Why We’re Heading to Comporta, Portugal’s Best-Kept Secret

What to do and where to stay

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Aerial shot of Comporta Portugal, beach and coastline.
Mauricio Abreu/Sublime Comporta

When people hear of an under-the-radar vacation destination on the brink of becoming a household name, it’s easy to draw parallels to other more established hotspots. Hence why you might hear Comporta compared to the Hamptons or Tulum. We totally get the intention, but that’s essentially the travel equivalent of saying “all white meat tastes like chicken.” Just as other proteins have their own unique flavor, so does this low-key fishing village and freguesia (civil parish) on the Alentejo coast of Portugal. A landscape defined by cork oaks, blustery dunes, sandy beaches and rice paddies invites travelers to relish slow mornings sans alarm clocks, barefoot strolls, leisurely lunches and afternoons that melt into the evening.

Mark our words, Comporta is the next *it* holiday haunt—and we’re giving you the inside scoop before it totally blows up.

The 15 Best Airbnbs in Portugal

Interior of Hotel Almalusa Comporta
AlmaLusa Comporta

Where to Stay

Despite a clutch of charm-filled accommodations in the area, the actual village of Comporta didn’t have a cool, indie hotel for a really long time. AlmaLusa Comporta, which opened in November 2022, fills that void. Swatched in white, neutral hues and typical regional materials, this chic 53-key stay keeps the vibe true to its environs with breezy indoor-outdoor spaces such as a rooftop bar with snacks, sips and sunset views. Our favorite suites have enclosed gardens off the back or terraces overlooking the rice paddies.

On the more pastoral side of things, Sublime Comporta continues to be a magnet for travelers seeking a laid-back retreat that doesn’t skimp on five-star luxury. Bungalows flaunt snooze-worthy beds, nature-facing decks and private pools. As the summer season rolls in, you might even see a celeb sipping a cocktail on the sunken terrace or strolling through the organic garden. 

Wellness-oriented travelers will fall for Quinta da Comporta. Nestled on a nature reserve, this boutique resort and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers rice-focused spa rituals, a sparkling outdoor pool and airy guest rooms.

The other option for lodging is to rent a house. Well-designed villas like Campo de Arroz and Casa Espuma are great for group getaways. Don’t let the price put you off, when split between a few pals, it’s actually pretty cost-effective.

Airbnbs in Comporta

a beach in comporta portugal
Santiago Urquijo /Getty Images

Where to Play

A true beach escape that feels far away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon (though, it’s less than a 90-minute drive), Comporta is blessed with miles of pristine shoreline. Start with Praia da Comporta, a sun-splashed idyll with a palpable chill factor. Frolic in the turquoise tides and walk along the sugar-fine sand. Thirsty? Grab a drink at the bar.

Praia do Carvalhal has all the unassuming charm and scenic beauty, plus the perks that come along with Sublime Comporta Beach Club. That means the opportunity to rent chairs or sun beds and sprawl out thatched umbrellas while enjoying a crisp glass of rosé. If the conditions allow and the mood calls for adventure, you can even try kitesurfing and surfing.

Continue south toward Praia do Pego, where full-fledged serenity awaits. All that’s left to do? Slather on some sunscreen, open a good book and dive into vacation mode.

Where to Shop

Not surprisingly, the former fishing village of Comporta doesn’t have big chain retailers. Instead, you’ll find small boutiques filled with a curated selection of artisan-made wares. The Life Juice is the place to go for kaftans and Portuguese ceramics. Stock up on gauzy linen tunics and woven beach bags at Lavanda. A welcome addition to the retail scene, Casa da Cultura da Comporta functions as a sort of marketplace that houses local fashion, accessories and home goods vendors inside an old rice barn.

comporta cafe in portugal
Comporta Café

Where to Eat

Rise with the sun (or whenever feels intuitive) and kick off the morning with a smoothie bowl or pancakes at Be Comporta.

To fuel your languid afternoon escapades? With its privileged perch right on the sand, mouthwatering menu and impeccable vibe, Sublime Comporta Beach Club definitely warrants a reservation. Of course, you could always leave it up to chance and hope that a table outside magically becomes available. But that will likely end in disappointment as you longingly gaze at sun-kissed patrons dig into ceviche and paella. Also on Praia do Carvalhal, buzzy Restaurante Sal lures hungry beachgoers with the promise of grilled fish and ocean views. Set on Praia da Comporta, Comporta Café caters to a hip lunch crowd who come to savor fresh-caught seafood and sangria. Next door, Ilha do Arroz serves up tasty fish rice in a breezy atmosphere

In keeping with the whole vibe of Comporta, dinner doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does provide an opportunity to take your new purchases out for a spin and eat some delicious food. An old stable turned contemporary restaurant with soul, Cavalariça Comporta focuses on sharable plates that celebrate the abundance of the region. The cocktails are stellar, too! Casual yet elevated design and cuisine to match make Mesa Comporta a fan favorite.

Portugal. Natural Reserve of Sado Estuary. Setúbal District.
PHAS/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Where to Explore

Comporta abounds with pristine beauty. Nowhere is the unspoiled splendor of coastal Alentejo more on display than Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, a 30-acre swoop of protected wetlands. It’s the perfect place to interact with Earth on every level. Whether that means spending a few hours hiking and observing white storks in their natural habitat or booking one of the myriad eco-oriented tours. Horseback riding through the dunes and dolphin-watching cruises are particularly popular.

The wild Atlantic coast also beckons travelers keen to soak up the scenery and get in some thrills along the way. If you fall into that camp, consider surf lessons and kiteboarding.

Comporta, Portugal's Best Kept Secret - Interior luxury spa pool. Features a number of lounge chairs and privacy dividers.
Sublime Comporta

Where to Relax

We’re guessing you’ll probably want to unwind at some point. After all, that’s really the whole point of a holiday in Comporta. Besides for blissing out at the beach, plenty of pampering awaits. For a day of indulgent relaxation, head to Sublime Spa for personalized therapies such as body scrubs and aromatherapy massages inspired by healing local ingredients: fresh-picked herbs, pure essential oils, rice and sea salt.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Lindsay Cohn is a travel writer and serial trip planner who has visited 46 countries across six continents (and counting). When not globetrotting, she’s most likely either doing...