Cabo da Roca, or the westernmost mainland point in Europe

What is Europe’s westernmost mainland point? Can you actually get to it and stand at the very edge of a continent? We’ll go over that and more today.

Contrary to what one may think when faced with the grandiosity of ‘extreme points’, it’s not actually difficult to get to the westernmost point in Europe. The name of the place, at least when we exclude islands and keep it mainland only, is Cabo da Roca, and it’s located in Portugal, near Lisbon.


What is Cabo da roca?

najdalej wysuniety na zachod punkt europy
Cliffs and rocks at the edge of the world

Cabo da Roca is located 25 miles west of Lisbon (at 38°47′N 9°30′W). It’s a beautiful cliffside, reaching 140 metres above sea level, constantly being battered by huge waves of the Atlantic Ocean. At the top, you’ll see a charming little lighthouse from 1772 (though it went through an overhaul in 1842), an observatory and a restaurant. There’s a monument at the lighthouse, where you’ll find a quote by Portuguese poet, Luis Camoes: “Where the land ends and the sea begins.”

cabo da roca krzyz

The rocks here have quite a unique appearance, which is thanks to long-time erosion by tsunamis, including one in 1755, which nearly destroyed Lisbon alongside an earthquake and conflagrations.

For many, many years Cabo da Roca was referred to as ‘the Edge of the World’, because that’s as much of the world as contemporary Europeans geography knew and understood. As such, you can totally say that you’re going to have a beach day at the very edge of the world. Because, yes, the edge of the world has beautiful sandy beaches, such as Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. But how do you get to them?


How do you get to Cabo da Roca?

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How to get to Cabo da Roca from Lisbon?

Your cheapest option is public transport. There are two routes that we’d recommend: let’s call them the southern route via Cascais and the (faster) northern route via Sintra.

In both routes, you take a train to your destination of choice (just choose which one you’d prefer to explore on the way), tickets for both trains cost about €2.30 and the journey takes a comparable 35-40 min in both cases. From your chosen town, you then take a direct bus (if you’re sticking to the pure cheapest public transport variant) to Cabo da Roca. That’s all. Buses from Sintra take about 37 minutes, buses from Cascais take about 32. You can check out the relevant bus lines at:

Cascais – Cabo da Roca:
Sintra – Cabo da Roca:


Car to Cabo da Roca

latarnia cabo da roca
The lighthouse at Cabo da Roca

The fastest way to get to Cabo da Roca is by car. The route from Lisbon to the car park at Cabo da Roca is about 40 minutes. The first part of the route is along the A5 motorway (there’s a toll), then you take the N9-1 road towards Cabo da Roca. Be careful, as the road is quite twisty. You can also bypass the A5 motorway and take the A37 and A16 north of the A5 to reach Alcabideche, from where there’s an exit onto the N9-1. It’s just to avoid the toll, really, so pick your poison.

cabo da roca portugalia

There’s also one small offer to mention: in Cascais, you can pay around €35 for a taxi to take you to Cabo da Roca and then back to Cascais, though you have an upwards of 30 minutes on site, so there’s that time pressure element.

Safety at Cabo da Roca

Remember, the cliffside here is really steep and it gets very windy at Cabo da Roca. Please, do be careful and stay on the safe side of the railings.

While visiting Cabo da Roca, you can also consider exploring Sintra and its attractions.


See also:

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