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Sintra Cascais, Portugal
Amid a seascape of forests, precipitous cliffs and otherworldly rocks, this imposing beach (and surrounding park) is just a short drive from urban Lisbon. See the blood-orange hue cast at sunset across the rocky outcroppings of Bear's Beach and it’s easy to believe the legend: A mother bear once lived here during the Ice Age -- but refused to leave during the melt. That's her, there -- ensconced in that sea stack, frozen forever to look toward the Atlantic. Part of the UNESCO-noted Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, this treasure trove of wild beauty is definitely worth the difficult descent by foot.