Praia da Ursa is the westernmost beach in continental Europe. No wonder – it is located a stone’s throw from Cabo da Roca in the Sintra mountains, which is the literal end of the continent. Compared to Cabo da Roca, however, Praia da Ursa is much more difficult to reach.
Rocha da Ursa
The name Praia da Ursa comes from “rocha da ursa” – bear rock. According to the Portuguese who live in the area, one of the rocks (guess which one!) resembles a bear holding her baby. As friendly as a bear can be, so can this beach. Even the gentlest descent requires trekking boots and proper physical form. For that, familiarity with the terrain is also useful. The second path, which looks at first to be the widest and most comfortable, changes at a certain point to a rocky descent that requires mountain climbing skills. If you already find yourself on the beach, stay away from the cliff. There is a fairly recent known case where a tourist died struck by a rock that had slipped down the slope. The ocean in this place is also uncommonly rough. Bathing is also inadvisable – especially since there are no lifeguards on the beach.
Praia da Ursa – one could list the reasons why it is dangerous. But is it worth seeing? By Michelin Guide, this place was considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And we must admit, there is something magnetic about the wildness of nature in this place. Yes, you have to be prepared. Yes, you have to be attentive and observe what is going on around you. But for that, that feeling of being in the centre of something primitive and pure is irreplaceable.
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