The name Comporta, roughly translated, means a gate that holds back water, a lock. Which makes sense when you see how many canals there are. The region here is characterised by the number of rice fields under cultivation. Great fields of rice, the biggest in Portugal, stretch all the way down the coast, sheltered from the stiff Atlantic breezes by sand dunes. If you are looking for a relaxed getaway with a little difference look no further then Comporta.

The pace of life here is sedate at most, the days here are unhurried. It’s an easy, breezy existence. The focus is the beach, with warm sunny summer climates there is no better place to spend the day. And what a beach: 12 km of uninterrupted sand the colour of a pastel de nata, a deep, mellow yellow, fine and powdery as icing sugar. Forget Brighton beach on a bank holiday, that 12km means you can enjoy unspoilt fantastic beaches in relative peace and quiet.

The architecture here is unique – small, low-built, thatched cabanas, hooped with tightly packed grasses from the riverbanks and beams of wood from the pine forests. Compared to the algarve you won’t see a high rise hotel in site. One of the places we would recommend you stay is undoubtedly the areas coolest hotel; Sublime Comporta, set in rugged grounds of a forest of umbrella pines, gnarled cork trees and un-manicured wildflowers, this 14 room hotel really lives up to its name.

For nearly 15 years, Comporta and Beach Bar has been a haven for those who love dreamy beachfront dining and imbibing, offering a friendly atmosphere and Atlantic sea views as far as the eye can see. This little gem does what all great beach bars should, concentrates on serving quality drinks and tasty international food with a genuine smile and warm welcome. The wooden walkway entrance to the venue begins at the sea, and works its way up to its wooden walls of the cafe and its signature flags – reminiscent of sails – blowing in the wind. There is a hammock (of course) on site, and you can certainly choose to take a swing in it or proceed to one of the warm day beds or comfy beach chairs instead. As for music they generally get that one right as well, with a mix of chilled DJ’s and acoustic guitar sets, this certainly is a place to while away the sunny days.

So next time you are thinking about needing a relaxing holiday in the sun, no need to think much further than Portugal, the only question to ask is which pair of Bowler & Beaches should you pack?!

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