Luz is dominated by its beach, and extends as far as the cliffs of the southern coast, and part of the Algarvian Gold Coast (Portuguese: Costa de Oiro). During the Age of Discovery, fishing was the spur that developed the settlements of Luz during the 13th and 14th centuries, progressing to whaling by the 16th century: it constitutes one of the more important economic poles of socio-economic development with the municipality of Lagos. Fishing, including octopus potting, was the predominant occupation in Praia da Luz until it was surpassed by tourism in the 1980s; the resort industry developed around the old fishing village. Luz's beach and setting have attracted many visitors to the region, resulting in a shift from an economy based on fishing to one providing services for tourists. Along the beach, many of the canning plants were closed and replaced by windsurfing and diving schools, as well as discos, restaurants and shops tailored to the needs of the seasonal visitor. The once prominent casino closed, and was replaced by a local primary school, before becoming the seat of the parish government and health centre. Similarly, many of the agricultural fields were purchased by developers, resulting in the building of many holiday villages, apartments, hotels and resorts. Many of the fishermen became employees of the hotel industry, while the cannery employees, welders and farmers began working in civil construction. The settlements of Luz have become holiday destinations for citizens primarily from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany, as well as residents of Portugal.
see also video →Youtube on the impact of the events to Praia da Luz.