Translated by Gokhan KORKMAZ
When you look at the map of the world, your attention might be drawn to the areas in your mind that you often dreamed to see. Observing the northern lights from the nearest point to the North Pole was such a dream for me. Cabo da Raco, not being on my dreams but in my mind, has been a place that I could not help stopping by and seeing when I got closer to the point where the European Continent ended.
When we reached at the end of the mainland, the tip of European Continent, we felt as if we were in the midst of a movie scene that features the loneliness and eternity accompanied by only a sea lighthouse with a monument, ocean waves and the music of the wind.
Cabo da Raco is a place that you can easily reach on your trip to Lisbon, Portugal. You may take the bus (Line Number: 403) from the towns of Sintra and Cascais near Lisbon by paying approximately €4. It is 40 minutes from Sintra and 20 minutes from Cascais. We reached at Sintra first, and then to Cabo da Raco with a combined ticket we purchased in Lisbon for €15. We have not made any further payments for the train or the bus during this trip.
What you can see here are only a lighthouse on the rocks, a monument, a tourist office and a shop selling gift items. So what are we going to do in such a geography? We will be watching the foaming waves of the Atlantic Ocean reaching at the shore under the strong wind and listen the sound of them whilst being there. I suggest sparing some time to watch the sunset over the evening, though. If you like to have a proof of being at the extreme end of the European mainland, at the latitude of 38º 47´N and longitude and -9º 30´ W, the tourist office supplies such a document for €11.
The lighthouse built in 1772 took its present shape in 1842. It is 150 meters high from the ocean level and its 1000 watt light can be seen from 46 kilometers away in the sea. Visitors are not allowed inside.
A monument with a cross atop stands at the westernmost tip of the shore. In the 14th century it was believed that the world, which was flat, ended at this point. On this monument, there is an inscription reading “Here ends the land and the sea begins”, uttered by the famous Portuguese poet Luis Camoes, who lived between 1524 and 1580.
I have no doubt that following pose, the one who shows that we are at the tip of the Europe, is repeated by everybody who comes here. We have not obtained any document proving this, but rather verified with our photo.
Should someone visit Cabo da Raco? It is not a destination that you would like to give priority, stay and spend time once flown out of the country. If you have already arrived at any place in Portugal, you obviously love traveling and have reached the tip of the continent. If you have one extra day in Lisbon and consider to visit Sintra and Carcais, you should watch the sunset at Cabo da Raco. Only one visit to the area would be good enough.