Set on the Atlantic west coast just north of Cabo da Roca and not far from Lisbon you can find Praia da Ursa. Unspoilt and wild, this little beach is cited as one of the most beautiful in the area. The name of the beach comes from the “Rocha da Ursa” (bear rock) one of two huge sea stacks at the northern end of the beach. It is said that the rock resembles a bear with its cub, although I can’t quite see this myself!
The difficult access does pose an obstacle to any visitor, however, it is also the reason why it is so well preserved and still bears the wild features that are hard to find on a beach nowadays. The walk down from the parking area along the cliffs to the beach takes about 1 hour but it is definitely worth it once you get there.
NOTE: This beach is unsupervised and has no facilities. Not for bathing as big waves and strong rip current.
Take the train from Lisbon to Cascais then the 403 bus to Cabo da Roca – it’s quicker than the Lisbon-Sintra-Cabo da Roca route. Take bus 403 from Cascais leaves from the terminus under the shopping centre opposite the train station. The sign to Ursa is easy to find because the 403 bus passes it before it stops at Cabo da Roca. Follow the path until you reach the point when you start the descent (about 5-10mins from the Ursa sign). That’s the start of your hiking adventure. Don’t forget to bring your GPS otherwise you’ll get lost.