Friday, 30 March 2018

Chronicles from Lisbon | Cabo da Roca

"Eis aqui, quase cume da cabeça
De Europa toda, o Reino Lusitano,
Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa,
E onde Febo repousa no Oceano."

"Behold, near the top of the head
Of all Europe, the Lusitanian Kingdom,
Where the earth ends and the sea begins,
And where Phoebe rests in the ocean."

Luís Vaz de Camões, in Lusíadas 

"Where the earth ends and the sea begins" is how the Portuguese poet (and traveler) Luís de Camões describes the Cabo da Roca in its epic poem Os Lusíadas. And this cape, the most western part of Europe, can be seen as that. Also known as Moon Promontory (Promontório da Lua), is part of the Natural Park of Sintra and Cascais (Parque Natural de Sintra Cascais).

A stone column mark the geographical extreme of the continent to all who visit this place, and the view one can grasp on both directions is absolutely breathtaking. But be careful! The strong winds can be dangerous and you should not cross the wood fences that protect people from falling down.

Starting at Cabo da Roca, it is possible to follow several eco-trails, enjoying the vegetation and the spectacular views of the coast. Eventually you can arrive to the vicinities of Praia da Ursa. If you're prepared to a (very!) steep way down (and then back up!), please go, is nothing less than magical.

You can reach Cabo da Roca by car (about 30 minutes from Lisbon) or by bus, and at the location you can find a tourism information office, a small store, a café and all the necessary infrastructures. Reserve a few hours to walk around or a full day if you intend to go to Praia da Ursa. If you can, wait until sunset and enjoy it from this special place over the Atlantic.

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