Cabo da Roca The Very West of Europe

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca, in the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, is the westernmost point of the European continent. I was there in October. There is a picturesque red lighthouse, a stone pillar with a plaque about Cabo da Roca on its side and a crucifix on top, and a stunning view of the rocky coast.

However, the most memorable feature of Cabo da Roca is probably its winds. The hour and a half I spent there was a battle against the blustery cold wind that blasted this very exposed outcrop of land. In the photo of me by the Cabo da Roca monument, what looks like a salute is a desperate attempt to keep my cap on.

Cabo da Roca.

Another more pleasantly memorable feature is the succulent Carpobrotus edulis plant that, besides grass, grow all over the sandy soil, tenaciously maintaining a hold.

Access - Getting There

Cabo da Roca is about 40 km west of Lisbon and 20 km west of Sintra, making it a very easy day trip by bus out of either place.

© Portugal Visitor

Torre de Belem Cannon

Torre de Belem Cannon

Belem Tower was originally built as a fortification to protect the Lisbon reaches of the River Tagus, though there is no evidence that its cannon were ever fired in anger.

Torre de Belem Cannon
Inside the fortress

History

The early 16th-century tower served more as a prison than a naval gun emplacement and held over 100 political prisoners during the time of Spain's rule over Portugal.

Torre de Belem Cannon
Inside Belem Tower


Belem Tower's other non-military uses included serving as a customs post, telegraph station, a lighthouse, and even a clinic.

Access - Getting There

Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal

Belem Station on the Cascais Line is the nearest railway station to the tower. Belem can also be reached by tram or bus from central Lisbon.

© Portugal Visitor