Praia da Ursa
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PRAIA DA URSA

IIf you're looking for seclusion and tranquillity, then Praia da Ursa would be the beach for you. Located a just 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, which battle 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) is reputed to resemble a bear with a cub on its lap. Its pristine and untouched nature is due to its remoteness. The path which winds down the hill from the car park can take up to an hour, which would pose problems for those with mobility issues. However for the adventurous who dare to make the trek are well rewarded by the spectacle of one of Portugal's most beautiful beaches.

ABOUT

Praia da Ursa

The legend of the Rocha da Ursa (Bear Rock) dates back thousands of years 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 that the snow is about to melt and instructed them to flee to higher ground. However, the bear proved to be stubborn and refused to leave. Angered that 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 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.


TRAVELLING TO PRAIA DA URSA

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.

• Scotturb bus #403 leaves from Sintra Train station and Cascais bus startion to Cabo da Rocha.
Scott URB Website