The best independent guide to Cascais
The best independent guide to Cascais
Cascais Intro - Cascais Sights - 1 Week in Cascais - Cascais Beaches - Day Trip to Cascais - Lisbon to Cascais
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
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
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 two regular bus services; a route between Sintra and Cascais, and a service that departs from Sintra train station.
The 1624 bus service is the slower and longer route that connects Sintra and Cascais, which goes via the Cabo da Roca. A single ticket costs €2.60 (the return journey will need two single tickets costing €5.20). The bus takes 27 minutes to reach Robo da Rocha from Cascais or 35 minutes from Sintra.
There are hourly departures that increase to every thirty minutes between 11:00 and 18:00 – thirty minutes is sufficient time to see everything at the Cabo da Roca. The latest timetable can be seen on the Carris Metropolitana website:
When using the Carris Metropolitana website, click the ‘Sentido’ drop-down box to change the departure location and ‘Linha’ drop-down box to choose the route that goes via Cabo da Roca
If you are based in Sintra, the 1253 bus route provides a more regular service, with two or three departures per hour leaving from the train station. A single ticket costs the same as the 1624 bus at €2.60.
The 1253 bus follows a circular route around western Sintra, and the journey to the Cabo da Roca (50 minutes) takes significantly longer than the return (25 minutes).
Insight: The 1624 bus is much quicker than the 1253 when heading to Cabo da Roca from Sintra.
The timetable for the 1253 bus route can be seen on the Carris Metropolitana website:
Insight: All bus services in the metropolitan area of Lisbon (including Sintra and Cascais) are operated by Carris Metropolitana. This changed from Scotturb in Jan 2023, and the old Scotturb bus service to Cabo da Roca (route 403) may still be mentioned in some tourist guides. Scotturb still operates all of the tourist bus services in Sintra, such as the 434 to the Palácio Nacional da Pena.
If you don’t have a car and want a faster way to travel to the Cabo da Roca, a taxi or Uber/Bolt may be a better choice. A taxi from Sintra to Cabo da Roca will cost €25, while a Bolt/Uber is €12 (these are the prices for one way), but there can be very high demand for them during the summer season.
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.
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".