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Many couples like to "play it safe" by choosing a honeymoon destination that is highly touted. The attractions, accommodations and activities in such places are well documented, so you will always know what you are getting.

However, other couples look for something a bit different. They seek out locations that are off the beaten path and have been kept secret from most of the world. Comporta, Portugal is certainly the latter. The hip little town sits on Portugal’s Tróia Peninsula, just one hour south of Lisbon. Sandwiched in between dense forest and the Atlantic Ocean, Comporta is a nature lover’s dream. It also has amazing scenery. Its 13-mile-long sandy spit seems to never end. This somewhat secret honeymoon getaway boasts thatched fishermen cottages, rice paddies, and a level of peace and quiet found in few corners of the globe.

What To Do in Comporta

Photo by vreimunde on Flickr

Photo by vreimunde

Honeymooners seeking a beach getaway will find it in Comporta. The main attraction around these parts is the Praia da Comporta. Perched on the southern tip of the Tróia Peninsula, the large sandy beach is a favorite for locals and tourists in the summer months. Praia da Comporta is part of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, so its dunes and sandy pine forest remain well preserved.

The Troia Ruins will appeal to history lovers and curiosity seekers. These ruins were part of a salted fish factory that was in operation nearly two thousand years ago at the time of the Roman Empire. Visitor platforms make it possible to roam the complex and see the fish salting workshops, the baths, the mausoleum, the cemetery and a residential quarter.

Comporta is, firstly, a destination of great natural beauty. There are several things to explore, including golden dunes, green rice fields and traditional fishermens' dwellings. A favorite mode of transport for visitors to Comporta is the horse. Cavalos na Areia has 10 horses that can be used to gallop around the area.

Photo from Cavalos Na Areia

Photo from Cavalos Na Areia

Where To Eat

Comporta and its surroundings have become a bit of a foodie destination as well. One of the finest restaurants in the area is Restaurante Museu do Arroz. Set up in Comporta’s old rice husking mill, the restaurant opened up in 1996. Today, it serves some of the freshest seafood in the area. The varied menu features dishes like tacos, fish fillets, bacalhau cakes and rice balls. For more relaxed dining, honeymooners can try one of the seafood shack establishments like O Dinis Restaurant. O Dinis, started by a local fisherman, began as a few tables and chairs in the sand. It is now a proper restaurant serving grilled seafood and plenty of cold beer.

Where To Stay

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Comporta features several private villa accommodations including Casa Na Areia. This eco resort has a name that translates as “Houses in the Sand.” The living rooms in the four bungalows are literally carpeted with sand. The two-bedroom thatched-roof accommodations are composed of old masonry buildings and local materials. Casa Na Areia gives honeymooners a high level of privacy and relaxation, while giving them comfort at the same time. The bungalows of Casa Na Areia feature wi-fi, scenic views and gourmet kitchens.

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When To Go

Some of Comporta's visitors are from Portugal's elite classes. They tend to visit the area during the summer months. As the beach is Comporta’s main attraction, you can find the biggest crowds from June through August. Couples seeking a bit more privacy can try Comporta in the shoulder seasons of fall and spring. This is when they will find true peace, quiet and calm.

Your Turn…

What do you think of Comporta? Would you ever consider having your honeymoon in this secret corner of Portugal? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.