Comporta is the summer retreat of fashionistas, media-moguls and off-stage politicians

Comporta & Tróia

Set within the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, Comporta overwhelms visitors with its wild natural beauty. A lagoon leads to imposing dunes that flatten into rice fields and vast pine forests in one direction, and mellow powder beaches flanked by pristine rolling waves in the other. A rustic bohemian vibe abounds, with the focus firmly on simple, outdoor living: a game of cards on the beach, grilled fish in a waterfront café, rustic chic fishing houses with outdoor showers and views that stretch forever. The omnipresent storks personify the unspoiled rural stillness, with authenticity, space and harmony the words on everybody’s lips. A firm favorite amongst the likes of Princess Caroline of Monaco, Christian Louboutin, Jacques Grange and the Rockefeller family, Comporta is fast gaining a reputation as Lisbon’s trendiest—and most chilled-out—summer beach retreat. Find a deserted spot to call your own and indulge in the serious art of relaxation.

Whether you’re traveling as a couple or as a family, José Ribeira’s Cavalos Na Areia is the perfect stop for an adventure you will remember for years to come. Perched above Comporta’s famous rice fields you’ll find his handsome stables, and a one and a half hour guided tour will take you across the rice fields and onto a secluded part of the beach.

If you need a vitamin D fix go to the more exclusive Pego Beach and have lunch at Restaurante Sal. The fresh Octopus salad with diced onions, chopped parsley and drizzled in golden olive oil is the perfect starter, and since this is rice territory, ask for Black rice with cuttlefish and aioli.

After a full day at the beach, head to Comporta village where a handful of different lifestyle boutiques including A Loja do Museu do Arroz which carries colourful caftans, printed bikinis and flat sandals, as well as a mix of antique garden furniture, Coté-Sud with its summery jewellery collections, sun hats and organic cotton – hand-woven tunics, as well as Lavanda featuring an eclectic selection of clothing, accessories and home-ware, and is one of the best examples of Comporta’s boho chic style.

Tróia stands for ultimate beach buzz with the minimum of effort

Even closer to Lisbon you’ll find Tróia, where the dark waves of Comporta fade to an almost Caribbean turquoise. A staggering 18 kilometers of uninterrupted golden sand and some of the country’s cleanest water make Tróia the escape of choice for couples and young families alike seeking the ultimate beach buzz with the minimum of effort. It’s a firm favorite with bottlenose dolphins too! Take a tour 3 hour with Vertigem Azul – ask for Pedo Narra, one of the company’s co-founder’s, who is also an acclaimed professional photographer and who knows the region better than anyone.

If you want something truly unique or monumental, the Roman Ruins too are worth your visit when you arrive in Tróia. The beauty of the space is undeniable – let it sweep you off your feet – dunes that extend from the lagoon to the banks of the Sado estuary. You can take a tour which will take you back to the 1st century A.D. Discover a national monument that has survived over 2000 years, with houses, factories, baths, mausoleum and necropolis, all marks of Roman citizenship. One cannot remain indifferent to the dominant presence of the workshops and the fish salting tanks where the iconic fish sauces were made and sold all over the Empire.

Keen to see for yourself? Leave Lisbon by the Southern freeway, crossing over the 25th of April Bridge, and head towards Setúbal (one of the world’s largest wine regions boasting nearly 10,000 hectares of vineyards). Exit at Setúbal and follow signs for the Tróia Ferry. See how many birds you can spot during your 20 minute crossing of the picturesque Sado Estuary, also a hotspot for the region’s resident population of bottlenose dolphins. Once across the river, continue straight ahead for ten minutes to Comporta. Past Comporta, the Grândola road will take you to the equally beautiful beaches of Carvalhal and Praia do Pêgo. Take an alternative route back to the Hotel via the charming medieval port, Moorish castle, waterfront cafes and handicraft shops of Alcácer do Sal. On your return to Lisbon, admire the city by night as you cross beneath the sail-like cables of the 12 kilometer Vasco da Gama Bridge: a beautiful finale to a breathtaking day.

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Kicking back and soaking up the mellow vibe of Comporta’s uncrowded sands, fishermen’s huts, simplistically stylish shacks and hippie-chic boutiques. It’s the ‘secret’ summer retreat of fashionistas, media-moguls and off-stage politicians for good reason…