Roca Cape, the end of Continental Europe
Roca Cape is the westernmost point of Continental Europe and its symbolism is stated by Camões line where the land ends and the sea begins
Welcome to the westernmost point of Continental Europe, Roca Cape or Cabo da Roca that used to be a symbol of hope for those who once sailed away determined to find new worlds. Roca Cape, that integrates the Sintra Cascais Natural Park, is also named as “Roca mug” or, more poetically, as Promontory of the Moon by the natives.
Ahead Roca Cape there is only the sea and its immensity overwhelming you. It is as if here you could feel that long-lost sense of belonging to nature. At Roca Cape the land meets the sea in a wild landscape of undergrowth making its way on the cliffs. This feeling was expressed with mastery by the words “where the land ends and the sea begins” (“Onde a terra acaba e o mar começa”) of Luís Vaz de Camões, one of the great Portuguese poets, describing this magical place in his masterpiece Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads). This line, along with the coordinates Latitude, 38º 47´ North; Longitude, 9º 30´ West, is inscribed on the Crucifix Monument existing close to the edge of the cliff, very popular as a photo set.
The lighthouse of Roca appears vigilantly in its everlasting mission of keeping the ships away from the tricky cliffs. Finished in 1772 and renovated in 1843 the lighthouse rises 144 meters in height above the ground.
Besides the lighthouse on the Cape there are a restaurant and tourist shop where you can get a certificate of your presence at the westernmost point of Continental Europe.
On the way to the Cape you will pass trough the small village of Azóia, which name comes from the Arab word al-zawiya that means corner or chapel.
Just a word of advice: Roca Cape is usually windy and the temperature may be cool even on a hot summer day so don’t forget to take a sweater with you.