Praia da Ursa
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If you're looking for seclusion and tranquillity, then Praia da Ursa is the beach for you. Located a little north of Cabo da Rocha, mainland Europe's most westerly point, this sandy cove has a dramatic and wild beauty. The rock stacks and islets, battling with the waves offshore, are a popular subject for photographers. One such rock formation lends the beach its name. The huge Rocha da Ursa (Bear Rock) resembles a bear with a cub on its lap. Its pristine and untouched nature is due to its remoteness. The path winding down the hill from the car park can take up to an hour, which could pose problems for those with mobility issues. However, the adventurous who make the trek are rewarded by the spectacle of one of Portugal's most beautiful beaches.


Praia da Ursa

Rocha da Ursa

The legend of the Rocha da Ursa (Bear Rock) dates back to the last ice age when snow covered the surrounding hills. During this time, a mother bear lived on the beach with her cubs. The ancient gods pre-warned all the animals who dwelt in the low coastal areas the snow was about to melt and instructed them to flee to higher ground. However, the bear proved to be stubborn and refused to leave. Angered their warnings were ignored, the gods turned the bear to stone along with her cubs.

If you decide to visit here, I suggest you wear good walking shoes or even hiking poles. Bring a packed lunch as there are no eateries for miles around. The path is no more than a dirt track, steep in places and precarious after rain. Swimming at the beach is not recommended because of the hidden rocks and currents just offshore.


Parking is at Cabo da Rocha and the track leads off from there, follow the white, red, yellow trail signs.

From Cascais and Lisbon follows the N247 and turning off at Azóia and follow signs for 1.5 miles (2.5km) from there. From Sintra take the N247 East.

• 1253 – Sintra (Estação) via Cabo da Roca | Circular
• 1624 - Cascais - Portela de Sintra (via Azóia & Almoçageme)
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