[ALENTEJO, PORTUGAL] — It’s the pine trees that get ya.
They are everywhere in Comporta. Big billowy umbrella pines that quietly sway in the breeze. Besides the rice fields, Comporta is known for its pines. And because development has been strictly controlled, the remain its dominant feature. There are no massive hotels or major housing estates, just slivers of streets carved out of the trees, often with protective easements that protect the privacy forever.
When I first saw this villa on Airbnb, I thought “Oh wow, this is nice…” and kinda like finding a puppy at the pound, I knew this would be the place we’d rent. Wasn’t quite sure of the area at first — had a hard time figuring out distances on Google maps — but as soon as we pulled in and walked out back that I knew we picked the right pup.
The trees. Towering over the most perfect pool and soft grassy backyard. A white stone border fence like an aesthetic cherry on top. The big blue sky. The sound of the wind rustling through the branches. It was intoxicating… and nap-inducing. I wanted to just.lay.down.right.here and take a nap.
There are only a handful of small hotels in the Comporta region, most always booked long in advance. So the way to go is to rent a villa. And seriously, you don’t even have to explore other places, because this is as perfect of a place as you’d want. The location turned out to be perfect, a quick 10-20 minutes from everywhere you’d want to go. The best beaches. The best restaurants. Right off the main road, but quiet as can be. I never heard a single car.
I went back a second time in September of 2019 and brought four other friends. The owner, Nuno, said we could rent their bigger house right down the road — which is his family’s private hideaway unless he rents it out. This one is the same design and aesthetic, but a little cooler view facing west across a protected forest preserve. Here is the link to Nuno’s main house.
My favorite thing to do in Comporta: go to the beach, have a nice long late lunch, then come home and hang by the pool with Spritzes and nibble on charcuterie. Perfect.
Obsessed with this.
This awesome table is where we spent most of our time, from sunrise to moonset. The perfect size for people to come and go all day, surrounded by candles at night.
Nuno’s house sits right on the edge of a forever-preserved forest area that changes colors through the seasons. It has the perfect size pool, perfect for a sunset schwimbob.
Everything looks better at night.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: After visiting Nuno’s other cool house in 2019, he said he had sold this house and was building a new house closer to Pego beach. Stay tuned. You might still be able to find this place for rent, but under a different owner.]
Does it get any prettier?
This villa is pretty new, designed and built by the owner Nuno and his wonderful wife, Ana — who actually have a similar house just a few blocks down the street. It’s clean, modern and the perfect vacation home. All the doors open up to the outside with gigantic sliding doors. The perfect little pool. An outdoor grill. And perfect interiors.
There are three bedrooms, one Master with king bed and two twin rooms. Two nice bathrooms and a perfect living room. I just love how the whole place is build around an old olive tree.
The whole house opens wide to the outdoors, with gigantic slide glass doors and screens.
Nuno is the perfect host; friendly, fun and helpful. He checks in on What’s App everyday to see what you need, makes suggestions on where to go. He’s like having your own concierge.
I could live here. Just love how the whole house is built around an old olive tree.
It first, we were unsure of the location because we didn’t realize how close everything is. The small little hamlet of Brejos da Carregueira is so centrally located in Comporta. Pretty much everything is a 10 or 20 minute drive, to the beaches, to Comporta, to restaurants. Turns out this was the PERFECT location. And the beaches are very easy to just drive to and park.
One cool thing I didn’t know was that when you own a house in Brejos da Carregueira de Baixo is you get access to a private beach hidden in the trees. When you stay here, you get an access card that opens a gate. You cross the narrow roads through the rice fields and find your way to a secluded parking area. A paver path leads through the trees to a totally private beach, only known by locals.
There are no services, restaurants or bathrooms at this beach, so you have to bring whatever you need. You can see locals loading up ATVs to make the trek, carrying coolers, grills, umbrellas and kids.
We stopped by during the beginning of when Portugal played in the World Cup. This is what a beach in Portugal looks like during the World Cup!:
Just miles and miles of pristine sandy beaches.
For other beach recommendations nearby, check out my other posts on Comporta.
Here is a link to Nuno’s villa on Airbnb.
Here is a fantastic “Insider’s Guide to Comporta” from my Instagram friends Joana and Sofia and their incredible Portugal website JO&SO. Bookmark that site, it has all the best undiscovered places in Portugal. It’s like a Hip Hotels of Portugal. They have highlighted a bunch of cool places to stay in Comporta.
Here’s the article in Conde Nast Traveller UK edition that first wowed me to come here.
A great article on Comporta in The Telegraph. And in the UK’s Independent. And Where the Rich Got to Get Off The Grid in Conde Nast Traveler.
An article called The Next Great Beach Destination in Forbes. And an article on wild Portugal in The Spaces website. And a great overview of Alentejo and other cool boutique hotels all over Portugal on the beautiful Joandso.com site — two Portuguese sisters who specialize in cool stuff.
A great article in Architectural Digest on Comporta. A great article on What to do in Comporta in Travel & Leisure. And a great article in Vogue on Comporta — they are always ahead of the rest of us.
Another great article in The Guardian. A very comprehensive guide on Comporta on the official Visit Portugal website. And in the Financial Times How To Spend It. and another article in The Times of London. And two Comporta hotels profiled in Wallpaper.
I’ve been to Portugal four times now, here are all my other posts.
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