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Beach

First and foremost beaches are associated with swimming and sunbathing. Quite a few of them are scenic or outstanding at a special time. Share your favorite beach which you already experienced.

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 not far from Cabo da Roca roughly 45 minutes to one hour hike. 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.

Ursa Beach without any crowds
We shared Ursa Beach with just two other hikers

Most pleasant seasons for this hike are spring and autumn. During spring flower carpets are along the path. During summer it's often boiling hot 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

Lisbon and the surroundings are a great travel destination throughout the year.

Spring

Fog at Praia da Ursa in Spring

Day temps 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

Ursa during summer boiling hot

Summer temps 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 

Autumn at Ursa; September still warm for a bath

September is a great month for Ursa; still warm but not any longer too hot, nights are cool on average 16°C. October day temps 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 in winter, little cold

In winter the day temps 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.

PT Portugal

The “Praia das Catedrais Beach” is the most popular beach in Galicia and a photographer’s dream. During the summer months, a permit is required. In the winter you may enjoy your walk at the beach almost alone. The beach and in particular the arches and the cathedral are accessible around low tide only!

Accessibility

Cathedral Beach first arch during low tide at sunrise

Accessible during low tide only. This is particularly the case for the end of the beach where the three well-known arches are located. These arches are accessible during a short time frame roughly one hour before low tide and one hour afterward. Furthermore, the sea level has a relevant impact on how far you can get and how long you can enjoy your visit. 

Avoiding the Crowds 
Peak Season (Easter - Summer)


As Catedrais by Guillén Pére, CC BY-ND

Due to the popularity; well-known from social media, a permit is required since 2015 for Easter and from July to September now to preserve this extraordinary place. August is the worst month of the year. In July 2014 75 thousand visitors came here each week. The reason for the permit system. However, the limit of 5000 people per day is still quite high. To gain access, you even may queue before entering the beach. Cathedral Beach can get quickly crowded during low tide depending on the time of the day. Early morning is much quieter than the rest of the day. If you arrive at the end of the low tide in the peak season signs are put up, and you don’t get access to the furthest part which is the most stunning and picturesque. It's such an amazing place in winter that it is hard to believe having thousands of visitors here in summer. Consider that booking of at least 30 days in advance is mandatory. The permit is free and easy to book. Tickets Booking Cathedral Beach – Praia das Catedrais
Accommodation rates are the highest, and mostly there isn’t anything available on short notice. 

Shoulder Season (Spring - Autumn)

The Cathedral and Arches at Praia das Catedrais

Cathedral Beach is accessible without a permit except for Easter. Though the beach can get a little busy early morning or late in the evening it’s quiet and peaceful. Accommodations are available on short notice although the best rated are already fully booked. The weather can be capricious, therefore, carry a raincoat.

Low Season (Winter)

The Cathedral Beach arches at the furthermost part

During winter very few people visit the beach in the morning and also midday is bearable. It’s quiet and peaceful and you take back home unforgettable memories of this outstanding piece of nature. In our opinion the best time to enjoy this marvelous place in Galicia. You can book a cottage last minute for lower fares. Consider it frequently rains in the winter but you can't get disappointed at this time of the year.

Photography Tip

The Cathedral Beach and its famous rock arches and bridges are located towards the north. Getting the right light for a shot may be challenging but if you come here at sunrise during the winter time an atmospheric shot is almost guaranteed.

Weather 

Cathedral Beach with rainbow after a brief shower

The north of Spain experiences much more rain than the south. The driest and warmest months are from June to September. Usually, pleasant day temps around 20°C not hot as you would expect in Spain. Night temps can be chilly. Mostly one-digit day temps from November to April. Even if it is cold, foggy or rainy, Cathedral Beach does not disappoint,

Where to Stay

There is a variety of self-catering cottages, holiday homes, and hotels nearby. During the summer advanced booking is necessary. In the winter check the weather forecast first and then book your accommodation last minute as we did. Cathedral Beach is exceptional. We loved to explore this awesome beach and watched the incoming tide afterward. Stay at least one night to enjoy this place without being in a rush. We spent two nights here. 

Praia de Illas nearby Cathedral Beach
Praia de Illas nearby

There is a series of scenic and picturesque beaches where we also had a closer look too. Our favorite cottages are the Villas las Catedrales; fully equipped also with heating which is essential during winter. These villas are newly built and super clean. 

Villas las Catedrales close to the Cathedral Beach
Villas Las Catedrales, parking just in front

All available accommodations around Cathedral Beach. Bookmark the link for the lowest fares at booking.com.

ES Spain

Moreton Island is a popular and beautiful paradise just 40 km from mainland Brisbane. It’s a year-round destination although the winter provides more stable weather. The island is occasionally overrun. To find out the quiet and peaceful time for your visit continue reading.

Moreton Island, Tangalooma Shipwrecks
Shipwrecks at Tangalooma

Peak Season - Avoiding Crowds

The entire island is super busy on long weekends, Christmas Holidays from mid-December to late January, Easter Holidays, and for the Spring Holidays around mid-September for more than two weeks. If traveling by 4WD advanced ferry booking of up to six months is recommended, by walk-in at least two weeks. Before booking the ferry check the campground availability first. Also, lots of day trippers come by ferry either to Tangalooma or Bulwer, and cruise ships bring day trippers as well.

Fully booked ferry to Tangalooma, Moreton Island
Fully booked ferry to Moreton Island

Weather and Crowds (Season Details)

Brisbane experiences a rainy season from November to March during the hot summer. Thunderstorms are likely to happen, cyclones are rare. April to October are drier, but showers can occur throughout the year. 

Spring (September-October)

Pleasant day temps on average above 25°C and night temps are refreshing cool below 20°C. Usually, not much crowded except the spring holidays around mid-September for more than two weeks. From October onwards, the sea starts to warm up and rain increases.

Summer (November-March)

Day temps are on average around 30°C and night temps around 20°C. The Christmas Summer Holiday starts mid-December and lasts until late January. This is the most crowded time at all. If possible, avoid these weeks on Moreton. Often the weather is fine, but thunderstorms can happen quite frequently. The water temp is relatively warm around 25°C.

Autumn (April-May)

Pleasant temps in April and May. These are the quieter months on Moreton, especially during the week except the Easter Holidays which last two weeks. Campgrounds are not fully booked. The water temps are slightly cooler than in summer but still nice.

Winter (June-August)

Pleasant day temps on average around 20°C but chilly nights with 10°C and below. So, bring a warm sleeping bag for camping. These months are the driest. Usually, Moreton is quieter at this time of the year except for two weeks holidays end of June/ beginning of July. The water temp is cooler almost 20°C. If you like to snorkel bring a wetsuit or shorty.

Weather Moreton Island 1991-2015
Average Monthly Temperature and Rainfall for Moreton Island from 1991-2015

Helpful Links

One of the 15 Tangalooma Shipwrecks at Moreton Island
Where to Stay on Moreton
Camping

If coming by 4x4, you have lots of opportunities to choose from; like one of the 5 campgrounds with facilities or one of the basic ones on the island. Pre-booking is required.

  1. If you visit the island by feet, take the ferry to Tangalooma and pitch your tent next to the jetty. It’s just a short walk to the 21 beautifully located campsites. Online booking for the camping permit is essential. Therefore internet access is provided at the information board. Advanced booking is recommended during weekends and holidays. A spontaneous stay is possible but not guaranteed. Showers and long drop pits are available.
  2. Bulwer and the Comboyuro Campground are known to be very family friendly. There is the Castaways Café, Resort, and Store with a good selection of groceries for a long term stay. They also offer beautiful cabins. It takes roughly two hours to walk from Tangalooma to Bulwer.
  3. The Blue Lagoon is a beach campground and also an excellent spot with the refreshing lagoon in walking distance on the eastern side. You can park your car next to your tent or trailer. Facilities are provided.
  4. Ben-Ewa north of The Wrecks reached by 4x4. It's a popular spot for families due to the sheltered by waters. The campground offers shady sites and protection from stronger winds.
  5. North Point Campground can be reached by 4x4 only. The grassy sites, some provide shade are closely located to surf beach. You can't park your vehicle next to the tent in short distance only.

    Queensland National Parks Campsite Booking 
Accommodations
  • Another option for those who don’t want to miss a comfy bed book one of the view accommodations in Tangalooma on Moreton Island. Accommodation Booking for Moreton
  • The Tangalooma Resort has some great offers; guests can rent a 4WD, guided snorkel trips are offered, and you can watch dolphins in the evening when they get fed. Tangalooma Resort
     

Tangalooma Island Resort from the ferry
Tangalooma Island Resort

Ocean Life Highlights

  • Whale watching at Cape Moreton during their migration from June to November. Book a tour to experience these amazing giants in the ocean.
  • Dolphins, dugongs, turtles, and sharks can be spotted throughout the year around the entire island.
AU Australia

Sweet spot months without the heavy crowds and a high chance of good weather during the wet season are May and October. Both months usually bring warm and sunny conditions with brief rain showers only; often in the afternoon or late evening. There is less humidity in October than during the previous months. However, keep in mind that it's already/still rainy season and the weather can become unpredictable.

December - April (Dry Season)

If you want almost perfect weather visit between January and March: calm seas, clear blue sky, moderate temperatures Anyhow, rain shower can occur. However, it's high season and very busy (read below: Tourist Crowds)

Ao Phra Nang Beach and Princess Cave next to Railay Beach
Ao Phra Nang Beach and Princess Cave next to Railay Beach

May - November (Rainy Season)

Wet season with high humidity. The highest rainfall occurs in September. During the rainy season, everything can happen: Typical are days with 1-2 brief showers. You might even get two weeks of almost perfect dry weather or sometimes almost a week of straight rain. If you don't like crowds at all and can deal with unpredictable weather and rain, this is your season. Preferably not September, which is the wettest month. In the rainy season, no tourist crowds spoil the experience. It’s also the green season when beautiful fauna comes to life. Helpful weather overview: Krabi Monthly Weather
 

Tourist Crowds

High season is from November/December until April. Expect massive crowds here and almost every else in Krabi. Accommodation rates start climbing in November. The only chance to avoid the crowds is either come early morning or even better spend two nights here. 

Where to Stay at Railay

There are a number of accommodations around Railay. It's more convenient if you stay at Railay West or private transport is included. Our #1 choice is the Railay Village Resort perfectly situated in the heart of Railay offers privacy despite the busy location. Another excellent choice is the Rayavadee remote located offers a first class service. Shuttle from the airport to the 5* hotel is organized by the resort.

Longtail boats at Railay Beach, Krabi during the peak season
Railay Beach is full of longtail boats at midday

Tips for Boat Trips (during high season)

Longboats are operating from 8 am to 6 pm. daily. Go at a different time than most others. Either very early by taking the very first boat or book sunset trips. The beach starts to fill up quickly after 10 am, and midday is the worst; it's difficult to enjoy the beautiful scenery with so many other people. Another alternative is to go out on a diving or fishing boat. It's more expensive, but they are more comfortable and usually welcome non-divers as well as non-fishing passengers. They also take less traveled routes and visit less busy locations which are excellent for snorkeling. We'd booked a sunset tour with included dinner on the vessel of our resort the Aonang Fiore. We highly recommend a cruise along the coast, Railay Beach, to Poda Island, and Chicken Island. 

Chicken Island on a sunset Cruise along the Krabi coast
Chicken Island at the sunset cruise

TH Thailand

Cathedral Cove and the Coromandel Peninsula are one of the most popular places on the north island of New Zealand. During the summer the most important thing is avoiding the crowds at Cathedral Cove. To enjoy the rock arch with very few people come here at sunrise. The rest of the year watch the tides and the weather forecast first for the perfect experience. You get the best shot between high and low tide. Low tide is nice as well, and it's dry inside the cave/rock arch. At high tide, you may not be able to walk through it: Tide Times Cathedral Cove Coromandel

Cathedral Cove Coromandel; Mare Leg Cove and its Smiling Sphinx Rock
Mare Leg Cove and its Smiling Sphinx Rock

Don't miss the nearby Hot Water Beach two hours either side of low tide! Read on for more information about Cathedral Cove and all its beautiful lagoons and beaches. 

Weather and Crowds (Season Details)

Coromandel is a year-round destination with a mild climate. The rainfall on the Coromandel peninsula is sometimes significant even in summer. The weather is influenced by the mountain range and the sea.

Spring (September - October -November)

Shoulder Season! Precipitation decreases; but still quite high in September with an average daily temp of 12°C and nights are around 8°C which is pretty chilly for camping. October improves with almost 14°C and above at daytime. Cathedral Cove gets busier but still bearable. November is drier almost like the summer months. Temps are pleasant.

Summer (December - January - February)

Peak Season! These are the driest months of the year and the most popular time for visiting New Zealand. Come here either for the sunrise or the sunset. Don’t worry about the tides. If you like to enjoy this magic place, try to avoid the crowds. Cathedral Cove is often overrun during the day. From December to March the parking fills up soon. The reason that there is a second parking area with shuttle transfer offered. The mean daily temp is 24°C and above even up to 30°C during the summer.

Autumn (March - April - May) 

Peak and shoulder season! In autumn the temperature is getting cooler, but weather can be excellent even for swimming until late April/May. It’s still drier in March and April; rain increases in May. March is still busy until Easter. In April the crowds thin out, and in May it becomes enjoyable.

Winter (June - July - August)

Low Season! If you come here during winter and the colder months from May to September, you may experience the beach and cove almost alone, but it's too cold for swimming. Most precipitation in winter with its peak in June. This is also the coldest month but still pleasant day temps. The winter temperature can be 12°C-14°C and drop to 6°C-8°C. This time of the year is pretty cold for camping.
 


Picture provided by Johannes Ehrhardt

How to avoid the crowds during peak season? Before sunset, most of the people already left the beach. It's less busy in the early morning and the evening.

Where to Stay

Don't visit Cathedral Cove in a rush. Stay here at least one night. There is a huge variety of accommodations in Hahei. We spent two nights there and even that was too short for Cathedral Cove, the Hot Water Beach (we gave it a miss, unfortunately) and the Waiau Kauri Grove and Falls. We'd chosen an exceptional location for our stay in the Church Accommodation. We loved the dinner in the Church Bistro which was initially a church made of wood in the 1900s. If you like it hassle-free regarding parking and stay in close proximity to The Cove, check out our accommodation choice below (Where to Park). 

Car Rental & Campervan

Please do not make the mistake and rent a car or camper at Auckland airport without pre-booking. It's much more expensive if you rent on the spot. The best price comparisons for pre-bookings can be found at Rentalcars.com - Auckland Airport. You can book any big brand (Budget, Enterprise, Alamo, ezi, Hertz, Avis, ace, etc.) or even campervans from JUCY!

NZ New Zealand

The New Chums Beach is still a hidden gem. There isn't any road to the beach or cafe just pure nature. It's better to come 2 hours after high tide and around low tide here. During high tide, you may either get wet feet when reaching the beach, the beach is pretty small or you are blocked when you want to leave. It depends on the level of the high tide, the wind, and the surf.

Weather

Coromandel is a year-round destination with a mild climate. The precipitation on the Coromandel peninsula is sometimes significant even in summer. The weather is influenced by the mountain range and the sea. The "driest" months are from January to April while the warmest months are December to March mostly between 20 to 25°C. April is a bit cooler but still pleasant. Most rainfall in winter with its peak in July; also the coldest month. The winter temps is around 10-12°C and drop to roughly 6°C. Frost is not common. 

NZ New Zealand