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Cape Roca

Powerful Atlantic waves crash into the high sheer cliffs at this rugged patch of headland, the westernmost point of continental Europe. 

Cape Roca, or Cabo da Roca as it’s known in Portuguese, is a dramatic, wind-battered tract of headland located at the most westerly point of mainland Europe. Admire the wild and windswept coastal scenery, follow trails along the cliffs and take photos of the monument that marks the spot as the westernmost on the continent. 

As you explore the cape, cast your imagination back to centuries past when the fact that the Earth was round was not common knowledge. Back then, many people believed this spot was not just the edge of Europe but also the edge of the world. 

Look for the Cape Roca lighthouse, which stands sentry on the 473-foot-tall (144-meter) cliffs above the ocean, projecting its light out to warn sailors of the dangers ahead. The original Cape Roca structure constructed in 1772 was one of the first purpose-built lighthouses in Portugal. The current lighthouse is a later construction dating back to 1842.  

Also visible on the headland is a stone monument with a cross on top. Read the inscription on the stone, a quote from famous Lisbon-born poet Luís Vaz de Camões. The quote, which was written about Cape Roca, translates to: “Here… where the land ends and the sea begins.”

Follow one of several cliffside paths and admire views of the turbulent waves below. Because of its exposed nature, the cape is usually very windy. Wear appropriate clothing and be sure to stand at a safe distance from the cliff edge, particularly when taking photographs. Time your visit to coincide with sunset for the most scenic vistas. 

Find Cape Roca 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Lisbon and about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Cascais. Driving from Lisbon will take about 45 minutes. Alternatively, ride the Sintra-bound bus from Cascais or take a taxi. Entry is free and parking is available on-site. Before leaving, stop at the gift shop for souvenirs.


Guide to Exploring Cape Roca


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See all 391 properties near Cape Roca
Quinta do Cabo Guesthouse £115
Quinta do Cabo Guesthouse

Quinta do Cabo Guesthouse

Rua da Cova Funda 9, Sintra
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 5 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Sintra, this guesthouse is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lisbon and Tagus Valley and within 3 miles (5 km) of Ursa Beach and Adrenunes Dolmen. Cape Roca is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away.

    Casa do Moinho, Villa With a Heated Covered Pool Near the Beach in Sintra,
    Casa do Moinho, Villa With a Heated Covered Pool Near the Beach in Sintra,

    Casa do Moinho, Villa With a Heated Covered Pool Near the Beach in Sintra,

    , Ulgueira-Colares
       
      0.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Sintra villa is located in the mountains, within 2 mi (3 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Ursa Beach and Adraga Beach. Cape Roca and Adrenunes Dolmen are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Pura Vida Atlantic Lodge
      Pura Vida Atlantic Lodge

      Pura Vida Atlantic Lodge

      Rua dos Moinhos, 9, Sintra
         
        4.0
        of 5, from 1 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Sintra, this guesthouse is within 2 miles (3 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Ursa Beach and Adrenunes Dolmen. Cape Roca and Adraga Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        102900 - Villa in Sintra
        102900 - Villa in Sintra

        102900 - Villa in Sintra

        Calle Largo do Moinho, Sintra
           
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Situated in Sintra, this villa is within 2 miles (3 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Ursa Beach and Adrenunes Dolmen. Cape Roca and Adraga Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Portugal 100227 3 Bedroom Villa By Mo Rentals
          Portugal 100227 3 Bedroom Villa By Mo Rentals

          Portugal 100227 3 Bedroom Villa By Mo Rentals

          N247, Sintra
             
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Sintra, this villa is within 2 miles (3 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Ursa Beach and Adrenunes Dolmen. Cape Roca and Adraga Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

            Casa da Pedra With a Private Heated Swimming Pool and Near the Beach
            Casa da Pedra With a Private Heated Swimming Pool and Near the Beach

            Casa da Pedra With a Private Heated Swimming Pool and Near the Beach

            , Colares
               
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Situated by the ocean, this holiday home is within 2 miles (3 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Adraga Beach and Ursa Beach. Cape Roca and Adrenunes Dolmen are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              Convento de São Saturnino £99
              Convento de São Saturnino

              Convento de São Saturnino

              Rua do Campo da Bola, Colares, Sintra
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 8 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in a national park, this country house is within 2 miles (3 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Ursa Beach and Adrenunes Dolmen. Cape Roca is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.

                Palheiro AL for Family Holidays
                Palheiro AL for Family Holidays

                Palheiro AL for Family Holidays

                , Sintra
                   
                  5.0
                  of 5, from 2 reviews
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated on the waterfront, this historic holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Lisbon and Tagus Valley and Adraga Beach. Ursa Beach and Cape Roca are also within 3 miles (5 km).