A lighthouse is one of very few constructions in Cabo da Roca
This wild, mystical cape is the westernmost edge of Europe and one of Portugal’s most emblematic sights. It attracts thousands of tourists, who not only wish to stand on the westernmost point of the European continent, but also want to witness the raw beauty of nature. From the top of a sheer cliff, 140 meters (460ft) above the roaring sea, they see “where land ends and the sea begins,” as 16th-century poet Camões put it, and as inscribed on a plaque placed here in 1979.
Beyond the horizon is the American continent, and if you followed a straight line, you’d end up in Delaware in the United States.
Europe's westernmost point
Despite the crowds of tourists, the dramatic landscape still feels remote, with the only human constructions in sight being a lighthouse from 1772 and a couple of buildings beside it. One of them is the tourist office, which sells sealed certificates as souvenirs, to officially confirm that you’ve stood on Europe’s westernmost point.
This is also a wonderful sunset spot, but most visits happen during the day, as part of a trip to Sintra or Cascais.
The beautiful landscape of Cabo da Roca
How to Get to Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca can be reached by bus 1624 from Sintra or Cascais, or bus 1253 from Sintra. Both depart every 30 minutes. The 1624 takes about 25 minutes to reach Cabo da Roca when departing from Cascais, and about 40 minutes when departing from Sintra. The 1253, which does a circular route within Sintra, takes about 45 minutes from its departure point outside Sintra's train station. For complete details, see the bus 1624 and 1253 guide.
About 800 meters (half a mile) down the road from Cabo da Roca is Praia da Ursa, one of Portugal’s most stunning beaches. Hikers may also go from here to the beautiful beach of Adraga, just over 4 kilometers to the north.
Where to Stay by Cabo da Roca
Most visitors to Cabo da Roca stay in Lisbon, Sintra, or Cascais, but for an extra-special experience, you should consider staying at this breathtaking guesthouse in the rural outskirts of Sintra. It’s just a 5-minute drive (or 30-minute walk) from the cape, and offers beautiful sunset and sea views. The terrace with outdoor swimming pool and bar service is also stunning, while accommodation options range from double rooms to a 1-bedroom apartment to a mobile home -- all decorated in a contemporary-retro style.