Where else in Europe can you find endless miles of uncrowded, powdery white sand in either direction?
Only in the last Wild West of Portugal’s Alentejo region. You can access the beach only on foot via the dunes, so park the car and walk through the low pine trees and yellow and red carpets of wildflowers, until you reach the sand. It’s so beautiful and wild, it almost looks landscaped.
The beaches to know are Comporta Beach, a favorite for day-trippers from Lisbon; exclusive Pego Beach, home to the area’s unofficial clubhouse, Restaurante Sal; and Carvalhal beach, popular with surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers. In the summer, it’s not uncommon for the beaches to be livened up with a DJ, but the vibe remains astonishingly low-key.