Cabo da Roca - Europe's most westerly point

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cabo da Roca is Europe's most westerly point. Well, Cabo da Roca is continental Europe's most westerly point. Europe's most westerly point is in Ireland, Iceland, the Azores or French Guiana - depending on perspective.

Cabo da Roca

The land to the north of Lisbon, around a town called Sintra, is forested and mountainous. These uplands stretch on to the coast, ending at Cabo da Roca, which is about 140 metres above the ocean.

Getting there is remarkably easy - it's something of a tourist attraction, of course - take a train to either Cascais or Sintra and then bus 403 from there along winding roads through green countryside.

Land, Cabo da Roca, Portugal

There isn't much at Cabo da Roca - a pointless tourist office (I wandered in, they ignored me), a restaurant (empty) and a tourist souvenir shop (nothing but usual stuff). A lighthouse, built in 1772, is closed.

Cabo da Roca

Two monuments can be seen - one (oddly) to the Rotary Club sits a little distance back from the headland, and the other juts proudly into the sky, with a cross and an inscription: Onde a terra termina e o mar começa... / Where the land ends and the sea begins...

Monument, Cabo da Roca

But Cabo da Roca's beauty isn't in buildings. All around you is the world's grand scale and beauty. Looking down the cliff at the crashing waves and spuming foam of the Atlantic, the full brunt of the ocean hits you. It's unrelenting, it never stops - the tide keeps on coming.

Atlantic ocean spray, Cabo da Roca

The horizon remains constant, always there, always distant. You could be anywhere, but this is somewhere. My trip benefitted from a sudden change of weather - from drizzly, grey and dull to blue, shining and resplendent.
Cabo da Roca is peaceful despite the fierce ocean, green with sea-gorse and nature's geography at its best.

Ocean, Cabo da Roca

Atlantic Ocean, Cabo da Roca

Atlantic Ocean, Cabo da Roca


Anonymous said...

if you ever visit Portugal again, contact me and i'll be your

I know the right places to taste awesome food, and gorgeous things to see...

Take care

You should have gone with a guide!
I am a Portuguese sefardic, and it´s better organize this things with good professionals, If you are juwish, go with a portugese jew.Take care, and came back.
Saudades Portugal