What to Do and Where to Stay in Comporta, Portugal—the Country’s Best Kept Secret
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 hot spots. Hence why you might hear Comporta compared to Montauk or Tulum. We totally get the intention, but that’s essentially the equivalent of saying all white meat tastes like chicken. Just as alligator has its own unique flavor, so does this stretch of unblemished beauty on the west coast of Portugal. A landscape defined by cork oaks, blustery dunes, sandy beaches and rice paddies, Comporta invites travelers to relish alarm clock-less mornings, barefoot strolls, leisurely lunches and afternoons that melt into evening.
Mark our words, Comporta is the next *it* holiday haunt—and we’re giving you the inside scoop before it totally blows up.
Where to playA true beach escape, away from the hustle and bustle, Comporta is blessed with miles of pristine shoreline. Start with Praia da Comporta, a sun-splashed idyll to beat the rest. Frolic in the turquoise tides, walk along the sugar-fine sand and laze under thatched umbrellas. Thirsty? Grab a drink (or two) at the beach bar. Praia do Carvalhal has all the unassuming charm, plus the perks of volleyball and massage tents. If the conditions allow, you can even try kitesurfing. Continue south on toward Praia do Pego, where serenity awaits. All that’s left to do? Slather on some SPF and dive into full vacation mode.
Where to shop
Not surprisingly, Comporta doesn’t have big chain retailers. Instead, you’ll find small boutiques filled with a curated selection of artisan-made wares. Loja do Museu do Arroz is the place to go for hand-painted hats, tie-dye kaftans and leather sandals. Stock up on gauzy linen tunics and woven beach bags at Lavanda. This boho-chic shop also sells stuff for kiddos and dudes as well as furniture.
Where to eatKick off the morning with a smoothie bowl at Be Comporta. To fuel your languid afternoon escapades? With its privileged perch on Praia da Comporta, mouth-watering seafood dishes and breezy atmosphere, Ilha do Arroz warrants a reservation. Of course, you could always leave it up to chance and hope that a table outside magically becomes available. Next door, Comporta Café also caters to a hip lunch crowd. Set on Pegô Beach, buzzy Restaurante Sal lures patrons with the promise of grilled fish and ocean views. A casual vibe and to-die-for shrimp rice make Dona Bia a fan favorite. For an unforgettable meal under the stars, snag a seat at the Food Circle. Situated in Sublime Comporta’s organic garden, the outdoor culinary experience pairs locally sourced ingredients and Portuguese wine.
Where to explore
Comporta abounds with natural beauty. Nowhere is the unspoiled splendor of this region more on display than Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, a 30-acre swoop of protected wetlands. Spend a few hours hiking, sailing alongside dolphins and observing white storks in their natural habitat.
Where to staySublime Comporta is a magnet for travelers seeking a laid-back retreat that doesn’t skimp on five-star luxury. Cabanas flaunt snooze-worthy beds, freestanding tubs and private decks. As the summer season rolls in, you might even see a low-key celeb sipping cocktails on the terrace or lounging by the pool. The recently opened Quinta da Comporta (one of the most exciting new hotels of 2019) bills itself as a boutique resort with a focus on wellness. Your other option would be to rent a house. Well-designed villas like Campo de Arroz and Casas Na Areia are great for group getaways. On a budget? For less than $100, you can stay in a rustic Airbnb near Praia da Comporta.
Where to relax
We’re guessing you’ll probably want to unwind at some point. Afterall, this is Comporta. For a relaxing spa day, head to Sublime Spa. The soul of each personalized treatment? The ingredients—including a bounty of fresh-picked herbs, pure essential oils, local rice and sea salt. So, go ahead and indulge in a smoothing body scrub or aromatherapy massage.