With a seemingly endless expanse of sand, rolling, grass-topped dunes, and bitingly cold, iridescent sea, the Herdade da Comporta coastline is an epic, untamed paradise. Straw umbrellas, beachside cafes and wooden boardwalks perfectly complement the wild landscape, making this one of the best beach holiday destinations in Europe.
Although it’s essentially one long stretch of uninterrupted sand, the coastline is, in fact, made up of several beaches each with their own distinct features and characteristics. From the well-to-do Praia do Pego to the undiscovered Praia do Pinheirinho, all are spectacular in their own right. Read on to discover the best beaches in Comporta.
Praia da Comporta
Located a twenty-minute walk from the village, Praia da Comporta is the closest beach to Comporta, placing a beautiful stretch of golden caster sugar sand and shimmering turquoise sea within easy reach. The beach is backed by rolling sand dunes peppered with plants and greenery, creating a magnificently wild scene while also providing the perfect shelter from the gusty Atlantic breeze. Two beachside restaurants – Comporta Café and Ilha do Arroz – can be found at Praia da Comporta, each serving up the laid back yet well-heeled vibe that Comporta itself has become famous for, while a more rustic beach shack offers a selection of drinks and refreshments. Sunbeds and hammocks are also available for hire, each sitting under their own white and blue wooden canopy.
Praia do Carvalhal
Drive fifteen-minutes south from Comporta Village and you’ll arrive at Praia do Carvalhal, another spectacular beach with a huge mass of soft white sand stretching as far as the eye can see. Due to its out-of-town location, this beach tends to be a little quieter than Praia da Comporta (which itself isn’t exactly crowded) and it’s more than likely that once you’ve found your own spot in among the dunes, it will feel as though you have the entire place all to yourself. Once again, there are two beachside restaurants serving fresh seafood and cocktails as well as a number of sunbeds and straw-topped umbrellas.
Praia do Pego
Home to the famous Restaurante Sal, Praia do Pego is one the most popular beaches in the area but it’s also one of the most beautiful, and with such a large stretch of sand, it still manages to offer a peaceful, wild beach experience. Restaurante Sal was the first beachside restaurant to open in the area and thanks to its fresh, albeit pricey seafood, and eclectic, nautical-themed interiors, it remains a firm favourite among holidaymakers that have deep enough pockets.
Praia do Pinheirinho
Hidden on the other side of an old private development that was never completed, Praia do Pinheirinho remains unknown to most people visiting Comporta, meaning there’s a strong chance that you’ll have the entire beach all to yourself. It’s a little hard to get to – you need to drive through the old estate and then walk for about ten minutes through the sand – but the feeling that you’ve discovered your very own slice of paradise makes it more than worthwhile. It also has a much more dramatic backdrop than the beaches located close to the village, with soaring terracotta cliffs, untrodden sand and swarms of seagulls. To access the beach, you will need to turn off the main N261 road and then enter through the old Spatia entrance. The road will eventually turn into small cobblestone, which you need to keep driving along until you reach a roundabout and the end of the road. Unless you have a four-wheel-drive, it’s best to park here and walk the rest of the way up the hill. Keep going straight until you go back downhill to the beach.
Praia da Gale-Fontainhas
Praia da Gale-Fontainhas is also lined with imposing red cliffs while a deep canyon that can be walked through makes for a striking entrance. The beach backs onto a large campsite, so it’s a little busier and more rustic than Comporta’s other beaches, but it’s worth a visit for the photographic boardwalk that hugs the cliff edge. To reach the beach via the boardwalk rather than through the campsite, aim to park in the little village to the right as opposed to the main car park at the campsite entrance. A small car park can be found at the coordinates 38.206322, -8.773203. Here you will see a small set of steps on the bend of the road that leads to a pathway and then the boardwalk.
Praia de Melides
A thirty-minute drive south of Comporta, Praia de Melides is worth stopping at if you’re visiting the sleepy village of Melides. With Christian Louboutin recently purchasing a house there and one or two trendy restaurants opening their doors, it could soon be Portugal’s hottest seaside village. Like the rest of the beaches in the area, this one offers the understated, barefoot vibe that makes the area so special with just one low-key beachside café and a handful of straw umbrellas sitting in the midst of the vast blanket of powdery white sand.