Secluded golden beaches; scenic surf-spots and dolphins frolicking in diamond-clear waters: Comporta’s coastal charms are usually reserved for hard-to-reach islands, or possibly your dreams. However, this little-known fishing village and its surrounding beaches are actually in southern Portugal, a short drive from Lisbon. An antidote to the crowds of the Algarve, Comporta remains largely undiscovered by tourists. At Praia da Comporta, hip seaside clubs reminiscent of Ibiza play chilled-out tunes and serve iced blueberry caipiroskas; catamarans glide out to sea, and resident pods of bottlenose dolphins play in the waves. At night, coolly modern restaurants and independent bars come alive with locals and those in-the-know. Before sitting down to just-caught seafood and salt-cod fritters, explore the tiny shops on Rua Dom Afonso Henriques and Rua do Secador, where embroidered kaftans, silken cushions and other suitcase-bound souvenirs await.
When to go
July and August are typically sweltering; sun-worshippers should book for September, when the sea is mild and the sun isn’t too hot.
PlanesThe closest airport is Lisbon, which is just over an hour’s drive from Comporta. Most airlines operate regular flights to Lisbon, including British Airways and EasyJet.
BoatsAtlantic Ferries run frequent ferry and catamaran services between Setúbal and the Tróia peninsula (www.atlanticferries.pt).
TrainsIt’s possible to get to Comporta by rail, but not easy: get the train from Lisbon to Setúbal, from which it’s a short ferry or catamaran ride to the Tróia peninsula. Then, you’ll need to get a taxi to Comporta itself.
AutomobilesAs Comporta is fairly isolated, you’ll be thankful for a set of wheels. Hire a car from one of the booths at Lisbon airport, then follow the A12 and A2 to Comporta.