Lagos, in Southern Portugal, boasts dramatic cliffs, a magnificent coastline and a town full of white-washed streets.
The rock formations, Ponta da Piedade are perhaps the most photographed in all of the Algarve and are instantly recognizable. The Algarve is a unique all-year destination, it’s a magical place, famous for its historic old towns, fantastic beaches, and sandy coves.
Therefore it was a no-brainer for husband and wife team, Egil and Birgitte Greve, a professional Norwegian couple to build two villas (Lux Mare) in their favorite holiday spot. Local architect Mario Martins brought their vision to life.
Lux Mare is the Latin translation of the Portuguese “Luz do Mar” Light of the Sea. It describes the reflection of the sunlight on the ocean, and the sunlight bathes both the terraces and the interiors of each of the villas. These elegant villas close to the historic town of Lagos, make for a luxurious base to enjoy everything the south coast of Portugal has to offer. Casa M and Casa L are both six-bedroom luxury villas with heated swimming pools, uninterrupted ocean views, and concierge services.
We were staying in Casa M, which makes for a relaxed get-away were sipping cocktails on the veranda taking in the ocean views is about as strenuous as things got. We also had the option to swim in the heated outdoor infinity pool, or to take a soak in the deep plunge bathtub (in the master suite). Casa M also has a small gym with the latest kit, a cinema room, and a games room.
The Villa has an open plan set up. The bedrooms, the living area, and kitchen are all on the ground floor with a wraparound outdoor terrace. In the basement, you will find the leisure area and access to the underground garage. The expansive kitchen is fully equipped with the latest mod cons, the cutlery and crockery are by Vista Alegre and all branded linens in the bedrooms are made in Portugal. The villa’s guest rooms and master suite come with terraces, sea and pool views and all the upscale amenities and stylish touches you’d expect from a five-star villa.
During my short stay, I fell in love with Lux Mare. The villa brings together Nordic and Portuguese style, creating a unique look and feel that transports you to a comforting and luxurious world. And as I was the first guest to arrive I bagged the best room in the villa, the master suite! The huge bathroom has a fab tub and also a fantastic shower that featured different settings including a cascade mode. There are also copious amounts of closet space and a comfy spacious bed, modern art adorns the walls and the room has floor to ceiling doors which give you direct access to the outdoor terrace.
Since the villas are just an hour’s drive from the airport; a few minutes from the beach; and a comfortable 1-hour drive from Faro; Lux Mare makes for a great base for a fun and relaxing escape. Guests can create a bespoke experience to suit their tastes – including activities in nature, gastronomy, and cultural visits.
I love visiting Lagos. It’s such a relaxed and friendly holiday destination – unpretentious, laid back, as you might expect in Southern Portugal. Lux Mare is all about enjoying the best of luxury and you will be hard-pressed to leave the comfort of the villa.
Gastronomy is, without doubt, one of the great pleasures of being in Portugal. On our first evening outing, we opted to go to the highly recommended, Tasca Jota. The restaurant offers a Mediterranean menu, as well as small plates, salads, and meats. We enjoyed a relaxed dinner, with regional seafood, local meats, and fine wines which were available by the glass. The sommelier did a superb job of pairing wines with each course; we started the evening with local sparkling wine. The food throughout each course was creative and well-executed. Suitably stuffed we decided to head back to the villa to chill before bedtime.
Amongst the informal eateries and tapas bars, the concierge team at Lux Mare can recommend restaurants where you will enjoy some of the freshest fish and seafood from the nearby Mediterranean coast, as well as top quality meats from across the mainland.
The villa team can arrange a hot air balloon ride for guests for a truly unique perspective of Lagos and Portugal. This is, of course, weather permitting, and sadly this was an experience we didn’t get to try, despite trying two different times, it was just not safe enough due to bad weather.
However, we did have delightful breakfast al fresco whilst basking in the sun. After a relaxed morning of catching up with some light reading, it was time to head to the old town to immerse ourselves in the local culture. We managed to avoid the crowds of tourists who usually descend on Lagos as our trip was during the low season. For centuries, the city found its identity and its livelihood from the sea, a history echoed in the city. It was from here that, at the time of the discoveries, many vessels and navigators left in search of new worlds. The city of Lagos maintains its traces of authenticity with the walls of the historic center reminding us of the past, the cobbled narrow streets lend to the old world charm of Lagos.
After a good strenuous and insightful walk-about, we headed back to the villa. One experience offered at the villa that we did get to try that afternoon was a wonderful Thai massage. The masseuse came to the house equipped with her massage bed and exotic oils. A thirty-minute massage at the hands of Made (the masseuse) and I was ready for an afternoon siesta.
That evening sadly we did not experience the chef catered dinner. The idea of self-catering when on holiday abroad fills us with terror, therefore if there is a chef option it is the one we always make sure we try. Our host catered our dinner for us on our final evening at the villa, it was a lovely chilled out, informal evening and a lovely way to round off the trip.
Lux Mare is ideal for families or large groups of friends, both the properties are also child friendly and the concierge services ensure that you will have every whim catered for.