebuilt twice. Interestingly, the church belongs to the Portuguese Roman Catholic Church but each Sunday after their morning service has finished it is used by St. Vincent’s Anglican congregation who hold Church of England services in English for the expatriate community.
It was interesting to look inside the church viewing its ornate altar. At the rear of the church is a small, two row gallery for the choir to sit. Across the road from the church lies the Fortaleza which was built as a fortification around 1575 and continued to be used by the military until 1849. Nowadays it’s a private residence and restaurant popular as a wedding venue.
Continuing a short distance we arrived along the seafront. The wide, sweeping bay extendis eastwards with a gently sloping sandy beach. Strolling along the wavy mosaic tiled promenade lined with palm trees we found Praia da Luz to have a refined air. Inviting small bars and cafes with jaunty coloured parasols stand side by side along the waterfront and though off season, they all seemed to be doing a steady trade of mid morning drinks and snacks.
Before stopping for a drink ourselves we took a walk along the beach using the boardwalk paths provided. I wish more resorts would have these across the beach as it makes it much easier to walk on and avoids having to remove your shoes to shake out the soft sand afterwards.
After enjoying our morning cappuccinos we retraced our steps back to the church and then continued along the seafront in a westerly direction. It’s more residential along here with low rise apartments and small whitewashed houses overlooking the bay. For autumn, the gardens were ablaze with colour, Oleander, Bougainvillea and Hibiscus all still in full bloom outside many of the homes we passed.
Taking the coastal path to its end, we headed back into town along the narrow, cobbled streets. Praia da Luz isn’t very large and has only a few shops but it makes a pleasant outing from nearby Lagos. The return bus was on time and after having a late lunch in one of the bars in Lagos we returned to our hotel spending the remainder of the afternoon relaxing by the pool catching up on the news on our iPads. The hotel’s wi-fi is very strong and can be accessed from any part of this large complex, even working well round the pool which is more than can be said for the plumbing as the water pressure varies greatly in our room, sometimes down to a trickle! We reported it and a handyman came to inspect but it seems to be an ongoing problem which hadn’t been resolved.
Later, we ate out in the old town and then had a short walk by the marina before returning to our hotel room, spending a short time planning tomorrow’s activities before getting ready for bed.