Cabo da Roca Portugal: nearest point between European Continent and USA & how to reach from Lisbon

If your Portugal vacation takes you to Lisbon, don’t miss Cabo da Roca (Roca’s Cape), in the municipality of Sintra, 40 km from LisbonThe magical atmosphere of the westernmost point of mainland Europe (at 9° 29.8′ W), the nearest point between the European Continent and the USA, is really worth a visit! In summertime there’s lots of photo-snapping tourists posing right here.

Cabo da Roca spectacular views

Cabo da Roca Portugal

The views to the Atlantic from here are stunning. The cliff rises 144 meters in height above the cape. Expect strong winds when looking down from the cliff-top. You have to be very careful on windy and rainy days. Take care, it’s a long way down!!

How to get there from Lisbon? Take a train from station Cais do Sodré  to Cascais. Bus 403 travels regularly between Sintra and Cascais stops at Cabo da Roca.

Cao da Roca monument with crusifix

Cabo da Roca, 40 km from Lisbon

A cross has been erected in this spot as a monument to celebrate the end of the European mainland, and the beginning of the Atlantic ocean. The cross basement bears the words of the famous Portuguese poet, Luís Vaz de Camões (1524-1580), born in Lisbon.

Cabo da Roca Camoes

Cabo da Roca, 40 km from Lisbon

‘Aqui…
Onde a terra termina e o mar começa…
Ponta mais ocidental do continente europeu’

‘Here…
Where the land ends and the sea begins…
Westernmost point of the European continent’

Cabo da Roca view on Meco beach

Cabo da Roca, 40 km from Lisbon

View from Cabo da Roca on the fabulous beaches. On sunny days Meco Beach (Praia do Meco) can be seen. (ca. 45 km). The small house is still a remain of the long Moorisch occupation (700C – 1400C).

Cabo da Roca is at the end of a 30 mile stretch of the coast known as the Portuguese Riviera, 40 km from Lisbon. The Atlantic coast, which stretches to the north and west of Lisbon, is of surprising beauty: here the landscape swiftly changes from high, sweeping cliffs to beaches of white sand, backed by lagoons.

Cabo da Roca Lighthouse

Cabo da Roca, 40 km from Lisbon

The construction of the lighthouse (farol) was completed in 1772. It is still active and staffed by a crew of three keepers. Lighthouses in Portugal are owned by the navy (Marinha de Portugal) and operated by the navy’s lighthouse directorate. Portugal has a long distinguished maritime history; the Portuguese first traveled out and around Africa, launching the European age of discovery 600 years ago.

Cabo da Roca church1

Cabo da Roca, 40 km from Lisbon

Cabo da Roca’s church is being restored at the moment. According to construction workers apartments will be built in this church.

Cabo da Roca tiles in church

Cabo da Roca, azulejos

Beautiful tiles (azulejos) inside the church. The azulejo is a typical form of Portuguese painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework. They have become a typical aspect of Portuguese culture. Azulejo comes from the Arabic word az-zulayj, meaning polished stone.

Wherever you go in Portugal, azulejos are to be found inside and outside cafes, churches, palaces, ordinary houses and even ceilings, train- or subway stations. Many azulejos chronicle major historical and cultural aspects of Portuguese history.

Beautiful views over the Tagus river: Adamastor, viewpoint Santa Catarina Lisbon & popular gathering place

Adamastor Lisbon Viewpoint Tagus River december 2010

Adamastor’ is a popular viewpoint (miradouro) and gathering place in Lisbon which is officially called the Miradouro de Santa Catarina.

Lisbon Miradouro de Santa Catarina Adamastor dec 08

From this vista point you have the most breathtaking views on the Tagus river, the 25th of April Bridge and the Cristo Rei monument.

Lisbon Adamastor Santa Catarina Beautful Boys

Beautiful boys! There is a small terrace with a bar serving drinks and toasted sandwiches. Around the terrace you’ll find an interesting mixture of ‘alternative’ Lisbon people and their dogs.

The name Adamastor is chosen because of the large stone statue of the mythical figure ‘Adamastor’ which presides over the space.

Adamastor-santa-catarina2

Adamastor is a Greek-type mythological character invented by the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões in his epic poem Os Lusíadas (first printed in 1572), as a symbol of the forces of nature Portuguese navigators had to overcome during their discoveries. Camões gave his creation a history as one of the Gigantes of Greek mythology who had been spurned by Thetis, now appearing in the form of a threatening stormcloud to Vasco da Gama and threatening ruin to anyone hardy enough to pass the Cape and penetrate the Indian Ocean, which was Adamaster’s domain. Adamastor became the Spirit of the Cape, a hideous phantom of unearthly pallor.

Lisbon Adamastor gathering place Tagus River5

Adamastor Lisbon: a sunny Sunday in February

Just below of the small Adamastor square, you will find the fantastic terraces of bar ‘noobai‘. Definitely worth a visit!

Le Marais bar Lisbon near Santa Catarina Tagus river viewpoint

Beautiful!