Casa Brisa da Ria
Santa Luzia is merely 4km away from the major city of Tavira, yet a slow, charming little fishing village stretching along the waterfront of Ría Formosa.
The harbor front is the promenade overlooking colorful fishing boats, some of which are piled up with clay pots that catch octopus. That is what this village is famed for, or even called “capital do polvo (octopus)”. Fishermen here use traditional method to catch this delicacy, which many Portuguese are adoring. In the restaurants lining up across the promenade offers this delicious speciality among variety of seafood caught on the day.
To go to the closest beach from Santa Lucia, take a local ferry from the
harbor, or call a water taxi. In 10 minutes you are in Tavira Island. A
wooden walkway connects the little port to the amazing beach of "Terra
Estreita” on the Atlantic coast in 2 minutes.
One km further west from the harbour is “Pedras del Rei”, where a floating
bridge offers an access to the other part of Tavira Island and its extended
beach from Terra Estreita called “Praia do Barril”. There are monumental
anchors that remind of 90 years ago, when this abandoned village used
to have lucrative tuna fishing.
It has been more than 18 years ago when Anne and Georges ( ? who ?,
please read “history”) chose Portugal to live a new life, they always loved
this village for its relaxing atmosphere and authenticity. It is a rare pleasure
to sit in the terrace of their favorite cafeteria contemplating the birds, the
lagoon, and the beyond.
Georges described Santa Luzia like "floating in the light between two blues‘ ": the sky and the lagoon.
Rubbing shoulders with a fisherman back ashore in one afternoon, he spoked to them about the latest anecdotes of the day’s catch in Algarvian dialect. Though they had a lot of difficulty to understand, a sense of his pride was anchoring in their feeling....the pride in the knowledge of the ocean, which has been passing through generations.
The typical fisherman's house have traditional tiled facade called "azulejos", and are facing narrow streets of Santa Luzia. Weathered by the scorching sun, the stillness of the houses is only disturbed by the salty laundries in the rooftop terrace flapping in sea breeze.
Algarve region is confronted by worsening drought especially in summer. Every drop of water is precious under the burning sun that drys up everything. Nevertheless, as the heat is soothed by the sea breeze as well as the air is given moist by the lagoon, this little fishing village composes a wonderfully comfortable environment.
You will feel far from the hectic seaside towns with a profusion of tourists, music,and concrete. Summer in Santa Luzia receives more Portuguese families than foreign tourists. Winter is the season when northern European retirees seek sunny escape. Autumn and spring are the time to the arrival of hikers, cyclists, and nature lovers. It is the season when the “mighty” rain falls upon thirsty flora and fauna as well as the enchantment of migratory birds delight cafe-terrace birdwatchers.
Ria Formosa Natural Reserve
Ría Formosa is a lagoon flowing between the mainland and islands, and over countless marsh lands that all look like cookie crumbles cracked out of the continent; hereafter the water communicates with the Atlantic Ocean through outlets. Thanks to this unique geography, the lagoon is a habitat of many different marine species and aquatic birds. Santa Luzia is a part of this170 km² paradise.