Grandola, Portugal travel guide

02.24.2016

Travel Guide to Grândola, PortugalI wasn’t planning to do a post on our week in Portugal as it was off-season and a lot of shops and restaurants were closed but it was such a beautiful area and I had such an amazing time rekindling with my old passion that I thought I would share a bit of our trip with you.

It was my second time in Portugal. The first time we went there was the week after Christmas when Mila was about 5 and I remember us being able to walk around in shorts and t-shirts until 5pm in January which was great in comparison to London weather at the same period.
Unfortunately, I have no real recollection of the area we stayed (Carvoeiro) apart from our daily lunch to the Suites Alba Resort & Spa which had a beautiful, infinity pool and was close to the beach, which was great for Mimi.

However, Grândola [ˈɡɾɐ̃dulɐ] and specifically Comporta, Pego beach and Carvalhal beach where we went, left an inspiring, lasting impression and happy memories with all of us.
Herdade da Comporta, a strip of coastal villages an hour outside Lisbon, is where natives unwind. It is a beautiful and privileged area where nature is almost virgin. As a lover of white interiors, clean lines and natural hues, the few new built properties deftly combined style and comfort with appealing rural simplicity. White buildings and straw roofs (like Casa na Areia below) are perfection to me and were a visual feast.Travel Guide to Grândola, Portugal 6Travel Guide to Grândola, PortugalGranted we stayed in a beautiful house found on Behomm (more of this later), which was so gorgeous and nicely conceived inside that we would have been happy to hang out for days should have the weather been horrible but the area was just incredibly beautiful, raw and natural.Travel Guide to Grândola, PortugalTravel Guide to Grândola, PortugalEAT

Sal
Located on Pego beach, they apparently make the most beautiful fish soup but it was closed when we were there. This didn’t stop us from heading to this beautiful beach pretty much every day.

Museu do Arroz
Allegedly, the best and most well known restaurant just outside Comporta village on your way to Troia. We went there at lunch time and we were the only people. The staff was very helpful but Steve and I had both a rice dish which was so nice but nothing special. The inside is quite interesting and I’m sure in Summer time, the place must be buzzing and contributes to the atmosphere. It’s right next to the Museu do Arroz (Rice Museum) which was closed and RICE, a nice interior shop (closed too until June).

Comporta Café:
By far my favourite! We had lunch there on Valentine’s Day and loved it so much that we went back. First time, Mila and I had a very big slice of salmon with roasted vegetables (delicious and healthy) but portions were so generous we both couldn’t finish our plates. Second time, I had black spaghetti with large prawns (delicious too!) which I was told were normal spaghetti mixed with the ink from Octopus.

Our host also recommended these:
Dinis/Pescadores
Very nice atmosphere, great view over the dunes and Pego beach.

Pôr do sol
A nice informal restaurant at Carvalhal beach. Good and simple dishes, fish and seafood.

Granhão
On the way to Carvalhal beach. Very good quality value food and service. Perfect for lunch or for a beer at night. They have a snooker table and they pass the football matches on TV.

Dona Bia
Located at Torre, on the main road from Carvalhal to Comporta. Very good typical food, good service and definitely a place to go for tasting the local cuisine.Travel Guide to Grândola, Portugal Travel Guide to Grândola, PortugalTravel Guide to Grândola, PortugalDO

There is a lot of water activities in Summer time. We had packed our wetsuits to go surfing and Mila’s skate but in the end, we mostly walked and cycled and played games in the evening. It was quite windy and overcast when we got there on Saturday and we were supposed to have only one sunny day but from Wednesday, the weather was beautiful and by the time we left, it was 21 degrees.

Cycling/running
The area is mostly flat and the surroundings beautiful, making cycling and running to the beach very enjoyable.

Surfing
The coast is not famous for its waves but you can still have some fun. The beach is perfect for learning and there is no crowd to spoil your fun. Check the surf school in Carvalhal.

Horse riding
We would have loved to horse-ride on the beach but at 50 Euros each, I thought it was a bit too much, even if it was 1 hour 50. Considering we horse-ride regularly, we gave this a miss.

Badoca Park (with kids)
40 min from Comporta, we stopped there when we came from Sines but it was about to close so we gave that a miss too.

Day trip to Sines
The birthplace of Vasco de Gama is by the sea. The view of the harbour from the top of the south wall of Castle of Sines was beautiful. We walked around and then had lunch at the only restaurant open we could find.

Day Trip to Lisbon 
Gosh I loved Lisbon! Only 1 hour 20 min from Comporta, it was a delight to see this city and one I will definitively come back to for a long weekend or a week. I could have spent a whole day photographing old azulejos. We had the most gorgeous lunch in Taberna Rua das Flores 103, like really really gorgeous food and reasonably priced (about 40 euros for 3 main dishes, two deserts and two coffees). I also grabbed a few presents from A Vida Portuguesa.Travel Guide to Grândola, PortugalTravel Guide to Grândola, Portugal

SLEEP

Behomm where we found this beautiful house (ID 1560) is a home exchange website for Creatives and design lovers so we stayed there for a week and Luis, the Architect and Owner will spend a week in our house in London (ID 3079 on Behomm) in April. Before you ask, I’m getting more information from Luis where he lists his house for rentals if you’re not registered with Behomm and I will include these in my next post when I do a tour of the house.

Troia Design Hotel (5*****) Great design hotel

Cocoon Eco Design Lodges which looked very cool for a totally off-the-grid stay

THINGS TO BRING BACK

I love bringing back things from my travels that will fit perfectly in my home rather than a touristic thing so I brought myself a lovely white bath mat (similar to these) for the bathroom in our holiday home in France, some salt in a pretty ceramic white jar for my mum and we bought a lemon tree, a mandarine tree and gramineas to plant by the deck, which will feel at home on the French Atlantic coast. I restrained myself from buying another blue salad bowl from the RICE’s Grândola branch and I really loved this coffee table covered with vintage azulejos but…850 euros.Travel Guide to Grândola, Portugal Travel Guide to Grândola, PortugalI hope you enjoyed this…Leave a comment if you did or if you have any questions xoxo

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