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Cascais-Portugal.com

The best independent guide to Cascais

The Cabo da Roca, Portugal

The Cabo da Roca is the wild and rugged headland that marks the most westerly point of mainland Europe. These windswept cliffs and barren lands were believed to be the edge of the world up until the 14th century, and even today the region possesses a remote and untamed atmosphere.

This isolated ambience of Cabo da Roca is enhanced by the very limited development within the area; there is a lighthouse, a coffee shop and a gift shop but nothing much else. The wind blasted and dramatic landscape is the primary draw of the Cabo da Roca, and is ideal for tourists who appreciate nature’s raw beauty.

The Cabo da Roca is a popular destination with organised tours, as a stop between Sintra and Cascais, but it is easy to escape the throngs of tourists. Skirting along the top of the cliffs are challenging hiking trails that follow ancient coastal paths, and lead to pristine cove beach such as the Praia da Ursa or Praia da Adraga.

To truly experience the magic of the Cabo da Roca, visit at sunset, just as the last golden rays of sunlight illuminate the ocean.
Related articles: Cascais guide - Sintra guide

Tourist information for the Cabo da Roca

There is no entrance fee or parking charges at Cabo da Roca. Most visitors typically spend just 15-30 minutes here, which is enough time to view the cliffs, taking a photo of the monument and see the lighthouse. This rushed experience is often encouraged by the coach tours, which make a brief stop here on their way between Sintra and Cascais.
If you enjoy hiking or breath-taking natural scenery your visit should be much longer.
Tourist Info: As this is an exposed headland, expect bracing winds and for it to feel significantly chiller than in Cascais or Sintra.

The gift shop offers a novel gift, a personalised and handwritten certificate confirming you have visited Cabo da Roca.
Warning: The cliffs around Cabo da Roca are steep and unstable, while the strong winds are unpredictable – never go beyond the fences for the perfect photo

Travel to the Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca is 18km west from Sintra, 15km north from Cascais and 40km west of Lisbon. Driving is the easiest method of travel, the route from Cascais (and Lisbon) follows the scenic N247 and leaves at the village of Azóia. The route is well signed and is a further 2.5km from the village.

Cabo da Roca is served by a regular bus service, which connects Sintra to Cascais. The bus route is the 403 and operated by Scotturb, and a single ticket costs €4.30. The bus service departs from Sintra train station and takes 37 minutes to reach Cabo da Roca.

From Cascais, the bus leaves from the bus station below the Cascaisvila shopping centre and takes 22 minutes.

There are at least two hourly departures between 10am and 6pm, but the exact number of departures varies at the weekend and service has season variations, for the exact timetable see the Scotturb website:
https://scotturb.com/carreira-403-eb/

An alternative method is to hire a taxi, and this will cost around €35 from Cascais with a 30-minute wait at Cabo da Roca.

Hiking and the region’s undiscovered beaches

Leading from Cabo da Roca are numerous paths but all either head in a northerly or southerly direction.

To the north is the Praia da Ursa beach (1km) and Praia da Adraga (2km) both beautiful beaches, which are accessible by well-worn footpaths. The Praia da Ursa is regarded as one of the hidden gems of the Serra de Sintra region, with a picturesque natural setting, golden sands and unique rock formations. Further north is the Praia Grande and the charming resort town of Praia das Maçãs.

Interesting facts about Cabo da Roca Portugal

The Cabo da Roca Portugal headland is marked by a stone monument. The inscription on the side of the monument is a quote from Portugal’s most famous poet, Luis Camoes (1524–1580), who brilliantly described the area as "Where the land ends and the sea begins".

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