CABO da ROCA, Portugal – A GIANT Rock Wall! (2022)

Imagine a gigantic rock wall advancing over the sea 140 meters high. Can you? This is Cabo da Roca (Roca Cape).

CABO DA ROCA

Mainland Portugal is what is called a finis terrae – a place where the land ends and the sea begins.  Portugal has 800 meters of Atlantic coastline. There are many cliffs along this coast. One of the most famous is surely Cabo da Roca. This place is visited annually by thousands of tourists for the magnificent view it offers (at an altitude of 140 meters).

CABO DA ROCA
CABO DA ROCA

“WHERE THE LAND ENDS AND THE SEA BEGINS”

LUIS DE CAMÕES, portuguese poet

WHAT IS A CAPE?

From a scientific (geographical) point of view, a cape is a geographical accident. A wall of rock that extends into the sea. Cables often have a strong influence on ocean currents. We can also say that a cape is a small peninsula.

WHAT IS CABO DA ROCA?

The story goes that Camões said about Cabo da Roca: “Where the earth ends and the sea begins”. It is one of the great tourist attractions of the greater Lisbon area. As is common knowledge, it is the westernmost point of Portugal (mainland) and Europe (mainland).

CABO DA ROCA
CABO DA ROCA

It is also known as “snout of the rock” by fishermen and as “promontory of the moon” by poets! It is part of the Sintra Cascais natural park, which includes an area from the Citadel of Cascais to the mouth of the Falcão river. Road access to the site is very good. The concentration of motorcycle groups is very common on weekends and particularly on Sundays.

WHERE IS CABO DA ROCA?

It is located in Colares, municipality of Sintra. Cabo da Roca is 40 kilometers from the center of Lisbon. A distance that can be covered in a 40-minute drive.

HOW TO GET TO CAPE DA ROCA?

BUS – It’s a good option! Take the bus number 403 from the stop near the Cascais train station. The trip takes just over 20 minutes. The ticket costs 6,60€ (round trip).

CAR OR MOTORBYCLE – If you have the opportunity, go by car or by motorcycle! Why? Because you will have the opportunity to visit many beautiful places that are close to this location (Cascais, Sintra, Azenhas do Mar, are some examples). Parking is free and easy. The trip takes, like by bus, about 20 minutes (from Cascais or Sintra). The trip also gives you some beautiful panoramic views.

THE WAY TO CAPE DA ROCA
THE WAY TO CAPE DA ROCA

WHAT TO SEE IN CABO DA ROCA?

PANORAMIC VIEW

The panoramic views of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean are fantastic! The immensity of the ocean immediately brings us to a personal and historical reflection about the Portuguese discoveries in the immensity of the oceans.

VIEWPOINT, CABO DA ROCA
VIEWPOINT, CABO DA ROCA

THE LIGHTHOUSE

It was commissioned by the Marquis of Pombal in 1758 but only began operating in 1772. The lighthouse is still in operation and remains an important aid for vessels. It dates from 1758, is 22 meters high and the light it emits reaches 48 kilometers (according to wikipedia). It has an inscription from Luiz de Camões with the aforementioned quote. It offers visitors a breathtaking view!

THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE LIGHTHOUSE

MONUMENT WITH A POEM BY CAMÕES

It is one of the most photographed places in Cabo da Roca. The monument bears a stone inscription with the famous poem by the no less famous poet Luís Vaz de Camões.

CABO DA ROCA MONUMENT
CABO DA ROCA MONUMENT

Here, almost on the top of the head of all Europe, is the Lusitanian Kingdom
Where the land ends and the sea begins
And where Febo rests in the Ocean.”

Luís de Camões, Lusíadas, canto III.
POEM OF CAMÕES MONUMENT
POEM OF CAMÕES MONUMENT

THE FAUNA AND FLORA AT CABO DA ROCA

The “armeria pseudoarmeria” is the biggest star of Cabo da Roca’s fauna. The region delights biologists and those interested in the subject, because here they can find unique species of flora and fauna. If you have a particular interest in this topic click HERE!

FLORA AT CABO DA ROCA

SUNSET AT CABO DA ROCA

Who doesn’t like a beautiful sunset? It is always a spectacle that everyone likes to enjoy but at Cabo da Roca it takes on another dimension! The blue and the vastness of the ocean swallow a ball of orange fire! A show that can be seen with a clarity that can only be found in the greater Lisbon area!

SUNSET AT CABO DA ROCA
SUNSET AT CABO DA ROCA

CABO DA ROCA HISTORY

There are historical documents that refer to the existence of a fortress in Cabo da Roca in the 17th century. This monument would have had an important function in defending the port of Lisbon against invaders. Currently it is possible to find only a few vestiges of this fort. Throughout history, this point of the Portuguese coast was often disputed and valued for the value of its geographical location. Phoenicians, Romans and Moors fought here and stayed here during their time.

VIRTUAL TOUR TO CAPE DE ROCA

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO VISIT CABO DA ROCA?

Your visit will be complete in an hour. That’s enough time to stroll around the area, enjoy the magnificent view, take a closer look at the lighthouse, take pictures, and drink a cup of coffee.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO CAPE DA ROCA?

COAT – Don’t forget that in a place like this, the wind is a constant presence. Almost always the wind is cold (coming from the Atlantic), and a jacket is indispensable. This advice is also valid for summer (perhaps with a lighter jacket). Be careful with photos! Wind is the enemy of cell phones. Hold it tight when taking pictures!

TENNIS SHOES – Take tennis shoes! The ground is very uneven and sometimes slippery and steep. Don’t make it easy, protect yourself!

DESCENTS, CABO DA ROCA
DESCENTS, CABO DA ROCA

PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE AT CABO DA ROCA

Follow the safety rules posted on the site. Pay attention to signs indicating the possibility of rockslides. Don’t RISK YOUR LIFE for a PHOTO!!! Don’t go beyond the barriers that protect you from danger zones! The list of people who have died (!!!) at this location for a selfie is long!

HIKING AND ECO-TRAILS IN CABO DA ROCA

Hiking lovers will find several eco-trails here. Here are some suggestions: 1.Cabo da Roca to cavalo beach: 8,84 km. Difficulty: moderate; PR 7 SNT Cabo da Roca: 13.4 km. Difficulty: Moderate; 3. Cabo da Roca – Espigão das ruivas – Ponta do assobio – praia Porto do Touro – Figueira do Guincho – Biscaia: 13,62 km. Difficulty: very hard. 4.Ursa Beach: 20,34 km. Difficulty: hard; 5. Cabo da Roca (Colares, Sintra, Portugal): 14,52 km. Difficulty: very hard

Cabo da Roca Walks
Cabo da Roca Walks

WHAT TO VISIT NEAR CABO DA ROCA?

One hour is enough time to visit Cabo da Roca. If you have time to spare, take the opportunity to visit some of the places in the vicinity. To help you organize the sequence of your tour, we have prepared a map of the attractions near this place. We hope you find it useful!

BOCA DO INFERNO
BOCA DO INFERNO

15 kilometers and only 21 minutes separate Cabo da Roca from Boca do Inferno. The name alone is impressive! The rock formation resembles a mouth that, during winter, is buffeted by the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Perfect place to watch an unforgettable sunset! Place overshadowed by the high number of suicides that have occurred here over time.

AZENHAS DO MAR

From Cabo da Roca to Azenhas do Mar is only 12 kilometers away. A distance that can be covered in just 19 minutes by car. A picturesque village in the parish of Colares. Famous for the ocean pool located on its beach. The village “fits” harmoniously in a natural landscape of great beauty where the cliffs of the coast are predominant. It is a very sought after place in the summer months!   

SINTRA
SINTRA

There are 17 kilometers between Cabo da Roca and Sintra. It can be done in 25 minutes. Sintra is a magical town that attracts tourists from all over the planet. The attractions to visit are more than many. If you want to know everything about this enchanted place, click on the picture!

CASCAIS
CASCAIS

From Cabo da Roca to Cascais is a distance of 16 kilometers, which can be covered in 24 minutes. Beaches, history, magnificent landscapes, gardens and culture are just some of the many attractions of the town of Cascais. If you have never visited, you will fall in love!

BEACHES NEAR CABO DA ROCA

As we have already mentioned in this article, a visit to Cabo da Roca is something worth doing. But it is also a quick visit since the number of attractions is limited. Therefore, if you dedicate a day to this part of the country, complement your tour with a trip to one of the beaches you’ll find nearby. There are many options! We leave you 4 suggestions and a map so you can plan your itinerary.

LOURIÇAL BEACH

The small beach of Louriçal is right next to Cabo da Roca. The access is quite difficult and is intended for adventurers who finish their hike with a rope descent (which is already there). If you go there, you will be rewarded by a very beautiful view and a beautifully shaped rock. The place gives a feeling of the end of the world!  

AROEIRA BEACH
AROEIRA BEACH

A very beautiful beach just 800 meters from Cabo da Roca. Once again difficult to access. If you go there take appropriate footwear, water and some food. The descent is difficult and the ascent even more so. The beauty of Aroeira beach is worth the effort!

URSA BEACH

A very beautiful beach just 800 meters from Cabo da Roca. Once again difficult to access. If you go there take appropriate footwear, water and some food. The descent is difficult and the ascent even more so. The beauty of Aroeira beach is worth the effort!

ASSENTIZ BEACH
ASSENTIZ BEACH

It is a 10-minute drive from Cabo da Roca. The beach is between two rocky walls that protect it from the wind. Wild beach, deserted, difficult to access and obviously not watched. A good option for those who like to walk between challenging trails! Not advisable for children or people with any kind of physical limitation. If you like adventure, you will love this challenge that will be rewarded upon arrival!

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