Two lookouts to the west: Cabo Raso and Cabo Roca.

From Cascais, we drove to the westernmost point of land nearby to look out at the Atlantic. It was a bit gray out, and the waves broke and boomed. The view was impressive–there’s nothing between you and the New World except the Azores, which belong to Portugal, as it turns out.

Cabo Raso was windswept and there were a number of abandoned buildings and foundations, some with stairways to the water through unlit interior rooms. We explored the somewhat spooky remains for a while before going on our way.

We enjoyed our visit so much that a few days later when we were in Sintra and had seen enough palaces for one day, we decided to go Cabo da Roca, the point due west. We read that it was the westernmost point in mainland Europe. Why not!

How much difference a few measurements make! We arrived at Cabo da Roca to find an extensive parking area filled with cars, six tour buses and about 200 other visitors. It was Sunday, not Friday, and the sun was out, but we were taken by surprise to find this spot so heavily visited when the other point is largely empty. We walked down the road a bit and found a less traveled area. The view out to sea was as impressive as ever.

You can see some of our fellow visitors in the upper left corner.
You can see some of our fellow visitors in the upper left corner.
There is an official marker.
There is an official marker.

I was going to insert a few seconds of crashing waves, but my skills aren’t up to embedding even a short video.

5.8.16 Cabo Roca-004Both points have their charms. One comes with industrial archaeology. (I believe the abandoned buildings at Cabo Raso are related to the fishing industry.) The other has tour buses, a gift shop and cafe.



Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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