Costa da Comporta
Comporta, also known as the Comporta Coast (Portuguese: Costa da Comporta), is a region in the northwest coast of the Alentejo, in Portugal, south of the Lisbon metropolitan area. Comporta is one of the most exclusive summer destinations in Europe, which has earned the region the nickname as "the Hamptons of Europe". The region, which takes its name from the village of Comporta, spans the coastal areas of the Alentejan municipalities of Alcácer do Sal and Grândola.
Comporta has become a notable design center and home to a community of famous designers and artists, including fashion designer Christian Louboutin, architect Philippe Stark, designer Pierre Yovanovitch, painter Jason Martin, amongst others. Comporta is associated with its so-called "Comporta Style" (Estilo Comporta in Portuguese), the local architectural and design style characterized by traditional Alentejan architecture, Bohemianism, and contemporary, ecological design.
The history of the region of Comporta is intimately linked to the history of the Herdade da Comporta ("Estate of Comporta" in English), a massive agricultural estate formally constituted in 1836, with origins in the 12th century, which originally consisted of the majority of the land and villages in the modern region of Comporta, made up of the coastal areas of the Alcácer do Sal and Grândola municipalities. The area has traditionally been home to salt works, fishing communities, and rice fields.
In 1991, after more than 150 years of operating as a purely agricultural estate, famous for its rice production, the Herdade da Comporta was reconstituted to develop its vast properties into an exclusive summer destination-oriented towards ultra high-net-worth individuals, centered on design and sustainability, while continuing to operate as an agricultural estate and as steward to the large swathes of protected natural land owned and managed by the Herdade.
Initially, the Herdade attracted high-net-worth personalities to the area through personal connections with the Espírito Santo banking family, which owned the Herdade. During this time, the Espírito Santo family invited high profile celebrities as guests such as Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Caroline of Hanover.
Following the collapse of the Banco Espírito Santo in 2014, courts ordered that the Espírito Santo family put the Herdade up for sale. In 2019, Paula Amorim, heiress to Portugal's largest fortune, concluded the purchase of the controlling share of the Herdade.
Comporta is located on the northwestern coast of the Alentejo, about an hour south of Lisbon. The majority of land in the region is protected from development as a nature preserve, while a significant portion is protected for traditional agricultural uses, such as rice fields and salt ponds. Restrictive development regulations were installed purposefully by the Herdade da Comporta and the municipal governments to both preserve the natural landscape of the region and ensure its exclusivity.
The region of Comporta is located within 3 freguesias (civil parishes) within the Alentejan municipalities of Alcácer do Sal and Grândola: Comporta, Carvalhal, and Melides. The following towns and villages are located within the region:
- Comporta (village)
- Brejos da Carragueira
- Praia da Comporta
- Praia do Carvalhal
- Praia do Pego
- Praia dos Brejos
- Praia da Raposa
- Praia do Pinheirinho
- Praia da Galé
The development of the region by the Herdade da Comporta into a high-end destination in the 1990s, under the leadership of the Espírito Santo banking family, intentionally sought to attract notable artists, designers, and celebrities to the area, with the aim of building an exclusive artistic community for the jet-set. Notable artists and designers that reside in the region include fashion designer Christian Louboutin, architect Philippe Starck, painter Jason Martin, and art curator Marc-Olivier Wahler, among others.
Comporta hosted an edition of the Wings for Life World Run in 2014.
The Comporta style, sometimes known as "Hippie Chic", is a local architectural and design style, developed by various architects and designers since the 1990s. The style is heavily influenced by traditional vernacular architecture of the Alentejo, ecological design, and regional arts and artisanry. Typical motifs include thatched roofing, straw plaiting, and Arraiolos rugs.
- Christian Louboutin, French fashion designer
- Monica Bellucci, Italian actress and model
- Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France
- Carla Bruni, Italian-French supermodel and singer
- Andrea Casiraghi, member of the Royal Family of Monaco
- Charlotte Casiraghi, member of the Royal Family of Monaco
- Philippe Starck, French architect
- Princess Diana de Cadaval, Portuguese princess and author
- Noemi Marone Cinzano, Italian countess & Cinzano heiress
- Marc-Olivier Wahler, Swiss art curator
- Jacques Grange, French interior designer
- Albina du Boisrouvray, French countess and Patiño heiress
- Pierre Yovanovitch, French designer
- Jason Martin, British painter
- Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, French prince and environmentalist
- Manuel Aires Mateus, Portuguese architect
- Laura Latham (20 August 2019). Developers Eye Portugal's Comporta Coast as New Ibiza. The Wall Street Journal. New York City.
- Felipe Sánchez (18 August 2020). Comporta, el escondite de moda de los famosos este verano [Comporta, the Fashionable Getaway of the Famous This Summer]. El País (in Spanish). Madrid.
- Ann Abel (5 June 2017). The Next Great Beach Destination: Comporta in Portugal. Forbes. New York City.
- Eric Lipton (28 August 2019). A Portugal of Pristine Beaches, Tiny Villages and Little Else. The New York Times. New York City.
- E.V. (16 August 2016). Comporta, el paraíso portugués que seduce a la 'jet set' española [Comporta, the Portuguese Paradise that Seduces the Spanish "Jet Set"]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid.
- Nancy A. Ruhling (8 December 2018). Comporta, a Portuguese Village Where the Well-Heeled Go for Some Privacy. Mansion Global. New York City.
- Laurie Werner (31 July 2019). The Alentejo Is The New Region To Go To In Portugal. Forbes. New York.
- Gisela Williams (13 August 2018). How One Laid-Back Portuguese Beach Town Became an Unexpected Playground for Architecture's Elite. Surface. New York City.
- "História". Herdade da Comporta (in Portuguese).
- António Vasconcelos Moreira (29 July 2018). Comporta: Viagem a uma Herdade com Oito Séculos de História [Comporta: A Trip to an Herdade with Eight Centuries of History]. Jornal Económico (in Portuguese). Lisbon.
- António Vasconcelos Moreira (14 November 2019). Paula Amorim e Claude Berda concluem compra da Herdade da Comporta. Economia (in Portuguese). Lisbon.
- Audrey Levy (8 June 2018). Comporta : le Paradis Caché de la Jet-Set [Comporta: The Hidden Paradise of the Jet-Set]. Paris Match (in French). Paris.
- Bruno Astuto (6 May 2018). Comporta: o balneário português mais frequentado pelo jet set internacional [Comporta: the Seaside Resort Most Frequented by the International Jet Set]. Vogue Brasil (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro.
- Paula Brito (14 March 2013). Louboutin Fotografou Colecção Primavera/Verão 2013 na Comporta [Louboutin Shoots Spring/Summer 2013 Collection in Comporta]. Dinheiro Vivo (in Portuguese). Lisbon.
- Malaika Byng. "How I work: artist Jason Martin". The Spaces (in Portuguese).
- Nancy A. Ruhling (8 December 2018). "Monica Bellucci Compra Casa em Lisboa" [Monica Belucci Buys a House in Lisbon]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). Lisbon.
- Staff (19 August 2009). Carla Bruni e Sarkozy Compram Casa em Portugal [Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy Buy a House in Portugal]. Lux.pt (in Portuguese). Lisbon.
- Juan Fernández (20 July 2019). Comporta: los Hamptons portugueses de moda entre la jet [Comporta: the Portuguese Hamptons Trending Amongst the Jet Set]. El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Barcelona.
- Cândida Santos Silva (19 August 2010). Diana de Cadaval: "Gosto que me chamem princesa" [Diana de Cadaval: "I Like it When They Call Me Princess"]. Expresso (in Portuguese). Lisbon.
- Dana Thomas (10 July 2017). Step Inside Noemi Marone Cinzano's Villa in Portugal. Architectural Digest. New York City.
- Inês Rapazote (13 June 2018). "O 'Príncipe Jardineiro' que Deixou Paris por Amor à Comporta" [The Gardener Prince Who Left Paris for Love in Comporta]. Visão (in Portuguese). Lisbon.