Praia da Ursa - Ursa Beach Hike

Praia da Ursa - Ursa Beach Hike

Portugal
Portugal

When Is the Best Time

Praia da Ursa is still a hidden gem, not overrun, although just 40 km west of Lisbon located. The world-class beach is not easily accessible, and the trail is poorly marked. Bring a picnic and plenty of water and enjoy this secluded beach if you come here. Depending on the season, you may get beverages and a snack at Cabo da Roca, but I wouldn't count on it.

Ursa Beach at low tide with one visitor only
The golden hour is magical at Ursa

Where is Ursa Beach

Praia da Ursa is situated north of Cabo da Roca roughly 45 minutes to one hour hike. Location Google Maps Below, you can find where to park the car, a detailed hiking description and a mobile hiking map. You can visit Ursa throughout the year though summer can be pretty hot. During winter, after rain, the trail is more slippery. 

Can You Swim at Ursa

A gap between two rocks leads into the sea
Although it looks like an excellent spot for swimming, I can't recommend it.

Unfortunately, you shouldn't swim at Praia da Ursa for two reasons. The sea is frequently rough, and strong currents occur. You can take a refreshing bath at Ursa Beach, which is much needed during the hot summer. This beach is remotely located and not secured by lifeguards.

Waves crashing - view through a rock
View through a rock arch on Ursa

The most pleasant seasons for this hike are spring and autumn. During spring, flower carpets are spread along the path. In summer, it's often scorching - winter can be rainy but also sunny and pleasant. We'd been here each season, and we always love to come back to this exceptional piece of nature. Each season is different but always mind-blowing.

Weather Ursa Beach and Cabo da Roca

Ursa Beach to the left also beautiful
Ursa Beach to the other side direction Cabo da Roca - also not a soul in sight.

Lisbon and its surroundings are a great travel destination throughout the year. It's rarely too cold here, always pleasant during the day. Ursa Beach is located on the west coast, which is usually a bit windy and a little cooler than Lisbon.

Spring

View from the coastal cliffs to Praia da Ursa in the distance.
View of Ursa Beach and Cabo da Roca in the back from the Fishermen Trail.

Spring's day temperatures are pleasant, almost 20°C, and nights are a bit chilly, 10°-15°C. We love this season; not hot but warm and almost always sunny. Showers can occur occasionally. 

Summer

Hiking with friends along the coast down to Ursa
Hiking on the coastal trail with friends

Summer temperatures range from 25°C–30°C in the shade, so consider the mighty sun. July and August are the driest and busiest months, with tourists and the Portuguese spending their vacation in their home country.

Autumn 

View to Ursa from the middle of the climb
View to Ursa from the middle part of the track

September is an excellent month for Ursa; still warm but no longer too hot, and nights are cool, on average 16°C. October day temperatures are still above 20°C, and November around 18°C. Rain increases in October; however, the maximum is 80 mm in November, and that’s not much. A wind jacket may be needed while hiking along the exposed cliff trail.

Winter 

Ursa Beach on the way back
Me, enjoying the view of the fascinating Ursa Beach in winter.

In winter, the day temperatures are around 15°C, with one-digit temps during the night. Precipitation occurs more often, but it’s rare to experience rain the entire day. We’d been here several times in December and January. Usually, you can even walk barefoot at the beach.

Parking Praia da Ursa

Cabo da Roca and its Lighthouse
I recommend the parking at Cabo da Roca.

There is a new parking and a much closer trail to get to Ursa Beach nowadays. This path is shorter but not as spectacular. Limited parking only. Google Maps Location for easier access to this outstanding beach. However, the described trail below offers breathtaking views to Ursa and Cabo da Roca. We still prefer to park our car at Cabo da Roca to enjoy the stunning landscape on this coastal walk. The only restrooms are available at Cabo da Roca.

 

 

Best Months to Visit

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

More Places About

Location and Tips

Cabo da Roca
Portugal
Portugal

Praia da Ursa is a wild and unmaintained beach that is wonderful to spend an entire day here. You can park your car at Cabo da Roca for free or take the “Hop on Hop off” bus from Lisbon. Depending on your fitness level, you may need up to one hour to get to the beach.

How to Get to Praia da Ursa

A rocky landslide on Ursa
Rocks on Ursa Beach

Praia da Ursa is remote, located close to Cabo da Roca. Nevertheless, most Cabo da Roca visitors do not know that there is such a beautiful treasure within walking distance. You can park your car here for free or take the “Hop on Hop off” bus from Lisbon.

Upcoming gof at midday at Ursa in the summer
A belt of fog appeared at midday in summer.

Depending on your fitness level, you may need up to one hour on this 2 km hike one way to get to Ursa. First, walk roughly 200 m along the paved road, then turn left and follow the white/red/yellow trail sign. Trailhead Google Maps Location

Ursa Beach Trail and hiking sign
Praia da Ursa Trailhead close to Cabo da Roca

Follow the narrow walking path along the shoreline. During spring, you hike through a carpet of pink and yellow flowers. Enjoy the beautiful views of the sea and Cabo da Roca in the back.

The coastal path with Cabo da Roca in the back
The trail offers spectacular views.

You may need 20 minutes until you get the first glimpse of this spectacular beach. Even if it is too steep and slippery for you, walk at least to the first outlook. 

View to Ursa from the cliff top walk
You get the first glimpse of Ursa.

From now on, it's steep and slippery, and hiking poles are very helpful. Just the final very steep part is secured with a rope.

A rope at the steep descent
Wear proper shoes in case there isn't any rope available.

This is the entire steep climb viewed from the beach. My favourite hiking app where I marked the whole trail for you Locus Pro Hiking Map

The rocky and steep trail down to Ursa
The climb down to Ursa.

This spectacular beach is usually too dangerous for swimming due to strong currents. It has enormous, impressive rocks and is well known for climbing. There are ladders and ropes used by the fishers for a good safe position when fishing.

One of the huge rocks with an arch bow
The first part of Ursa is full of rocks.

A trail from Praia Adraga to Cabo da Roca exists but is difficult to find. An alternative is to hike the path guided by "Walk Hike Portugal". It took us 45 minutes from Cabo da Roca to Praia da Ursa. It's a steep trail but worth the effort. Be prepared well and experience one of the most fascinating beaches in the Lisbon area.

7 Tips and Packing List

Man on trail looking down to Ursa Beach
Hiking Trail down to Ursa Beach
  1. Hiking poles for your safety.
  2. Wear trainers or hiking boots for this steep descent and ascent.
  3. Plenty of water and a picnic; you can't buy much at Cabo da Roca.
  4. Sunscreen and sunhat even in the winter; expect UV 6-8 in Portugal in winter.
  5. A towel; sit down, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Ursa.
  6. Plenty of time; don't come here in a rush; plan at least half a day.
  7. A windproof jacket in winter or a waistcoat for the rest of the year. It's frequently windy here at the most western tip of Europe.
     

Good to Know

There are clean restrooms at Cabo da Roca for a small fee.

Top Tip

The team of Walk Hike Portugal and we on a coastal trail
Teresa, me, Markus, Francisco, and Paulo - Thanks for the wonderful guidance!

You like to experience more hidden gems around Sintra and the coast? Check out the website of my friends from Walk Hike Portugal. This is my recommendation after hiking to plenty of secluded places with Teresa, Francisco, Paulo, and my cousin Antonio (To).

Comments

Walk Hike Portugal

The highlight of this hike will be the picnic in the wild Ursa beach. It's considered by the Michelin Guide as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and where the more daring can dive in its clear waters.

Always with the Lighthouse Roca to tell us our fate, be impressed by the mighty Atlantic waves power and how they shaped the coast in impossible ways to man.

Nearby Places
Cabo Da Roca - The Most Westerly Point of Portugal and Lighthouse
1 km
Cabo Da Roca - The Most Westerly Point of Portugal and Lighthouse
Cabo da Roca offers spectacular views. The lighthouse and lookout are extremely…
Where the Land Ends and the Sea Begins
1 km
Where the Land Ends and the Sea Begins
Our hike begins at the continental Europe westernmost point, Cape Roca, where “…
Praia da Adraga - Caves at Adraga Beach Close to Sintra
2 km
Praia da Adraga - Caves at Adraga Beach Close to Sintra
Although Adraga is less than one hour drive west of Lisbon located I never…
Convento dos Capuchos - Cork Convent of the Capuchos in Sintra
5 km
Convento dos Capuchos - Cork Convent of the Capuchos in Sintra
The austere Franciscan Monastery located in the dense forest of the Serra da…
Monserrate Palace in Sintra
6 km
Monserrate Palace in Sintra
Monserrate Palace is rich in history dating back to 1540. It was a chapel…
Ancient Pilgrims Path Around Sintra
7 km
Ancient Pilgrims Path Around Sintra
Our walk, ancient way of pilgrims, begins in the most beautiful dam of the…
Praia Santa Marta - Santa Marta Beach in Cascais
13 km
Praia Santa Marta - Santa Marta Beach in Cascais
This beach is beautifully located with a magnificent view of the lighthouse "…
Torre de Belem - Belem Tower in Lisbon
26 km
Torre de Belem - Belem Tower in Lisbon
Belem Tower, located 5 km from the centre of Lisbon close to Jerónimos…
Millennium BCP Foundation - Archaeological Site in Lisbon
32 km
Millennium BCP Foundation - Archaeological Site in Lisbon
For each tour are just 15 visitors allowed; means only 105 visitors daily. This…
Praia do Meco at Costa da Caparica
43 km
Praia do Meco at Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica is a 30 km coastline of sandy beaches. You can visit this…
Created by
Micha Herber-Bleich
Micha Herber-Bleich
I am always open, curious about new…