Bliss lives in Comporta, Portugal. (For the sake of accuracy, we’re referring to the actual town and the surrounding region.) This low-key vacation destination on the west coast of Portugal has long flown under the radar. Though its endless charm, superabundant natural beauty, and laid-back atmosphere are starting to attract an increasingly cosmopolitan crowd.
From expansive rice fields and windswept dunes to grassy fields and powdery shores, there are many Eden-like aspects to Comporta. It’s a splendid location for leisurely strolls, horseback riding, and stargazing. You’ll also find Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, a protected 30-acre stretch of wetlands that’s home to numerous species of birds and dolphins.
Perhaps most importantly, the white sand beach is utterly idyllic. An ombre cascade of aqua, turquoise, and cerulean extends as far as the eye can see. Praia Comporta is a place that beckons lazing. The thatched huts certainly bolster that languid spirit. Even the parking lot is lovely. (Seriously, the spots have covers to block the harsh sun.)
Two restaurants teeter on the edge of the sand. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Ilha do Arroz has a fantastic vibe, outdoor seating, and a menu of delectable seafood dishes. Next door is another crowd-pleaser, Comporta Cafe. At both oceanfront joints, salty breezes and constantly flowing Vinho Verde are the norm.
After you’re sufficiently satiated and sunned, it’s worth checking out the town of Comporta. Calling it “quaint” would be an understatement. You’ll find a few bars, eateries (most notably, Museu do Arroz), and cute shops. Our favorite is Lavanda, which sells stylish pieces for men, women, and kids.
Despite Comporta maintaining a rather low-key status, it has surprisingly impressive accommodations. Couples can rent a whitewashed bungalow near town or drive a mere 15 minutes down the road to the aptly named Sublime Comporta, a rural retreat steeped in unpretentious luxury. The sprawling 17-hectare property is punctuated by modern cabanas and villas with private pools. There's a glorious organic garden, two locally driven eateries—Sem Porta and the Food Circle—plus a serene spa. Simply put: Sublime Comporta, much like the rest of the area, is a slice of unspoiled paradise.
Not that we have anything against the Hamptons or Ibiza, but these holiday hotspots have had lengthy tenures. For couples seeking a beach escape that’s decidedly slower and less built up, Comporta is the perfect choice.