Cape Rock is Europe’s westernmost point. Portugal

Cape Rock – Europe’s westernmost point

A tour of Cape Roca, the westernmost point of Portugal and Europe. History, weather, what to see and how to get to Cape Roca from Lisbon and Sintra. Photos and reviews.

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Cape Roca represents the westernmost point of the entire Eurasian continent, known since ancient times. Located in a national park called Sintra-Cascais, the cape is located in what is now Portugal. The Portuguese themselves call it Cabo da Roca.

The ancient Romans called this place Promontorium Magnum, which translates to “Great Cape.” During the period when Europeans made the most remarkable discoveries in terms of geography, the place became famous as the Cape of Lisbon. However, no matter how it has been called at different times, the cape has always been known for its dangerous descent to the ocean, steep precipices and sharp cliffs. Cabo da Roca began to gain popularity only in 1979, because before that another place, Cape Finisterre, was considered the only “edge of the world” on the Iberian Peninsula.

Luis Camões, a famous Portuguese poet who lived in the 16th century, described the cape in the following words: “This is the place where the land ends and the sea begins. Today, the crashing waves and endless ocean still inspire lovers of romance and poetry.

How to get to Cabo da Roca

40 km from Cabo da Roca lies picturesque Lisbon. After enjoying its beauty, many tourists include a trip to the neighboring towns of Cascais or Sintra in their itinerary. They are in close proximity to the cape, so getting to the “edge of the world” from there is easiest. From Cascais to Cape Roca about 20 km on the N247 road, from Sintra even less – about 17 km on the same road N247 (or 26 km if you choose the highway A16).

It remains to choose the way of transportation. Immediately note that there is a bus number 403 running between Cabo da Roca and the two nearest cities. The departure time is every hour there and back. If you want you can take a cab, the distance is short – no more than 15-20 euros one way. Of course, you may prefer a rental car, which will give more freedom, but will cost significantly more. But this is ideal for those who want to see the sunset on the cape or meet the sunrise.

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The easiest way to get to Cape Roca from Lisbon is via Sintra. There are regular trains from the central station of Rocío and the ticket price is 5-7 euros. In Sintra you change to a bus or take a cab.

For those who prefer more comfortable options, Tripster has a sea of guided tours from Lisbon. The best of them are From Sintra to Estoril (the most popular!) or All in one day: Lisbon, Sintra, Cape Roca, Cascais, Estoril (if the first route is not free).

Both are individual tours lasting 8 hours, and the names alone make it clear that these are sightseeing tours of the highlights in the vicinity of Lisbon. All coastal resorts + Sintra + Cabo da Roca in one day. Given that the car fits up to 6 people (in the second option – up to 4), in the case of a large company – it is even an opportunity to save money.

If your heart desires romance, there is an equally wonderful Sunset at Cape Roca walk. The guide Sasha makes the first stop in Sintra with a sightseeing tour, and then takes tourists directly to the Cape to finish the day by meeting the sunset.

Weather at Cape Roca

Cape Roca is an annual attraction for travelers who find themselves in Portugal. They come with cameras to take stunning pictures, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, and watch the spectacular sunset.

Lighthouse at the westernmost tip of the Eurasian continent The weather at Cape Rock is unpredictable, so bring a windbreaker and rain gear.

Washed by the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape attracts the most visitors during the summer months, while in winter the weather is very severe, which dramatically reduces the number of tourists. The only constant here at any time of year is the strong wind, so the local vegetation is rather sparse.

What to see and do

In addition to the rock itself, which rises over the picturesque area at 140 meters, this place is also known for the lighthouse, which is most impressive in the dark. Nearby you can find a tourist information center, where for 5 euros travelers are offered to buy a certificate confirming that they have been to the “end of the world. There are also a couple of stores with souvenirs.

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Not far from the lighthouse there is a stone plate with the coordinates of the location of Cabo da Roca, reminding tourists that they are at the westernmost point of continental Europe. Nearby there is a hotel, where it is better to book rooms in advance, because during the high season tourists who come to see the local beauty like to stay there.

If you do not want to stay in a local hotel, you can continue your journey with a meal in one of the nearby villages. Cape Rock is adjacent to a rocky beach, which can be accessed via a winding road. In rainy weather, however, travelers are best advised to refrain from such an outing.

Excursions in and around Lisbon

The most interesting excursions in Lisbon are itineraries from locals. Popular attractions include a stroll through the old town, gastronomic tours and excursions to Sintra, Estorial, Cape Roca or all in one day!

And lastly, a quadcopter flight over Cape Roca, just as we love it!

Isn’t it awesome? Still, it is worth taking some time to visit the cape, which has at all times made a strong impression on travelers.

Cape Rock: where the edge of the earth meets the vast ocean

cape roca portugal

Cape Rock is the westernmost point of Europe. Tourists visiting Portugal wish to visit it. The views of the Atlantic Ocean from the 140m high cliff make you feel you are at the edge of the world. The infinite expanse of the ocean, the coastal cliffs, the waves breaking against them in every conceivable shade of blue, and the refreshing coolness of the scenery, takes your breath away.

Where is Cape Roca?

cape roca coordinates

Cape Roca is located 40 km west of Lisbon in Portugal’s national park. It can be reached from the capital via Sintra or Cascais.

Exact coordinates: Latitude 38°46′51′′ Longitude 9°29′54′′

How to reach Cape Roca from Lisbon

The westernmost point of Portugal, Cape Roca is located 40 km from Lisbon, 15-17 km from the towns of Sintra and Cascais.

You can get to Cape Roca from Lisbon in one of three ways:

1. Together with an organized excursion individual or group. Below are a few options for excursions;

2. By yourself by renting a car. Find the best option among all companies below;

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3. by public transport through Cascais or Sintra. Below we will consider this option in detail The most vivid impressions will be left by an independent trip with a hike along the coast, so about these ways in more detail.

To Cape Roca via Sintra

how to get to cape roca from lisbon

The first way to get from Lisbon to Cabo de Roca is to take a train from Rossio Central Station to Sintra. Trains run every 20-30 minutes, the trip takes 40 minutes.

Then you need to change to a bus 403 route. If the bus is marked “a”, it does not fit, because it does not stop at Cape Roca. The travel time will be 35 minutes.

A one-way ticket on this route will cost 2.2. euros for the trip and 5 euros for the bus per person.

How to get to Cape Rock from Lisbon

Photo By Yusuke Kawasaki from Tokyo, Japan – Line 403 Bus via Cabo Da Roca, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9617031

To Cape Roca via Cascais

how to get to cape roca

Trains from Lisbon to Cascais leave from Cais do Sadre station every 20 minutes. The trip will take 30-40 minutes.

You should also continue to Cape Roca on the 403 bus from the stop near the station. The bus will take 20 minutes to Cabo da Roca. Route 403 goes from Sintra to Cascais, stopping at the Cape on the way.

The fare will be 2.2. euros by train and 4 euros by bus per person.

Weather at Cape Roca in summer

cabo de roca

The weather in Portugal varies greatly depending on the region. The metropolis in the summertime can reach up to +35°C, but as a rule it never gets warmer than +20°C or +23°C due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. The water temperature here is about +20 – +23 and almost always very windy.

What to see at Cape Roca

An excursion to Cabo da Roca will be a fascinating trip if you do not limit your visit to the cape itself. You can spend a whole day in its vicinity: relax on the beach, have lunch in a great restaurant, admire the scenery from the observation decks, and hike along the picturesque coastline.

Hiking

Take in the full beauty of the region by hiking along the coast.

hiking along the coast

Here’s a sample itinerary that takes you to admire the lush nature and turquoise Atlantic, breathe in the salty air, and dip in the cooler waves near deserted beaches:

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Hiking to cape roca

  • First, take a bus from Sintra to the village of Almocageme, and from there walk to the beautiful beach of Praia da Adraga. The way goes along a comfortable road, where there are almost no cars. The walk will take about half an hour.
  • After a walk in the fresh air is sure to whet your appetite. Here is an excellent restaurant Adraga, where you can eat great dishes of fresh fish and seafood.
  • The further path is along the coastline. The distance to the destination is about 4 kilometers. The picturesque scenery, the power of the Atlantic Ocean, and the refreshing sea breeze are what will accompany you throughout the journey.
  • The bus 403 will take you directly from Cape Roca to Sintra.

Praia da Adraga beach

Even in the hot summer is not crowded here – the temperature of the ocean waves does not dispose to swim, but you can still take a dip. Praia da Adraga is more suitable for relaxing on the sand, a break from the bustle of the city. Delightful panoramas here as a separate art form: the waves and the sky inimitable azure color.

Infrastructure of the beach is conducive to full recreation: there are cabins for changing, a restaurant with seafood specialties.

It is most comfortable to be on the beach before 15 o’clock, when the sun is heating up. Once it hides behind the surrounding rocks, it becomes cool.

The Cape Rock hiking route

When planning your route, use the handy Mapsme app to plot out all the hiking trails in the area, including their elevation.

The beginning of the trail is away from the ocean and follows a good, wide road with no steep elevation gradients. The trail is surrounded by incredible vegetation typical of this part of the country.

After half an hour, the trail continues along the coast, which is the most delightful part of the tour. The views of the Atlantic, the waves crashing against the cliffs that cut the coastline, the feeling of boundless oceanic power – neither photographs nor videos can convey all this. It’s worth devoting a whole day to this, combining a visit to Cape Rock with hiking along the coast.

Cabo da Roca hike

The photo from https://www.nationalgeographic.com best captures the incredible beauty of Portugal

The route continues through narrow trails. Along the way there are cliffs, from the tops of which you can see the backwaters and small beaches. Near Ursa Beach, there is an observation deck where you can take a break before the final section of the hike.

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cape roca

The final section is the most challenging: here you have to go down to the beach and then climb to the top of the hill. Ursa Beach is usually deserted, with its beauty and tranquility beckoning you to linger for a while, relax on the soft sand, dip into the refreshing ocean coolness, gaining strength for the final leg towards Cape Rock.

Cape Rock Lookout observation deck on the cape

views of the Atlantic

Located at the top of the cliff, the observation deck is a must on all hiking trails. Even in winter it gets crowded, and in summer there are almost always huge crowds. Don’t be fooled by the heat in Lisbon and be sure to bring some warm clothes, as it is cool and windy all year round.

Stella on Cape Doom

The views are spectacular over the Atlantic, with crashing waves lapping on the rocks, endless expanses of water and a sense of the end of the world. But the experience of Cape Rock and the observation deck doesn’t compare to the thrill of a stroll along the coast.

Near the observation deck is one of Portugal’s two oldest lighthouses, built in 1772 and an important landmark for mariners during the Age of Discovery.

The stele with its crowning cross symbolizes the westernmost point of Europe.

If you decide to visit Cabo da Roca by car, parking is free.

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There is also a colorful cafe, a souvenir store, and a travel agency near the observation deck. By the way, as an unusual souvenir you can bring a certificate confirming your visit to the cape, where the elegant handwriting will be marked with the date of stay. He draws up a travel agency for 11 euros.

Once at the observation deck in the evening, you can admire the sunset while enjoying the local port and fresh cheese. *** The Portuguese poet Luis Camões wrote about Cape Roca: “Here the land ends and the sea begins”. Perhaps this phrase best captures what it feels like to look from the top of the hill into the oceanic distance, hearing the splash of the waves crashing against the cliff.

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