Against all odds, this is one of the most exclusive destinations in Europe.

This Atlantic and alluring corner of the Portuguese Alentejo captivates travelers with its lack of artificiality, endless miles of beaches and that bohemian atmosphere that fascinated artists and businessmen with a desire for solitude. Welcome to the Portuguese mini-Hamptons.

Wild landscape with pine trees, rice fields and dunes that protect miles and miles of beach. Just a few villages. At first glance, there is nothing else in Comporta, an hour south of Lisbon. Of course, perhaps, that is why you have to come to this almost virgin strip of the Atlantic, which, in spite of everything, has become one of the most most exclusive from Southern Europe.

Has this corner of the Alentejo changed since the hum of Comporta a decade ago? Definitely. All you have to do is stroll through the beach club on the elegant Praia de Pego. However, even today, the lack of artificiality remains unchanged. Pretentiousness does not tempt anyone. Naturalness has triumphed slow life Alentejano and sustainability above all.

And this is Comporta’s irresistible claim to people like the designer Christian Louboutinwho has just opened his hotel in Melides. OR Philippe Starck, who just a few days ago opened a restaurant on the dunes of Praia na Comporta, which made a splash. Or for a Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysenwho signs a new project in the area of ​​JNcQUOI, a private club in Lisbon. Or a British artist Jason Martinwho also has a studio in Melides. They all fell in love with Comporta’s magnetism and belong to that creative tribe that is part of the DNA of destiny.

A traveler alien to this bohemian elite or Happy Few who buy their projects should not look from the outside. He AlmaLusa group, With two properties in Lisbon, just a year ago he opened a new home in the center of Comporta. This is the first and only hotel in the city, so it is ideal for those who do not need to travel everywhere by car. With 22 rooms and 31 suites, a swimming pool and a rooftop terrace overlooking the rice fields, the hotel is ready to make the most of your Portuguese-style vacation.

One of the terrace suites at the AlmaLusa Comporta. TRIPS

As an introduction to the destination, there is nothing better than stopping to look at the pictures hanging on its walls. Fishermen, rice growers, cooks, fruit merchants… These are portraits of the inhabitants of Comporta, those who were there before their arrival. Monica Bellucci, Nicolas Sarkozy and Andrea Casiraghi, among other celebrities. “It’s a quiet place,” explains Patricia Purshotam, hotel manager. “People come not for the party, but for the beach and nature. Of course, the prices for a sunbed and an umbrella are 40% more expensive than in the Algarve. This is an upscale place.”

From AlmaLusa, you can walk to all of the city’s lively restaurants and browse through all those jewelery and airy lifestyle shops. boho and prices from another planet. They also organize a surf lesson, a dolphin tour at the mouth of the Sado River, and horseback riding on a sandy beach surrounded by the sound of the sea. This is one of the main events in Herdade da Comporta. If you’re itching to try the cold waters of the Atlantic, your best bet is to ask for a towel at the front desk and stop by the cafe for healthy sandwiches and salads.

Life Juice store in Comporte. MGH

From beach to beach

Praia Comporta It is a 15 minute drive through rice fields and a wooden path. The blues holiday begins, a strong splash of these waves, endless white sand in sight and exhalations: so much beauty and water, so cold. It is difficult to calculate how many people had to come to fill these beaches. Better not to think about it. Beach bar, yes, should be reserved. To call any of beach club, with umbrellas and Balinese beds, an attentive waiter and local cuisine that create a beach atmosphere. This Comporta Café Beach Club. by his side Ilha do Arroz, one of the classic restaurants open until sunset. The photo is repeated many times over 60 kilometers of the beach. in the famous Praia do Carvajal we found a beach club sublime behavior, a nearby luxury eco-resort designed by Miguel Cancio Martins. Next to him moved the restaurant “Sal”, with its usual fresh seafood, facing the sea.

The long beach of Comporta and its rice fields. TRIPS

Next stop – Mr. Pego beach, surrounded by avant-garde architectural projects, here and there you can find those very interesting houses among the pine trees that respect the environment and which are in Comporte. Installed on the beach JNcQUOI his club, one of the most exclusive… and with the best accompaniment. Because a few meters away, hidden in the dunes, a restaurant designed Stark. The surprise is huge, because the French designer saw snow on the sand… judging by the old skis and sleds adorning his roofs. A shelter après ski, AndIn short, as if we were in the Alps. And this, despite the discrepancy, is beautiful.

Praia na Comporta, a new restaurant designed by Philippe Starck. MGH

If these waves are not strong enough for you, the simple solution is to continue driving a few kilometers south. Be sure to check out the Galé-Fontaínhas beach, which is very different from the others because it is nestled between rocks of petrified red sandstone. What a show. A stunning landscape, although very different, also awaits in Melides. In the city, you have to wander between its blue and white houses and shops with antiques and knick-knacks that neighbors bring to the sidewalks. Once on the beach, a jagged sandbar with huge waves ridden by surfers, the walk can be as long as you like. On one side is the Atlantic, and on the other, the Melides lagoon, much more tame.

Any of these beaches are perfect for sunset hunting. Another option is to go to Cais Palafitico da Carrasqueira. This treasure of popular Portuguese architecture on the banks of the Sado Estuary is a small fishing town on the water. Piers and huts on stilts that seem to have stopped in time and turn a traditional image into a magical setting. To return to reality, we return to the town of Carrasqueira.

The picturesque port on stilts of Carrasqueira, at the mouth of the Sado River. SHUTTERSTOK

one of Fisherman’s shelter it is also a real experience. The owners of this modest, family-run restaurant, open for three decades, go fishing every day to serve succulent fried eels and seafood rice soups that can feed an army. It’s not that the beach clubs are far from this tavern, but that they seem to be light years away. Here Louboutin is not known and not expected. Surely the designer knows too well that there are thousands of mosquitoes. We’ve saved this for last, but it suffers. “Only in the summer,” say the locals. We already said it, Comporta, no matter what.

Come. There are different airlines flying to Lisbon from Spain. The capital of Portugal is 1:30 hours drive from Comporta. By road it is 5:30 hours from Madrid.

Sleep.AlmaLusa Comporta ( Opened just over a year ago, this is the first and only hotel in Comporta. Rooms and suites from 160 euros.

Eat. Salt ( Now on Carvalhal Beach (next to Sublime Comporta Beach Club) with fresh fish and shellfish. Fisherman’s shelter. An old fisherman’s tavern opened over 30 years ago in Carrasqueira.

More information. At Turismo de Portugal:

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