Cycling to the Westernmost point of Europe (Cascais – Cabo da Roca, Portugal)

June 2019

During a short city break to Lisbon (Portugal) we also planned an exciting route to Cabo da Roca, the Westernmost point of continental Europe. This was my first road cycling experience in a foreign country, all the others trips being in Romania (you can read more about my Romanian road cycling trips here).

The day had all the prerequisites to be a perfect one.  After a delicious coffee and a quick bite at Copenhagen Lab, we went to the rental place (2′ walking) and took our lovely bikes for the day. From Lisbon to Cascais we went by train (approx 1h), and from there we started the cycling route.

cycling out and about lisbon copenhagen lab
A sugary treat and a delicious coffee before hitting the road

1 | Route

Distance: 46 km | Elevation gain: 575 m (max elevation: 260 m)

Start: Cascais | Turnaround: Cabo da Roca

cycling out and about portugal cascais cabo da roca route map

cycling out and about portugal cascais lisbon route

Starting from Cascais there is a 5 km bike path that takes you along the Atlantic coast, with scenic views of the Sintra mountains. During this route segment you will enjoy the amazing coastline while hearing ocean waves on the background, and you may spot kitesurfers on the way.

cycling out and about lisbon cascais cabo da roca
Lovely views of the Atlantic coast

After the false flat bike path we started the uphill ride to Cabo da Roca, through the Sintra – Cascais National Park. The climb was challenging enough for a newbie, especially given the warm day, though the shadowy legs of the trip were making it much more enjoyable.

There were very few drivers on the road, and they were respectful and careful with cyclists. 

cycling out and about cabo da roca forest
Riding through the forest

The uphill ride was definitely worth it! Cabo da Roca is a lovely place, quite touristy though for riding a bike around there. We went briefly to the monument and took some touristic selfies, then hopped on the saddle to get back to Cascais. It was more about the journey, not the destination.

cycling out and about cabo da roca portugal lisbon
“Selfie” at Cabo da Roca

On the way back we had mainly a downhill ride, but it required a lot of focus because of the windy road. After getting out of the forest, we took an alternative route through a small village. I enjoyed a lot going off the beaten track and sinking in the local atmosphere.

Small village on the way back to Cascais

From Cascais we decided to go by bike to Lisbon – more details in the next post!

Useful tip: In case you decide to go cycling in Lisbon during summer time, be prepared with sun screen and UV protective arm sleeves, they can save you a lot of pain. 

2 | Bike

Model: Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc

The bike was rented from Lisbon Bike Rentals, a Canyon official partner. It was in extremely good condition and the service provided by their team was very good. For example, we forgot our water bottles at home and they offered to borrow the ones they had at the shop.

Tip: if you are planning to buy a bike from Canyon, they can share with you a discount code. It’s not a big discount, but it surely helps when you’re buying a X.000 euro beauty 🙂

Ride on!


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