A summer scene is ramping up on Portugal's West Coast, as artists, a-listers and surfers revel in the beach-shack vibe of Comporta.
Rice farmers have been in Comporta since the beginning of time, as have the fishermen and salt makers. They have shaped the look of the landscape in this part of Portugal, dotted with cork oaks, covered with glowing red poppies and yellow carpets of wildflowers
Sandy fields bulge with organic courgettes and broccoli and pumpkins as sweet as pudding. In high summer, makeshift stalls pepper the side of the road, piled with watermelons, artichokes, tomatoes that taste of sunshine. Knobbly lemons the size of grapefruit hang heavy from the trees. The ground pours forth flowers and vegetables and fruit. It's hard to think of anywhere else so fertile, so abundant. Here is a rustic, fuss-free way of life. And it seems unperturbed by the nascent fair-weather visitors.
Comporta is a village on the west coast of Portugal, about an hour's drive from Lisbon.
The area is well looked after, not only because much of it is a highly protected nature reserve (look out for huge nesting storks and flamingoes in the river)
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