A Complete Guide to Praia da Luz, The Algarve

~ Praia da Luz Holiday Information ~ Luz Services ~ Luz Shops ~ Luz Bars ~ Luz Cafes ~ Luz Restaurants ~ Luz Property ~ Luz Accomodation ~ Luz Photographs - Luz Directions ~ luz Supermarkets ~

Praia da Luz Guide

Luz Services & Facilities
Luz Holiday Information
The Algarve, Portugal

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Praia da Luz Services, Praia da Luz Facilities, Praia da Luz Utilities

Luz Services, Luz Facilities & Luz Utilities

Praia da Luz Services - Praia da Luz Facilities - Praia da Luz UtilitiesThis page is a collection of Services, Facilities and Utilities information I have found for Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal.
Some of the services that you may find useful may not yet be present in Praia da Luz, so where possible I've given their nearest location ( which will usually be in the nearby town of Lagos ).

I review & update the entries on a pretty regular basis so it should be a fairly complete list, but I know there must be something I've missed, or has recently changed or probably just not found yet. Please let me know if there is anything you think is missing that should be included here.

A name crossed out on the map index indicates that the business has closed down but the reference has been left as an update for returning visitors who expected it to be still there. They will be removed / replaced after twelve months.

Any remarks included are my own views. So please let me know if you disagree or have any of your own you think I should include. Also, If you have found any of the contents of these pages useful please tell me so I can identify the areas to develop further. Thanks and I hope you enjoy your visit to the very special town of Praia da Luz.

 Update for 2012  Update for 2011 

 Update 2011   Prices in Portugal will remain pretty stable for 2011 as a result of an 'only slightly better' 2010 over the previous year ( 2009 ). However, a number of 'austerity' measures will be introduced during the year in order to cut deficits and lower spending. A number of obvious areas will be targeted fuel, alcohol, cigarettes etc... and the not so obvious such as road tolls and public transport fares and services. So things are still extremely tight, but as a result look out for those special offers as businesses compete for the fewer customers.

 Update 2012   Increases in prices for 2012 will, unlike 2011, be a lot higher and a lot more noticeable to the visitor as VAT rates climb to 23% in Restaurants and Cafes. Non-alcoholic drinks and frozen foods are also affected by the VAT increases.
Cuts to local and municipal spending have also been made, so it is likely some public services will be reduced.
Enough with the gloom, rest assured however tight times are it won't stop the sun from shining, the Algarve from being one of the best places to holiday and the Portuguese giving you the best they can manage.

Sections Menu Contents Menu

Map of Luz Services & Luz Facilities

By default the map is zoomed out to show as many locations as possible. Selecting from the index on the right or by clicking a marker link in the item details will give you a clearer map view.

Luz Doc
24 Hr Medical Centre.
[ Details ]
Luz Dent
[ Details ]
[ Details ]
Crédito Agricola
Bank &  ( External ) Cash Point
[ Details ]
Main Taxi Rank
If there are taxis to be had you'll find them here.
[ Details ]
Nossa Senhora da Luz
Main Church
[ Details ]
Open during normal business hours
[ Details ]
Papelaria da Luz
 04/08  Closed Down
[ Details ]
Public Telephones
[ Details ]
Baptista Supermarket
The largest in Luz
[ Details ]
Inside the arcade between the two cafes.
[ Details ]
Public Toilets
Inside the arcade between the two cafes.
[ Details ]
Public Telephones
[ Details ]
Car Park
Free to €1.50 All day depending on the season
[ Details ]
Bank and ( External ) ATM.
[ Details]
Post Office
Correios, Telegrafos e Telefones - C.T.T.
[ Details ]
Banco Espirito Santo
Lobby Service Cash point.
Rua 25 de Abril.
[ Details ]
British Consulate
Apartado 609,
Edificio A Fabrica,
Avenida Guanaré,
8501-915 Portimão 8500.
[ Details ]
Baptista Supermarket
Cash Point.
Not 24hrs.
[ Details ]
Mini Market
[ Details ]
Public Telephones
[ Details ]
Petrol Station
Nearest Petrol Station to Luz
[ Details ]
Bottled Gas supplies.
[ Details]
[ Details]
Bank & ( External ) ATM
[ Details]
Swimming Pool.
Vila Luz ApartHotel.
[ Details]
Law Office.
Artur Rego.
[ Details]
Fire Station.
Dial 112 from any phone box and the operator will connect you. Lagos.
[ Details]
Mini Supermarket
( Details )
Baptista II
Fish, Fruit and Vegetables.
Rua Direita.
( Details )
Popular with resident English.
( Details )
Information Booth
Summer only.
See Lagos for proper office.
( Details )
Tourist Office
Nearest to Luz.
( Details )

Click below on the
letter = the location
name = the details

Map links ( to the right of the map ) shown in maroon italic indicate the location is outside Luz.

Bank / ATM Newsagents Services Supermarkets

Details of Luz Services & Luz Facilities

If you have a Praia da Luz Service that you would like me to include here, or you would like me to edit your existing entry please send me the details.

Emergency Services

Emergency Telephone Numbers

( Emergência )
Dialling 112 from any phone box is the same as dialling 999 ( in the UK ) or 911 ( in the US ).
Just tell the operator which service you require. Police, Fire or Ambulance.


( Ambulância )

There is no station in Luz, the nearest being in Lagos - 10 to 20 minutes.
However, see the 24Hr Medic ( below ).

Emergency: Dial 112 from any phone box and the operator will connect you.
Note:Remember to take your Passport with you when seeking medical attention.
Nearest:( Hospital ) Lagos
Tel:(+351) 282 760 115.

( British ) Consulate

( Consulado )

In the event you have lost your passport, they are unable to issue new passports but may be able to assist you on getting back home without one.
Applications for new passports should be made directly to the UK Passport Service Iberia in Madrid.

British Consulate PortimaoPassports : British passports, please call: 800 813 877 between 09:00 and 17:30 ( This service is provided by Abtran, calls cost €1.72 per minute ).
Who :British Consul : Clive Jewell,
 Vice Consul : Angela Morado.
Open :Monday to Friday, 0930 - 14.30.
After 14.30 hours, at the weekend and on public holidays, when the Consulate is closed, there is an emergency helpline ( see below ) to assist British and certain Commonwealth Nationals in the event of death, serious illness, accident or arrest.

  Fees : Click link, for pricing 12/2010.


From 3/12/10
£1= €1.25

Consular Services:

Emergency Travel Document

€ 114

Legalising a signature

€ 36

Legalising a translation (fees 5 & 9)

€ 95

Administering an Oath or Affidavit

€ 68

Registering a birth or death


Issuing a copy of a consular birth or death certificate

€ 81

Receiving notice of an intended marriage or civil partnership

€ 81

Issuing a Certificate of No Impediment

€ 81

Issuing a certificate for the importation of a car


Witnessing a Signature

€ 68

Making a certified copy of a British passport

€ 32

Home Office nationality registration:

Registration fee - adult

£655* (+ €81 forwarding fee

Registration fee - child

£470* (+ € 81 forwarding fee)

Out of hours attendance fee

€ 165


Emergency :+351 282 490 750 - This number is for emergencies only and should not to be used for general enquiries, particularly about visas, out of hours.

Note :There is a statutory fee for services performed out of hours. This fee is currently ( 2008 ) £121 ( 161 ) per hour and is payable in Euros only. It is not charged in the case of death, accident or serious injury.

Where :Portimão
Address :Apartado 609, Edificio A Fabrica, Avenida Guanaré, 8501-915 Portimão 8500 Portimão
Directions : Turn off from A22 at Portimão Exit. Follow directions to centre Portimão. Pass four roundabouts: Monchique, Ladeira do Vau, Malheiro and Hospital. Pass TOTAL petrol station, keeping right on Cardosas lane. Come to 5th roundabout turning off at 3rd exit. Cross the level crossing and turn 1st left. Keep left straight through to old bridge. The Consulate is above the pharmacy 'Arade'.
Tel :(+351) 282 490 750
Fax :(+351) 282 490 758
Email :bc.portimao@netcabo.pt
Web :Living-in-portugal
02/2011 Web :ukinportugal.fco.gov.uk

24hrs Medic

( Doutor )


This is a modern surgery just off the town square. International medical services. General medicine consultations and specialists are available. Complementary diagnostic test and ambulance service provided.

Note :Medical insurance is advised, even though EU citizens can obtain a refund of most emergency medical costs by using form / card E111 ( forms available from Post Offices in the U.K. or online here ).
Update :( 2006 ) - E111 is no longer valid you should have an EHIC replacement.
Note :The EHIC does not cover repatriation or ongoing medical treatment so ensure you have your own insurance to cover this.
Note : Remember to take your Passport with you when seeking medical attention.
Where :Up the hill from the square, past the Chinese Restaurant, on the right.
Address :Rua 25 de Abril, 12, Praia da Luz, 8600-174 Luz, Lagos.
Tel :(+351) 282 780 700.
Fax :(+351) 282 780 709.


( Doutor )

Otto Johannsen

Established GP available 24 hours.

Where :Estrada Espiche Quinta Caliços, Praia da Luz.
Tel :(+351) 282 789 416
Mobile :(+351) 919 049 923


( Bombeiros )
There is no fire station in Luz, the nearest is in Lagos - 15 minutes.
Dial 112 from any phone box and the operator will connect you.

Emergency :117
Nearest :Lagos
Where :Coming from Luz go anti-clockwise on the ring road, on the left as you descend the hill toward the seafront.
Address :Rua dos Bombeiros Voluntários de Lagos 8600-577 Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 770 790.
Fax :(+351) 282 770 799
Email :proteccao.civil@cm-lagos.pt


( Hospital )
There are 24 hour hospitals at Faro, Loule, Albufeira, Portimao, Alvor and Lagos, all have some English speaking staff.

Note :The EHIC does not cover repatriation or ongoing medical treatment so ensure you have your own insurance to cover this.
Note :Remember to take your Passport with you.
Tel :(+351) 282 771 000.
Nearest :( General ) Lagos

Hospital de Lagos

Address :Rua Castelo dos Governadores, 8600-563 Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 770 100.
Fax :(+351) 282 760 346.
Email :gestão.pessoal@hbalgarvio.min.saude.pt
Nearest :( Private ) Lagos

Hospital Privado Sao Goncalo

Address :Av. D. Sebastião Lagos 8600-502 LAGOS
Tel :(+351) 282 760 181.
Fax :(+351) 282 760 180
Email :saogoncalolagos


( Polícia )
There are none based in Praia da Luz, but there are regular mobile patrols that cover the Luz area.
Dial 112 from any phone box and the operator will connect you.

Nearest :Lagos

Lagos Police Station ( Polícia de Segurança Pública )

Address :Rua General Alberto da Silveira 8600 - 594 Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 762 930.

Vila do Bispo Police Station

Tel :(+351) 282 639 184.

General Information


( Aeroporto )
Faro is the nearest to and most convenient for Praia da Luz.
The distance to Luz is approximately 70km ( 45 minutes using the motorway )
Check arrival & departure times.

Info :(+351) 289 818 982.
Property :Lost & Found (+351) 289 818 302.
Address :Faro Airport 8001-701 Faro, Portugal
Tel :(+351) 289 800 800
Fax :(+351) 289 818 802
Web :Aeroporto Faro

Baby Food

( Comida para bebé )
I've had several emails asking which baby foods are available in Portugal. Fortunately, these days this isn't likely to be a problem as most are available at the larger supermarkets, with the more popular brands even available in the 'mini mercados' ( 7-11 type stores such as Ali-Super ). However some brands are marketed under different brand names.
Nutrica who makes Cow and Gate products is marketed as Nutrilon.
Nutrilon 1, 2 and 3 are equivalent to Premium, Plus and Step-up respectively.
Nutrilon Omneo 1 and 2 are equivalent to Comfort ( also known as Milupa Comformil ) 1 and 2.
Nutrilon AR 1 and 2 are for babies with reflux.
Nutrilon HA 1 and 2 are for babies allergic to dairy products.
( Milupa ) Aptamil milks are under the same name but are marginally different. These are numbered in type rather than named.
Aptamil 1, 2 and 3, being equivalent to First, Extra Hungry and 'the other one'. "...We were thrilled to find that Aptamil One plus ready made milk was stocked there (Jumbo, Faro). The only difference is that in Portugal it is called "Aptamil Junior" and the bottle is light blue instead of dark blue. The formula itself is identical to the UK one so we had a happy toddler!..." O.O. Aug.2010
Huggies are under the same name.
Proctor & Gamble ( P&G ) who make Pampers are marketed under the name Dodot.
Johnsons products, baby wipes, lotions and sunscreens are under the same name.
Bleding, Hero and Nestle products are available under their own names.
Be warned you may have to shop around ( head for the larger supermarkets ) during the summer months / tourist season as stocks can run low.

Clothing Sizes

( Tamanos da roupa )
Buying clothing whilst in Portugal? If you've travelled from the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US) or other regions of the world outside of Europe, you will need to convert your 'normal' home size into European sizes. Click below for a ( hopefully ) useful sizes chart.
Clothes & Shoe Sizes chart


( Fumo )
Portugal introduced its 'No Smoking Policy' in January 2008. Like the U.K. the ban includes all government buildings (which must be smoke free) as well as work places, public transport, schools and sports facilities, hospitals, museums, food and beverage establishments, closed in car parks, theatres and libraries. There are options to allow smoking in some places but due to the vagueness of the new law at this time ( 01/08 ), 99% of bars and 100% of restaurants in Luz are now non-smoking ( at least inside the premises ) in order to avoid the hefty fines. Smokers caught breaking the restrictions can be fined between €50 and €750. Owners could be fined between €50 and €1,000 for failing to stop customers from smoking in their establishment. However, three bars that I know of, in Luz have complied with the regulations and have opted to be smoking bars ( The Bull, Luz Tavern and the Cafe Jasmin ). Fortunately with the generally good weather for the majority of the year and the number of places with terraces the 'problem' does not impact quite as much as it does in the U.K. All premises are required to display signs denoting whether they are Smoking or Non-Smoking establishments.
Cigarettes and Tobacco: Don't bother stocking up at the airport when you arrive, as unlike the U.K., prices are fixed throughout the country. You can buy as you need to without looking for 'cut price' outlets ( there are none ). Even though tobacco has gone up in price by over 200% in the last couple of years it is still a  bit cheaper than the U.K.
 01/2011  As the recession continues, cigarette taxation ( just like in the U.K. ) is an obvious target and as a result prices continue to creep toward those in the U.K., but still manage to be round about £1+ for 20 cheaper.
 01/2012  More gloom for smokers as the government announce that the Tobacco tax is set to go up between 15% and 61% for 2012. Very close to the end of 'cheap ciggies' abroad!
 02/2013  February 2013 Tobacco prices ( Shops page ).
Fire WarningThe Algarve can become extremely dry especially in mid-summer and therefore very susceptible to forest fires. Apart from the obvious risk to ( your ) lives and property, it can take years for the landscape to recover. So please remember never light open fires away from designated barbecue areas and under no circumstances discard a lit cigarette or match from your car window or whilst walking in the countryside.

Tipping / Gratuities

( Gratuities )
Generally 10-15%. First check if a service charge has already been included in your bill as some of the more tourist orientated restaurants have started to adopt this practice and as a result you may wish to adjust any tip you may have thought of leaving, accordingly.

Time Zone

( Zona de Tempo )
Greenwich Mean Time; same as the UK. So do not adjust your watches ( unless you're coming from elsewhere ).

DST :The EU's version of Daylight Saving Time runs from 03:00 on the last Sunday in March (when the clocks go forward by an hour) through to 03:00 on the last Sunday in October (when they go back by an hour).

For 2012 clocks go forward by one hour on the night of Sunday 25 March.
They go back again on the night of Sunday 28 October.

Weights and Measures

( Pesos e Medidas )
Metric, so bring your calculator or a conversion table if you think you may have a problem.
Alternatively Click here for printable conversion tables in Acrobat ( .pdf ) format.

Local Services & Facilities

Bank & ATM

( Banco )

Crédito Agricola

English speaking staff. Commission is charged on exchanges. No credit card transactions over the counter so use the outside Cash point ( ATM ). As it is the most central / convenient it has been known to empty on / during national / bank holidays.

Where :On the corner of square about 100m north of the Church.
Address :Praça República 2, Praia Luz 8600-149 Luz Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 790 770

Bank & ATM

( Banco )

Banco Espirito Santo

Lobby Cash point ( ATM ), accessible at night using your bank card for entry.

Where :500m Up the hill ( Rua 2nd Abril ) from the square, on the right hand side of the road.

Bank & ATM

( Banco )

Banif Bank

Outside ATM.

Where :In the square by the Baptsta supermarket.
Address :Praceta José António Viegas, Lote 8 R/C Loja A 8600-160 Praia da Luz - Lagos
Tel : (+351) 282 771 120

Bank & ATM

( Banco )

Barclays Bank

Where :On the St James Apartment complex. On the ground fllor of the pink coloured buildings at the top end of the Rua 25 de Abril.
Address :Urbanização de St. James, Lote 5, Cave, Montes da Luz. 8600-128 Luz-Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 002 180
Fax :(+351) 282 002 181
Email :barclays (luz)

Cash Point - ( ATM )

( Ponto de dinheiro )

Baptista Supermarket

Located just inside the Baptista supermarket lobby. Maximum withdrawal ( all ATMs' ) is 200.

Open :During Supermarket opening hours.
Where :Up the hill ( Rua Primeiro do Maio ) from the town square, take the first turning to the right.

Car Parking

( Parque De Carro )
There is one 'main' car park located by the Lazuli / Habana bars on the seafront. This is the one you should head for if you want / need easy access to the beach. It costs €1.50 for as long as you want during the summer months / if the attendant turns up, otherwise its free. Another place to park is at the other end of the seafront on the waste ground just below the church ( access from the square ) and also a new batch of spaces at the back of the church. There are also plenty of spaces at the front of the Baptista supermarket ( 5 minutes walk to the beach ). However parking is generally free most everywhere in town, if you can find it.

Note : With Luz's one way system you could end up going around the whole town looking for a space that is 'a bit nearer' nearer the beach. This can be extremely exasperating, so as a rule of thumb, and especially in the summer months, if you see a space take it ( this also applies when dining out in the evenings ).


( Cinema )

Lagos Shopping

Probably the nearest one since the Luz cinema has closed down ( now the Spar supermarket ).

Where :Rua Cândido dos Reis. Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 762 940

 Tip :  Cinema Tickets are discounted on Mondays most everywhere.


( Igreja )

Nossa Senhora da Luz ~ Church of Our Lady of the Light

Nossa Senhora da Luz, Praia da Luz

The Church on the beach.
You will find Portugal is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic and its people are very religious.
Masses are held every morning in the Parish churches.
There are services in English in most principal tourist areas, the Nossa Senhora in Luz is no exception. Check at the Church for service times as they may vary depending on holidays and celebrations.

Words :Service - serviço, ( High ) Mass - missa ( cantada ).
Where :Located in the center of the town, just off of the square. It can't be missed as it is yellow and white and beautifully maintained.
Location :Latitude:37° 5'8.31"N, Longitude: 8°43'49.33"W
Congregational Warden :Mary Young
Locum Chaplain :Father John Wilson
Tel :(+351) 282 788 534.
Tel Mobile :(+351) 969 673 784.
Email :wslinmoor@aol.com
Web :Stvincentsalgarve


( Dentista )

Luz Dent.

Dr Peter Steinhausen. One of Luz's two dental practices.

Where :Rua 25 de Abril, Up the hill, past the Chinese restaurant, next to the O'Celeiro supermarket.
Tel :(+351) 282 788 820.


( Dentista )

Laboratorio Dentario.

The other of Luzs' two dental practices who speak fluent English.

Words :Toothache - dor de dente.
Where :Rua 25 de Abril. Up the hill pass the Chinese restaurant, opposite Luzdoc medical centre.
Tel :(+351) 282 788 670.
Fax :(+351) 282 789 268.



Clínica Dentária de Almadena Lda

An alternative is the dental practice ( they speak fluent English ) located in nearby Almadena.

Where :Right on the main square and although I've not been there, though it is highly recommended by many resident brits.
Address :Largo Poço 2-A, Almádena 8600-102 Luz Lagos.
Tel :(+351) 282 697 823


( Floricultura )
I've not yet found a proper florist in Luz, however the Baptista supermarket has a limited selection. A better bet is the florists located in the supermarket in Lagos.
Pingo Doce

Words :Bouquet - buquê, Flower - flor.
Where :On the other side of Lagos (from Luz). Follow the signs for the N125 to Portimao. Crossing the bridge by the marina the Supermarket is on the left, keep an eye out for the Penguin sign. Comercial Pingo Doce,
Address :Avenida da Republic.
Tel :(+351) 282 792 256

Law Office

( Advogado )

Artur Rego.

Civil, Private & Criminal Litigation, Land & Property Conveyance, Land & Property searches, Wills, Commercial Law, Family Law, Heritage Law, Property Law, Public Law - Processes & Litigation's with Government & Local Authorities.

Address :Waterside Gardens, 11. Praia da Luz. 8600 Luz, Lagos.
Tel :(+351) 282 789 805
Tel :(+351) 282 789 058
Fax :(+351) 282 789 203
Email :arturrego.adv@mail.telepac.pt


( Museu )

Check with the local Tourist Office for the opening times for museums and churches in your area as they do tend vary across the country. Generally 'local' museums are normally closed on Mondays and public holidays. National museums are normally from Wednesday to Sunday: 10:00am to 6:00pm and on Tuesdays: 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
There isn't a museum in Luz, the nearest is located in Lagos.

Municipal Museum Dr José Formosinho

Items from Lagos' history are displayed including archaeological artefacts, minerals, paintings, Algarve ethnography and marine world.  ( for a few more details see Museum on the Things to do page )

Open :Tuesday to Friday 09:30-12:30 and 14:00-17:00.
Address :Rua Gen. Alberto Carlos de Silveira.
Tel :(+351) 282 762 301

Newspapers / Newsagents

( Journais )

The main Portuguese newspaper in English, is The Resident. Published weekly ( headlines are available on-line or a full version on subscription ). There are two versions depending on where you are located, Lisbon or Algarve. The Portugal Post and The Portugal News (5 a month ) are good online daily national electronic papers. Versions of the Mail and Mail on Sunday are printed in Lisbon so will be available in newsagents fairly early in the morning. They are the same as the U.K. versions except for more localised advertising. Other English newspapers will arrive at anytime up to midday as they are flown in. You will pay a bit more for these as a result.

Words :Newspaper - journal, Magazine - revista.
The following are not the only newsagents but these do have English newspapers ( and cigarettes ).
Where :In the Baptista Supermarket. ( J )
Where :In the arcade between the cafes Habana & Lazuli, on the seafront. ( K )
Where :Up the hill ( Rua 25 de Abril ) past the Chinese restaurant. A corner unit formerly the Almeida Cafe ( X )

Petrol / Garages

( Gasolina / Garagem )
There isn't a garage / petrol station in Luz.

Nearest :However, If you drive in the direction of Lagos / the motorway, there is a petrol station just off of the last roundabout ( the Lagos exit ) before you get on to the dual carriageway that leads to the motorway.
Words :Petrol Pump - bomba de gasolina, Petrol Tank - tanque de gasolna, Petrol Can - lata de gasolina.
For an actual garage ( for repairs ) I was told of this one in Lagos. Fortunately, I've not had to try it yet.

Garagem Gil Vicente

Address :Lda Lagos - Santa Maria. R Lanarote Freitas 54, Lagos. 8600-605 Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 767 955


( Farmacias )
Look out for a green cross sign. Pharmacies are open during normal business hours, there is normally one pharmacy in every town that is on duty through the night, it's address is posted in the windows of every other chemist and in local newspapers. There is just one in Luz, alternatively there are several in Lagos. See the Lagos Notes page, Lagos section for addresses.

Pharmacy SymbolWords :Prescription - prescrição, Medicine - medicina, Tablets - comprimido.
Open :Monday to Friday 0900 - 13.00 & 15.00 - 19.00.
 Saturday 09.00 - 13.00.
Tel :(+351) 282 789 793
Where :Up the hill past the bank in the town square. Inside the Commercial Centre.

Post Office

( Agência de Correio )

The Post Office, Telegrafos e Telefones - C.T.T.

It can be used for telephone calls and stamps, Registered Mail and Parcel services
C.T.T.Stamps can also be bought from news stands and tobacconists ( e.g. on the beach front or in the Commercial Centre ). 
Guaranteed delivery of goods in 3 to 4 working days to main European cities.
Rest of the World - 5 to 6 working days.
Normal To send mail quickly ( by air ), but without priority handling.
Europe - delivery in up to 5 working days after acceptance
Rest of the World – up to 7 working days after acceptance.
Typically costs 0.68 for a postcard.
Economy, Suitable for non-urgent material. Postcards, Letters, Magazines and Newspapers.
Europe - up to 10 working days.
Rest of the World - up to 20 working days.
Typically costs 0.67 for a postcard.

Words :Letter - carta, Postcard - cartao postal, Stamp - selo postal, Mailbox - caixa do correio.
Where :5 minutes walk from the town square, along the Rue Directa ( the old road to Lagos ) on the right.
Open :09.00 -18.00 but is closed at weekends and bank holidays.
Tel :(+351) 282 770 340.
Fax :(+351) 282 770 346.

Public Toilets

( Toaletes Publicos )
These are the only ones I've found so far. On the seafront, in the arcade between the Habana and Lazuli cafes. Also a slightly dingy but serviceable outside block halfway up the Rua da Praia, from the beach bars, on the left. Otherwise in any bar, cafe or restaurant ( but you should ask if you are not actually using the establishment ).

Radio Stations

( Estações de Rádio )
There are plenty of stations available in the Algarve / Portugal. This is fortunate as whilst travelling along the coast they frequently and quite suddenly fade away. They play a variety of Portuguese and International music. Just a few listed below that seem to remain quite clear around the Luz / Lagos area.
104.9 - RFM, 104.3 - Nostalgia, 103.6 - Total FM, 94.0 - Solar FM, 88.1 - Radio Commercial.
101.2 - Kiss FM is an English Language radio station.
94.6 - Sagres FM is the 'Local' station,
National Radio stations are:
Antena 1 similar to the UK's BBC Radio 2, e.g. news, sport and middle-of-the road music.
Antena 2 similar to the UK's BBC Radio 4, e.g. mainly classical music and fado (Portugal's folk-music).
Antena 3 (101.9 FM) Radio 1.


( Lojas )
See the Luz Shopping Page for more details of the Supermarkets listed here.
Generally normal shops are open 0900 - 1300 and 1500 - 1900, Monday to Friday, closing lunchtime Saturday. These times may vary depending on how the season is faring. The siesta, enjoyed by nearby Spain is not observed here, but two hours for lunch is to be expected. Supermarkets may open 0800 - 2000 weekdays. There are now only four supermarkets in Luz, the biggest and possibly the best being Baptista and its Fruit, Veg and Seafood annex close by. The O'Celeiro supermarket up the hill in Rua 25 da Avril is not quite as extensive but it is open on Sundays. The Cestinho is a small shop that has the basic essentials a bit off the beaten track but its located to serve mainly the Estrela complex. There is a Spar market by the Commercial Centre ( the big tall block in the centre of town ). The two Ali Super ( 7-11 type ) supermarkets, one by the Church in the main square and the another on the hill Rua da Plage have unfortunately closed down as of the start of 2010. The larger 'superstores' are to be found in the nearby town of Lagos.

Daily :Fish, Fresh fruit and vegetables can be purchased at markets held daily in the market building of Lagos, by the Marina.
Monthly :Larger markets where you can buy clothes, shoes and handicrafts are held in Lagos on the first Saturday of the month.
Other :See the foot of the Miscellaneous page for other town's market days.

Swimming Pool

( Pescine )
Since the only public swimming pool closed in 2008 there is only one nearby you might try ( no guarantees ).

Vila Luz

Smart, self contained Apartments in an hotel ( Aparthotel ) with a large adult's pool, children's pool, landscaped gardens and great sea views. The good news is that they are happy to let you use the pool(s) at no charge ( but they do expect you to have a drink / snack whilst you are there, which is only fair ).

Where :Past the Fortaleza heading west, spot the building with the large blue H on the roof. About 10 / 15 minutes walk from the town square on the road that goes past Kellys bar.
Address :Ponta da Gaivota Lote nº 66 8600-119 Praia da Luz - Lagos.
Tel :(+351) 282 771 110
Fax :(+351) 282 771 119
Web :vila-luz

Information Booth / Tourist Office

( balcão de informações )
There is no actual office based in Luz, the nearest ones being in Lagos ( see below ).
However there is an Information Booth on the seafront ( beach bar end ) which is manned during the summer months. Times are sporadic but seems to be open more often on Saturdays.

Open :Occasional, Summer months only.
See here for other Algarve tourist offices.

Tourist Office

( Turista Escritório )
There is none based in Luz, the nearest ones being in Lagos.

Open :July & Aug daily 10am–10pm, Sept-June Mon–Fri 10am–6pm, Sat 10am–2pm
See here for other Algarve tourist offices.

Posto de Informação Municipal de Lagos

Where :Largo Marquês de Pombal. Rua Vasco da Gama. Lagos 8600-670 Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 764 111
Email :informacao@rtalgarve.pt
Web :cm-lagos.pt

Posto de Turismo de Lagos

Address :Rua Belchior Moreira de Barbudo (S. João), 8600-722 Lagos
Tel :(+351) 282 763 031
Email :turismo.lagos@rtalgarve.pt
Web :Visitalgarve.pt

Town Hall / City Council

Junta de Freguesia da Luz

Where :The long low tan coloured building on the left coming from the square.
Address :Rua de 25 de Abril, 35. Praia da Luz. 8600-174 Luz Lagos.
Tel :(+351) 282 789 722
Fax :(+351) 282 789 722
Email :jf.luz.lagos@sapo.pt

Utilities Information


( Electricidade )
The national electricity company in Portugal is EDP Energias de Portugal SA).
EDP - Energias de Portugal

Address :Praça Marquês de Pombal, 12 1250-162 Lisboa
Tel :(+351) 21 001 2500/5300
Fax :(+351) 21 002 1403
Emergency :800 506 506
The electrical power is 230 volts / 50 Hz ( as in the U.K. ). Appliances use the standard European two pin round plugs ( type 'F', max rating 16 amps ). Adaptors are readily available as travel packs at airport shops in the U.K. or almost any electrical outlet in Europe.

 Tip  Try your local 'pound shop' you really can get travel adaptors for a £1.


( Lenha )
Some villas and apartments still have traditional open fireplaces. Whilst this may seem un-necessary in such a warm climate you will find there are evenings / nights when it will get quite chilly especially out of season. Smokeless fuels and wood only are permitted in the Algarve. You will find supplies of these ( and fire lighters ) available at the larger supermarkets or the bottled gas stores.

Bottled Gas Supplies - Praia da Luz. Algarve.


( Gás )


Bottled Gas ( Botijas / Garrafas ) supplies and delivery.

Where :Up from the beach on the right of the Rua de Praia.
Tel :(+351) 282 789 550.


( Desperdicio )
Your villa is unlikely to have its own rubbish bin(s). You will normally find outsized 'wheelie' bins at the end of most roads which you have to take your rubbish to. This is normal practice throughout the Algarve.
Most resort towns have pretty much converted over to the E.E.C street waste disposal guidelines. You will find blocks of four coloured rubbish bins each clearly marked as to what should be put in them.
  Papel - Paper bins are coloured Blue,
  Embalagens - Bottles, plastic or metal bins are coloured Yellow,
  Vidro - Bottles, glass bins are coloured Green,
  Lixo - Food, biodegradable bins are coloured Brown.


( Agua )
Water is drinkable in the majority of places, but bottled water is available everywhere ( better for tea! ). For bottled water remember Carbonated ( fizzy ) is 'agua com gaz' and Non-Carbonated ( still ) 'agua sem gaz'.
Aguas de Portual provides the names and contact information of local water boards in Portugal.
Aguas do Algarve is the concessionary company operating the multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system in the Algarve region.

Where :Águas do Algarve, S.A., Rua do Repouso, 10. 8000-302 Faro.
Tel :(+351) 289 899 070
Cuts : ( Falta de Agua ) - Tel: 800 222 425
Bursts : ( Roturas ) - Tel: 800 201 600
Fax :(+351) 289 899 079
Email :geral@aguasdoalgarve.pt
Web :Aguasdoalgarve


Computer Services in the Algarve


( Computers )
As the only computer shop in Luz has closed down the nearest Sales and Repairs ( I know of ) is PCFix in Lagos.
See here for details.


( Internet )
Most ( Luz ) Hotels are 'connected' these days ( wired or wireless ) and also most towns and even the more sizeable villages should have an internet 'cafe' for public access. Luz has the Lazuli a cafe on the seafront ( cliffs end ) which has internet facilities. Also there is the Cafe Jasmin, located on the Rua Dirieta ( up by the Post Office ), which has a couple computers in their cafe / bar.
Note : Only residents ( or property owners ) can subscribe to an Internet service in Portugal. Below are links to the main Internet suppliers in Portugal.
Zon - once part of Portugal Telecom's PT Multimedia TV cable company TV Cabo
Sapo - Also part of the Portugal Telecom PT Multimedia Group

mobile phones portugal

Mobile Phones and Sim Cards

The main thing to remember is that if you take your mobile phone to Portugal buy a Portuguese sim card as soon as possible if you plan to make more than a call or two 'back home'. Plans like Vodafone's 'passport' / 'roaming easy' are definitely helping regarding more manageable tariffs, but a 'local' sim card is definitely the way to go.
There are three mobile networks in Portugal. TMN, a subsidiary of Portugal Telecom, Vodafone and Optimus. Mobile phones in Portugal are offered on a 'pay as you go' or contract basis. You can also simply purchase a sim card to insert into your existing mobile.
Vodafone seems to have things sewn up here, at least the amount of information readily available. It makes sense to use the local (Portugal) services as calls / data via the UK is ridiculously expensive. If you are confused take your phone / tablet to the store, they'll sort you out and explain everything. The Faro airport shop is good at this.
If you want pay-as-you-go, Vodafone gives 10 hours of use for €10 of unlimited data at 1Mbps and TMN gives 1GB of data for €15.04 (no time limit) at 7.2Mbps. Also, you can get a full month of unlimited data from TMN (at 7.2Mbps) if you're willing to pay €35.15. You can top up at any cash point same as the U.K.
Don't forget that as 'free' Wi-Fi becomes more commonplace in Portuguese towns, take advantage of programs like Skype and email for communicating with home.
Unlike the U.K., Portugal is well into 4G with reasonable tariffs for those with 4G kit ( if this make you happy then you're not from the U.K. then! :))
 09/2012  With UK's 4G service suddenly appearing, early adopters will want to consider Portugal's 4G options to make the most of your new phones.
note: Vodafone travel is the same as Vodafone passport, be sure to check on Vodafone Roaming Easy the new tariff.

Where :Vodafone store on the concourse / main hall of Faro airport.
 Most shopping centres and larger electrical stores.
Contacts :TMN ~ www.tmn.pt
 Vodafone ~ www.vodafone.pt
 Optimus ~ www.optimus.pt
All three websites are in Portuguese ( If, like me, you're no too hot on your Portuguese try using the translate option in Google Chrome, its very useful! )

tablet computing portugal

Tablet computers

After quite a delay, tablet computing and in particular the Ipad are finally available in Portugal. As a result there are quite a lot of new price plans involving data and even 4G now appearing. The main thing to remember is that if you take your tablet pc to Portugal buy a Portuguese mini-sim card as soon as possible if you plan to regularly surf the internet. Plans like Vodafone's 'passport' / 'roaming easy' are definitely helping regarding more manageable tariffs, but a 'local' sim card is definitely the way to go.
Don't forget to turn off your networking when not required, especially if youy are 'roaming', your data allowance can soon vanish with background data access such as checking for emails, app updates etc..
Don't forget that as 'free' Wi-Fi becomes more commonplace in Portuguese towns, take advantage of programs like Skype and email for communicating with home.
note: Vodafone travel is the same as Vodafone passport, be sure to check on Vodafone Roaming Easy the new tariff.

Where :Vodafone store on the concourse / main hall of Faro airport.
 Most shopping centres and larger electrical stores.
Pricing :Micro-sims suitable for tablets are available for about 15€.
Mobile Internet Access - 1.07 euro per day and includes 30mb and download speeds of 512mbs.
Vodafone Travel ( replaces Vodafone Passport ) - 8 euro per day and includes 100mbs and speeds around 7mbs.
Daily rates are for 24hrs after first access. No refunds for unused data.


( Telefonar )
Mobile phone calls to the U.K. can be hideously expensive. Also calls from hotel rooms can be equally pricey. You are much better off using the public telephones especially with a phone card ( see below ).

Where :Public telephones are located by the Habana / Lazuli cafes on the Av. dos Pescadores, by the Dolphin Restaurant on the Rua da Calheta and also up by the Commercial Centre ( opposite the Baptista supermarket ).
To U.K :Dial 0044 for the United Kingdom from Portugal (don't forget to drop the zero from the home area code).
From U.K :Calls can be made direct and the dialling code for Portugal is '351'.

You will also need to use this prefix when using a non-Portuguese mobile phone in Portugal. International calls must first dial "00", then the country dialling code, then the area code without the prefix "0", and lastly the subscribers' number.
An Example:
00 + ( Country Code ) + ( Town / Area Code ) + ( Telephone Number )
00 + 351 + 282 + 770 790
Within Portugal you can call direct to any subscriber first dialling the area code ( if the destination of the call is outside the area in which the call is being made ) then the telephone number.
An Example:
( Town / Area Code ) + ( Telephone Number )
289 + 818 982

Area Codes :For an idea of where you're ringing, the area codes in the Algarve are;
• 281 = East Algarve,  • 289 = Central Algarve,  • 282 = West Algarve.
Calls made from bars, restaurants and hotels are usually much more expensive than the public phones in the street.
Prepay :These can be bought at many places ( e.g. from the newsagent in the arcade between the two cafes on the beach front ) and is recommended not only for the substantial savings that can be made it also allows you to monitor your expenditure and only charges what you use .
Phone calls are cheaper at the weekends, holidays and from 21.00 – 09.00.
Operator :Dial 099.
Emergency :Dial 112 ( the equivalent of 999 in the U.K. ).

 Tip :  Consider renting a Mobile Phone, rather than using your own. You can rent a mobile phone ( telemóvel ) at Faro airport ( Telecel ) and many other outlets ( e.g. Shopping Centres ). Normally a refundable deposit of around 375 is required. You will pay only for calls you make.


( Wi-Fi )
 Update 2011  Its good to see that more and more places are now offering WI-Fi connections. The Bull, Fabrica, The Duke are ones I've recently found that are now WI-Fi connected. You may have to ask for a passcode to actually get connected to their network. Also don't be surprised if they limit connections, especially when it gets very busy, as these places aren't 'internet cafes'.
A few of the 'original' free Wi-Fi hotspots I know of in Luz. Not sure about the policy for usage but I'm sure if you have a drink or snack whilst there I don't think there should be a problem. If you find out differently please please let me know. Also information on any other Wi-Fi hotspots / locations would be gratefully received.

Where :Hotel Belavista toward the top of the steep hill coming into Luz ( Rua 1 de Maio )
Where :Cafe Fabrica at the beach bar end of the promenade.
Where :The Bull just off the town 'square' Rua Calheta, on the left.
Where :Hugo Beaty Cafe just off the Rua 25 de Abril, on the right, past the Chinese Restaurant when coming from the town square.
Where :Luz Beach Club on the left coming from the square, on the Rua Dirieta ( no.44 ).
Where :Kellys Bar Just off of the main town square past the Bull pub and before the Dolphin Restaurant. Rua da Calheta.
Where :Lazuli Side by side with the Habana cafe at the beach bar end of the promenade.
Others :t.b.a
Note :As in the U.K., it is illegal to use a wireless internet connection without permission ( or it is advertised as free ). So even if you have access / multiple connection options available make sure you know who you are connecting to. The connection i.d. should make it clear. When in doubt, ask the proprietor of the location you are in.

Local Transport


( Barras-onibus )
The most convenient and cheapest way of travelling in the Algarve is by bus. The R N (orange and white buses) provide services to all major towns and resorts along the coast. Bus stops are identified by a sign reading "Paragem". The main bus stop in Luz is by the church. There is a regular bus service to Lagos bus station ( a block back from the main Avenida dos Descobrimentos ). It runs about 15 times a day, the last one ending about 19.00. Bus Timetable ( Autumn 2010 ).

EVA coaches / buses

Address :5 Av. da Republica, Faro
Tel :(+351) 289 899 700.
Web :Eva-bus.com


( Taxis )
Taxis are quite reasonably priced and can be extremely handy as alcohol tolerance is zero in Portugal. Taxis are quite easy to spot as they are normally a Mercedes and are beige coloured.
The taxis (generally) have no meters but follow a standard fare table based on mileage. As they use this fixed tariff system, make sure you establish the price before setting off to avoid surprises. The minimum flat rate is 5 euros, if you have booked by telephone add 1 euro, and any luggage in the boot normally adds 3 euros. Rates increase by 20% from 22.00 to 06.00, on weekends and public holidays. Tipping, around 10% of the total fare, is at your choice.
It is usually worthwhile to pre-book taxis especially in peak season.

Where :If there are any taxis 'waiting' ( rare ) they can normally be found in the town 'square' ( by the church ).

Jose Inacio

( 24hr service ). This seems to be the one that most bars or restaurants will use if you ask for a cab whilst in Luz.
Tel Mobile :(+351) 914 700 476.
Tel Mobile :(+351) 917 870 771.

Dario Amodor

( 24hr service ). Another firm located in nearby Burgau.
Tel Mobile :(+351) 917 210 311.
Tel Mobile :(+351) 919 796 695.


( Trens )
The railway system links Faro with Vila Real de Santo Antonio in the east and Portimao and Lagos in the west. There is also a link from Faro to Lisbon, which is about a three hour journey. In general the trains are slow and pretty basic ( but they are getting better ) and do not connect the main coastal resorts. However there is a station at Lagos ( located across the river, fifteen minutes' walk from the centre via the swing bridge in the marina ), which is only 10 minutes away from Praia da Luz and takes about an hour and a half from Faro. Train Timetable.