Praia da Ursa – Colares, Portugal - Atlas Obscura
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Colares, Portugal

Praia da Ursa

In Portugal, a secluded stretch of untouched natural beauty hides at the bottom of a steep hill. 

Don’t expect to find amenities and souvenir shops at this beach, a sliver of sunbathed sand nestled at the bottom of a hill. Instead, just sit back and bask in the glory of having discovered an incredible spot to wander and enjoy the sunset.

Unlike at many of Portugal’s other beaches, you won’t find many other tourists crowding this wonderfully secluded spot. Accessing this beach is no small feat, but once you’re down on the sand, gazing at the beach’s spectacular view of the ocean, it will be totally worth it.

Determined travelers must hike (read: climb) down a steep hill face of dirt, grass, and loose rocks to reach the golden sand paradise. But once there, unique limestone rock formations and sea stacks waiting to be explored tower above the picturesque stretch of earth. 

The rocks look inviting to climbers, but just make sure not to be fooled by the wide availability of hand and footholds in the cliff faces—they have more rock pieces ready to fall away under your feet than it first seems. (Don’t fret, adrenaline junkies, you can climb away, just be careful.) Swimming and wading in the water are possible even in the colder months, but beware, the waves and currents can be quite strong, so do take caution.

Know Before You Go

Because of its perfect western exposure, Praia da Ursa is an ideal sunset viewpoint. If you view the sunset from down on the beach, make sure to bring a flashlight to make climbing back up the cliff easier as it starts to get darker. The sunset is just as beautiful if viewed from the top of the cliff as well, so you can also check it out as you climb back up after spending some time frolicking in the wonderland below.

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