The SL Guide To Comporta: Portugal’s Hidden Gem

Lisbon is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, but Comporta is where the fashion set are going this summer. Just 90 minutes outside Portugal’s capital, this old fishing village offers secluded golden beaches, excellent restaurants and relaxed beach clubs – and there’s no shortage of show-stopping hotels and villas. Here’s where to stay and what to do when you get there…
By Sherri Andrew

Where To Stay

For a small village, Comporta has an excellent range of accommodation options, from luxury five-star hotels to stylish villas for families and groups. Quinta da Comporta is a top choice for families looking for spacious rooms and plenty of activities to keep little ones entertained. Styled like a traditional Comporta farm, the hotel has two types of rooms: thatch-roof cabanas and mock farmhouses with whitewashed walls and wooden beams. The hotel also has a 40m infinity pool, a second adults-only pool in the Oryza spa, a bar, and a beautiful restaurant where guests can enjoy Mediterranean dishes made with the best local organic produce. During the summer months, there’s also a kids club and babysitting service.

Equally stylish, Spatia is a boutique retreat with chic minimalist interiors and ten rooms, all with terraces and hammocks offering cinematic views. Ideal for couples or groups, the hotel has impressive facilities including a clubhouse (with a restaurant, lounge and bar) and two pools – one of which has a button for summoning wine. The service is excellent and individual stays can be tailored to include paddleboarding and dolphin-spotting trips or just taking a picnic basket to explore the local beaches. 

For a truly relaxing trip, Sublime Comporta is a stunning retreat set on a 42-acre estate surrounded by wild dunes and rice fields. The hotel has 23 rooms, suites and cabana-style villas for special stays, as well as an impressive spa with an extensive range of treatments. There are separate pools for adults and children, plus two restaurants serving healthy, authentic Portuguese food. Sublime can organise everything from Pilates classes and bike riding trips to horse riding on the beach and dolphin watching at Sado estuary.

If you’d rather have a little more privacy, Campo de Arroz is a stylish Airbnb which sleeps up to seven across three bedrooms. Near the beach with its own ‘sand garden’, the property has an infinity pool with hillside views, an outdoor kitchen for al fresco dining, and chic, simple interiors throughout – think whitewashed walls and rattan furniture.

Elsewhere, Le Collectionist has over 30 Comporta villas, from family-friendly properties to blow-the-budget holiday homes for girls’ trips, while The Luxury Travel Book has stunning villas and beach houses to choose from – including Pego Paradise which sleeps up to 14. For something a bit different, Silent Living is another top choice where guests can stay in minimalist fishermen’s huts facing the beautiful Sado river.

Casa Donoma
Pego Paradise

Where To Eat & Drink

Praia da Comporta is the main beach in the village, and the culinary scene revolves around this golden-sand stretch. Beachfront dining is best at Comporta Café, a laid-back beach-hut restaurant where guests can sit in nautical-style booths inside, out on the deck or in hammocks. Expect traditional Mediterranean dishes and local seafood with cocktails and carafes of wine. At sunset, you can watch the tide go out while DJs take to the decks.

A short walk away, Ilha do Arroz serves jugs of white sangria with local cheeses followed by huge salads, calamari and fresh seafood. Diners are encouraged to stay and share long meals with family and friends on the deck.

Further along in Praia do Pego, Sal is a lively bar offering delicious seafood alongside beers and margaritas, while O Dinis in Carvalhal feels particularly romantic at night, surrounded by steep cliffs.

For long days on the beach with parasols and sun loungers, Sublime has one of the best beach clubs in the area. Book in at the restaurant to try Portuguese wines with dishes like beef tartare, spaghetti vongole and seafood platters, then relax on the beach with cocktails. For modern Portuguese fine dining, Cavalarica has a regularly changing seasonal menu showcasing the best local produce – think oysters, followed by chargrilled skate with salsa verde, and vanilla parfait with black sesame sponge cake and meringue. For drinks, there’s 5 Sentidos for small plates and cocktails, or Colmo bar for fresh juices in the day and spicy palomas at night. 

Colmo Bar
Campo De Arroz

What To Do

Although Comporta is a village, there’s no shortage of activities on offer. Whatever type of trip you’re planning, Sado estuary is a must visit. The nature reserve encompasses sandbanks, rice paddies and woodland where visitors can see several bird species including flamingos. You can also book boat trips to see pods of dolphins – Sado Emotion is a reputable company.

One of the best ways to explore Comporta’s beaches and rice paddies is to hire an electric bike. Comporta Electric Bikes has a range of hire options and its bikes are sturdy enough to ride along the beach towards Pego and Carvalhal. Lovers of the outdoors should also make a beeline for the neighbouring village of Melides with its beautiful, secluded beach. Here, you’ll find several art galleries, as well as sandstone cliffs and a deep blue lagoon which locals swim in. 

In terms of beaches, Tróia Galé, Carvalhal and Pego top the list (you’ll find parasols, restaurants and beach clubs), while Robinson and Brejos are a little more secluded with beautiful views. Horse riding along the beach is a popular pastime for locals, and there are two excellent riding schools in the area: Passeios a Cavalo and Cavalos na Areia, the latter runs group tours if you don’t want to go solo. 

For surfing or paddleboarding, hire equipment or take lessons with Surf in Comporta, which operates across most of the beaches in the area. For private tours and bespoke itineraries in and around the village, Concierge Comporta can help you plan your holiday from start to finish, suggest the best things to do, and recommend new openings in the area.

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