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Tales from the Road (Trip) … With Kids Part 2 (Portugal Coast)

From Evora, Portugal we drove to the coast near Comporta where we stayed at Cocoon Eco Design Lodges.  I’m happy to report no mishaps on this leg of the trip.  In fact, both kids slept for a good portion of it.

When we pulled up my husband said we booked to stay in a trailer park. He thinks he’s funny. The only thing the lodges have in common with a trailer is that they are long and rectangular so don’t worry.  Designed and constructed with the environment in mind, each lodge is compact and integrated in look and feel with the surrounding terrain – definitely not trailers.

Portugal Coast Swimming - Our Whole Village

We had booked the T+1, which has a double bed in the bedroom and bunk beds in the hall between the living area and bedroom. Our daughter loved the bunks!!! The bedroom size was fine for 2 people though a tad cramped once we put up the travel crib.

Portugal Coast Swimming - Our Whole Village

The lodges come equipped with the basics for cooking and cleaning up, including dish soap and cloth. There is also a grill outside each lodge. It being off season ours was not quite ready for use. Instead, it was growing some weeds which prompted our daughter to declare it a “grill garden.”

The “pool,” is in fact a man-made pond with swim docks, ladders and a shallow end for small kids. It is also a frog sanctuary complete with lilly pads and a lulling cacophony of frog sounds throughout the day and night.

Frog Habitat - Our Whole Village

If you like to run or walk, the location of the lodges is perfect. There is a grid of maintenance roads (sand/dirt so easy for the knees) that criss-cross the terrain and you can see the ocean from some of them. Don’t worry about the big paw prints. We are pretty sure they’re from the neighbor’s dogs…

Running on Portugal Coast - Our Whole Village

The beaches in the area are beautiful. We lucked out with warm temperatures and sun so we spent the second day on the beach collecting shells (of which there are tons), jumping waves and eating sand.

Yes, you read that right.   This was my son’s first time at the beach (not counting Barcelona when was he was 3 months old) and he decided to sample the sand. He liked it. He’s got food and wine geeks for parents and he liked the sand!

Central Portugal Beach - Our Whole Village

In fact, he liked it much so that he attempted to go for seconds. At least he’s got an adventurous palette.  Unfortunately, we were not as happy with our lunches on the coast as he was with his sand.

Collecting shells on the beach in Comporta, Portugal.
Collecting shells on the beach in Comporta, Portugal.

We ate at the beach restaurants in Comporta and Calvahal. The restaurant in Comporta was fine though nothing to write home about. Calvahal has two at the top of the walkway: one to the right and one to the left. We went right. We chose poorly. Maybe the baby was onto something with his sand snack…

At least the kids were happy during lunch...
At least the kids were happy during lunch…

At any rate, I recommend a picnic on the beach instead of eating at the restaurants. Just note that the mini grocery stores in town leave a lot to be desired and the closest chain grocery is a 25 minute drive away. So be sure to shop on your way in.

Next up, eating in Lisbon. We do, after all, have to make up for those two beach lunches!

Postscript: We discovered Cocoon Eco Design Lodges through the folks at Travel Peques, a website dedicated to travel with kids.  They have some great recommendations so if you speak Spanish, or, like me, can at least muddle through, check out the site.

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