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 and not overrun. The beach is not easily accessible, and the trail is not well marked. If you come here, bring a picnic and enjoy this secluded beach. Praia da Ursa is near Cabo da Roca roughly 45 minutes to one hour hike.

Ursa Beach with only two other hikers
We shared Ursa Beach with just two other hikers

You can visit Ursa throughout the year though summer can be pretty hot. During winter after rain, the trail is more slippery. Continue reading to get a detailed trail description.

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 along the path. In summer, it's often boiling - winter can be rainy but beautiful as well. We'd been here at each season, and except summer, we always love to come back to this exceptional piece of nature.

Weather Ursa Beach and Cabo da Roca

Ursa Beach to the left also beautiful
Ursa Beach the other side - also nobody else

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 located at the west coast can be windy and a little cooler than Lisbon.

Spring

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

Day temperatures in spring are pleasant, almost 20°C. 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 are around 25°C – 30°C but consider the powerful sun. July and August are the busiest months, with tourists and Portuguese spending their vacation in their home country. These are the driest months of the year.

Autumn 

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

September is a great month for Ursa; still warm but not any longer too hot, 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. That’s not much. 

Winter 

Ursa Beach on the way back
Me, enjoying the view to Ursa

In winter, the day temperatures are on average around 15°C, 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.

Update August 2021

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. 

Top Tours around Lisbon 
 

 

Best Months to Visit

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

Location and Tips

Cabo da Roca
Portugal
Portugal

Praia da Ursa is a hidden beach located close to Cabo da Roca. 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.

 

 

Trail Description

A rocky landslide on Ursa
Rocks on Ursa Beach

Praia da Ursa is hidden, located close to Cabo da Roca. You can park your car here 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. First walk roughly 200 m along the paved road, then turn left and follow the white/red/yellow trail sign. Trailhead Google Maps Location

Trailhead Ursa Beach
Ursa Beach - Trailhead

Follow the narrow walking path along the shoreline. During spring, you hike between pink and yellow blooming flowers. 

Hiking path along the shoreline to Ursa Beach

Enjoy the beautiful views of the sea and Cabo da Roca in the back.

Trail to Ursa Beach with Cabo da Roca in the back.

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. 

The first view to Ursa Beach

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.

Helpful rope at one steep part of the trail to Ursa

This is the entire steep climb viewed from the beach.

The entire steep climb down to Ursa

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

Ladders from fishermen at several rocks
Do you see the ladder at the second rock?

A trail from Praia Adraga to Cabo da Roca exists but is difficult to find. An alternative is to hike the trail 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 in Portugal.
  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 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 not an ad, it is a 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
1 km
Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca; the most western point of continental Europe offers spectacular…
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 “…
Caves at Adraga Beach - Praia da Adraga
2 km
Caves at Adraga Beach - Praia da Adraga
Adraga beach is a beautiful small beach. The highlights at Adraga are the…
Capuchos - Cork Convent in Sintra
5 km
Capuchos - Cork Convent 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…
Created by
Micha Herber-Bleich
Micha Herber-Bleich
I love adventurous trips and my husband…