Alta Vista Surf Lodge Luz, Portugal [Review]

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I’ve just come back from my solo trip to Portugal. It was super spontaneous – I’d only booked my flight to Faro a few days before. In the middle of high season, finding accommodation in the Algarve turned out to be a bit of a challenge. I decided to split up my stay into two nights in Lagos and two nights in Luz (just a 10 minute drive from Lagos). Luckily, I managed to grab a dorm bed at Alta Vista Surf Lodge in Luz. I had an absolutely amazing time in this beautiful villa and can only recommend staying there! Continue reading and find out why I think it’s the best place around Lagos.

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Alta Vista Surf Lodge – a fun, grown-up vibe

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Alta Vista Luz is not for you if you’re looking for a crazy party hostel. Instead it’s a fabulous place for anyone looking for a good balance of relaxing and having fun. The villa is quiet during the day when most people are out surfing or on other activities. It gets livelier in the afternoon/evening when everyone comes together on the terrace for a chat. With a good mix of couples and solo travellers, there is always much socialising. It’s easy making friends and I immediately felt welcomed and included in the group.

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One night, we cooked together and then all sat on the terrace for dinner and drinks. On Tuesday nights, guests can join the Alta Vista BBQ for 20€ pp. Unlimited Sangria included! There was a good variety of dishes and everyone is catered for (vegan & vegetarian options). We had starters and then a selection of meats, fish and salads/veggies). The highlight were the gooey brownies with vanilla ice cream for dessert! What a treat!

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You can also join various other activities organised by the villa – like nights out in Lagos… There’s always the possibility of partying and going out in Luz or nearby Lagos. Alta Vista has a pool and a foosball table in the living room where guests often hang out.

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Lots of activities on offer

There’s never a boring day at Alta Vista Surf Lodge Luz – unless of course that’s what you’re after (like I was…). Most guests booked a package with Alta Vista that included accommodation and activities for a certain number of days. The most popular seemed to be the five days of surfing lessons. Check out their package deals.

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Alternatively, you can just book individual activities. There’s something for everyone, here’s a few options:

  • Surfing (trips are from 9am to 4pm to secluded beaches along the South and West coast)
  • Yoga (in the morning and evening at the villa and sometimes in Luz)
  • Horseback Riding
  • SUP
  • Kite surfing
  • Massage (at the villa)
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Climbing

You book and pay with the girls at the villa directly.

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I thought about doing some surfing but then was pretty happy just enjoying two quiet days at the villa and the beach (which is a 15 minute walk from Alta Vista). The only thing I regret not doing is the sunrise SUP tour which everyone raved about and the photos looked absolutely stunning. The tour goes through the caves of Ponta da Piedade as you paddle into the sunrise.

 

The villa and your stay

It felt like home, not like a hotel/hostel at all! That’s partly the design of the place but mostly because of the girls running the villa. They are all super friendly and welcoming.

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The villa is spacious and has several private as well as a shared room. The place is cleaned daily so it’s super clean and tidy. Beds are comfy and there are two shared bathrooms so bathroom traffic isn’t an issue. The outdoor space is my favourite part about Alta Vista. A beautiful pool area with colourful sun loungers, a communal dining table, green space with hammocks on the other side of the house and plenty of room for Yoga!

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Daily breakfast is included and consists of toast with different spreads, fruit and cereal with milk and juices. It’s more or less basic but I just spiced mine up with a few things like yogurt and cheese. There is a supermarket just 15 minutes walk away and you can store your food in the fridge. The dorm room had a fridge in the room – not sure about the private rooms. But there is a big one in the kitchen as well. You can also use the kitchen to make lunch and dinner at the villa.

 

How to get there & around

From Faro airport, it’s a 1 hour drive. But if you don’t have a car, then the easiest and most convenient option is to book a transfer (which can range from between 1-3 hours depending on how many people you drop off/pick up en route.

As I went to Lagos for my first two nights, I took the airport bus to Faro train station and then the train to Lagos. Don’t make the same mistake and I and assume you can hop on a transfer bus at the airport without pre-booking. Everything was booked out so my only option was to take the train. It’s a cheaper option though for 7€ one way from Faro to Lagos.

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From Lagos, you can take two different buses. The Express bus/EVA stops in Espiche from which it’s a 5 minute walk uphill to Alta Vista. Bus Line 4 stops at Caliços 1 which is just outside Alta Vista. They both depart from the main bus station on the Marina in Lagos but also stop in front of the Intermarche supermarket. Departures are infrequent…

Taxis between Lagos and Luz cost only around 8-12€ and it’s a 10 minute drive.

I booked my return journey from Luz to Faro Airport with Greenbus at Alta Vista for 25€ one way.

 

Where to book

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I found Alta Vista Luz on Airbnb and immediately liked what I saw. A big villa with an indoor and outdoor pool, a beautiful outdoor space and amazing reviews. With private and shared rooms, there are options for different budgets although even the private rooms are really affordable.

Get £15 off your first Airbnb booking when using this link.

I booked a bed in this shared room with six beds. They do also have different private rooms which you can find in their listings.

 

Enjoy your stay at Alta Vista Luz – you’re in for a good holiday!

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