Comporta: hidden gem of Portugal

While many people head straight for the Algarve to experience great beaches, many are unaware that they pass by Portugal’s arguably most pristine and under-appreciated beaches: located next to the town of Comporta. This post will tell you more about how to get there and what is worth seeing in the area.

View over Comporta to the left, the rice fields in the middle and the beach to the right. Image by Herdade da Comporta CC-BY3.0

How to get there?

Driving from Lisbon

Few people know this, but Comporta is actually less than an hour and a half away from Lisbon. If you have a car, you need to drive south over one of the bridges, past Setubal, and make a turn when reaching the town of Alcacér do Sal.

Public transport to Comporta?

If you feel more adventurous and want to skip the car, then Comporta can be reached by bike from the peninsula of Troiá. What I would recommend doing is taking the regional train from Lisbon’s center to Sétubal, taking the ferry to Troiá, and then starting biking along the coast down to Comporta. The biking from Troiá to Comporta takes about 50min but you will pass by beautiful beaches so some breaks are almost mandatory!

Which beaches to see in Comporta?

Since there is no public transport that takes you directly to Comporta, the surrounding beaches are much less crowded than their Caparica or Carcavelos counterparts. The coastline is also a lot more preserved. It’s for these reasons that the beaches around Comporta are special. Below are a few beaches worth seeing.

Praia da Comporta

Unsurprisingly, the beach next to the town bears the same name. The beach offers a restaurant that serves great lunch as well as a small kiosk selling ice cream and Bolinhos de Berlim.

View over Comporta beach with the Arrabida mountains in the background at sunset. Image by Bunks CC-BY3.0

Praia da Torre

A little more south next to the small village of Torre is another beach with a great spot to sunbathe. The location is close to a small town with a café if you want to make a stop for lunch. Here is also a possibility to book a horse ride on the beach from Cavalos na Areira link here


View over the Torre beach south of Comporta. Image owned by Cavalos na Areia CC-BY2.0

Praia do Carvalhal

If you have a car then I would recommend driving little further south: the extra drive is worth it. Here is a great beach with more facilities compared to the Praia da Torre. You can both have a decent meal at a restaurant or buy snacks at the kiosk. There is also the possibility to surf. the town next by is Lago Formosa and offers accommodation as well as more places to eat should you prefer to have a wider selection.

View from Comporta towards the north where you can see the Arrabida mountains next to Sétubal. Troiá is in between.

Where to stay in Comporta?

If you want to spend the weekend in Comporta, there is a possibility to rent rooms. However, expect to pay for the location. The prices are way higher than a room in a regular hotel in Lisbon. A few that caught my eye while looking were the following:

  • Casas de Arroz. Located next to the Comporta-village
  • Campo de Arroz. Located south of Comporta in Carvalhal
  • Alojamento Local Verde e Mar. Located also in Carvalhal and the cheaper option of the three.

Where to eat in Comporta?

Although Comporta is small, there are a few restaurants that offer high-quality food due to its proximity to local produce. A few of my favorite spots are the following:

  • Restaurante Cavalariça. This restaurant located inside the town of Comporta is built in old horse stables: the booths where you eat are old boxes for the horses! The interior is tasteful and the meat was truly amazing. They also serve great fish and alternatives to meat of course.
  • Be Comporta. If you need a place to have a full breakfast or a tasty lunch before the beach then this is the place. This café is a great place for a quick spot or if you don’t know where to have breakfast.
  • Ilha do Arroz. If you are on the beach and forgot to pack lunch or if you want to dine with a view over the beach under sunset Ilha do Arroz is a great choice. This restaurant is located on the beach and can be easily accessed by walking from the parking right next to the beach.
Inside of Cavalariça. Image owned by Cavalariça CC-BY2.0

To sum-up

Comporta is truly a hidden gem of Portugal. Located right outside of Lisbon, it is very easy to get there by car and there is accommodation for the ones wanting to spend a weekend. Beautiful beaches as well as gorgeous rice fields covering the countryside are a great change from the bustling life in Lisbon. I would recommend coming here any time of the year.

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