Cabo da Roca, the most western point of continental Europe, also called "Roca's Muzzle" or "Promontory of the Moon", located in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, has a beautiful landscape and rich biodiversity, and it deserves a visit. We suggest some trails.
From Praia do Abano until Adraga we find many interesting places, walking through the cliffs interrupted by streams that flow into small beaches, hidden and difficult to access, which arouse our curiosity. The natural beauty, biodiversity and geology of the area must be enjoyed peacefully. This walks are great for photographers, nature lovers and lovers of sports such as surfing, climbing or diving.
With Sintra on the way: from Lisbon, it is worth enjoying the landscape and stopping at Sintra to try the famous pastries. You can go around the mountains by the North, following by the IC19 road up to Ranholas and pass the roundabout towards Sintra. Then proceed in the direction of Colares, through a beautiful road full of lovely bends, beautiful in the afternoon light, which follows the old line of rail to Praia das Maçãs. In Colares, turn south, pass Azóia and eventually arrive to Cabo da Roca. You can leave the car at a roundabout just down the road. First,pay a visit to the lighthouse and cross on the tip of the cape, that has spectacular views over the beaches of Aroeira and Ursa.
The Malhada of Ouriçal: from the cape, one goes down towards the south, the cliffs, reaching a stream that cascades onto the beach. Then turn right and begin to climb down more steeply, by the rocks. Malhada is what we call a pebble beach, with no sand. From the beach you can see some beautiful rocks emerging from the sea. If the tide is empty you can go north and follow another trail to the Cape. Here and there youfind large fallen stones, small fig trees born in their midst, and during part of the year the carnation Dianthus cintranus, endemic to the area. Being an endangered species, they are protected by law, so avoid stepping on them. Go up a trail up to the steepest part of the cliff and then continue with the help of a rope that exists there, which implies a certain agility.
Cabo da Roca to Aroeira beach: start from the cruise Cabo da Roca, heading south along the cliff, very carefully to find the access. You have to go down with the help of the rope, with some difficulty. You must do it when the tide is emptying, because the journey takes about three hours. Go down by a path with a beautiful view that turns north. After the Malhada do Cedouro, you have to cross rocks where there are thousands of crabs and algae, right by the sea. Ahead lies Aroeira beach. When the sand is more flat, the tide leaves a big water mirror by the sea. At the northern tip of the beach there is an arch-shaped stone and the stone Pedra do Cavalo. Going back a bit, you find the trail that climbs the cliffs through the valley. At the top there is a small dirt road. You can turn south to return or move on, where you come across the view of the Praia da Ursa.
Praia da Ursa: between the Cape and Azóia there is a rugged dirt road that leads us to Ursa beach. There is a spot on the hilltop where we can leave the car. Then we go down through a beautiful pedestrian trail, from where we can see the Ursa's Stone and the Giant, huge rocks isolated from the cliffs. At the end of the path, you go down by some rocks on the right, towards the valley and the creek that leads to a cascade on the Praia da Ursa. You have to cross the river to the north and then south again to go round some rocks towards the beach. This is a well known place and you can find other visitors. To the north there is a strange inclusion of limestone on the hillside granite, a stone arch and a small cave. To the south there is a beautiful area with rock pools at low tide. At the southern tip of the beach there is a path that goes up along the valley and takes us back in twenty minutes