“STOP, you can’t go any further” – I shouted out to my dad before his car almost got stucked in the middle of nowhere. We were struggling to get the car around in a narrow street and at the moment I wished I had never got us into it. My mom was stressing out and so was I, but luckily this man showed up and managed to help us get out. All this to see a rock, Penedo do Lexim looked great in pictures but no one really mentioned how hard it was to get there.
My dad and I are big fans of going out and exploring new places, so when I asked him to do a small road trip this weekend he just said – lead the way!
I did my research and quickly came up with a plan, we would start in the most Western point in Europe, Cabo da Roca, go up to Ericeira and stop by a couple of small villages on the way home. While some places really exceed my expectations, others failed to impress.
CABO DA ROCA
It was past noon when we got in the car and drove up to Colares to find Bar Moinho Dom Quixote. I first spotted this place on Instagram and I thought I had to go there, the decoration was amazing and the fact that it had a view over the sea made it even better.
We drove around touristy Sintra, followed the directions on my phone’s GPS and by the time we got there we were starving.
Right next to the bar’s name there was a sign saying “No cards accepted”, my dad asked and the closest ATM was 8km each way. He reached to his pocket and found a 20 euros bill, that was just enough to cover a plate of nachos with cheese, chilli and a soup. Let’s just say I will not be eating tortillas chips anytime soon!
The wind was going strong and I completely forgot to bring a jacket with me. If you’re thinking of going around this area do remember to bring yours!
After lunch we went up to Cabo da Roca, the most Western point in Europe. “Here, where the land ends and the sea begins…” a quote by Camões that is engraved on a big cross facing the Atlantic. He may have got the words right, but you really need to see it for yourself. The ocean breeze, the waves hitting the rocks, the lighthouse on top of the hill, it’s a magical site.
Even though it’s so close to my hometown, I haven’t been here that often. It’s a bit of trek if you don’t have a car but there is one bus that will take you here from downtown Cascais (403, Scotturb).
Ericeira has been a popular summer retreat since the 1940’s. Home to top-quality beaches, it is often referred as Europe’s “Surf Mecca”. Hence why you will see many surfers and surf shops around town.
The weather wasn’t really calling for a swim, so we just had a quick look at one of the beaches and went inside the Chapel of São Sebastião, a beautiful example of tile work on a ceiling!
Blue and white painting is very typical in Ericeira, unfortunately we didn’t spend enough time here to see all its quirky features, but I would love to come back and explore some more!
ALDEIA DA MATA PEQUENA
If you’re looking to spend some time away from the hustle of the city, this is the ideal place. Take a pick from the ten houses available and spend the night in this quiet scenario surrounded by mountains.
I don’t think anyone lives in these houses anymore, in fact the village is mostly a touristic place now, but it’s still nice to come and visit.
I am not really sure how I came across this place, but I’m glad that I found it.
When you enter this town you will see a sign featuring all the sites you should visit while you’re there. One of the first things that comes up when you search Cheleiros on Google is its Roman bridge, this bit of history is set over a small stream, which makes it perfect for a reflection shot 🙂
Park your car near the church and follow the “Ponte Romana” arrows, within seconds you will see this amazing feature.
“Maybe it needs to rain a bit more” – my dad said when we finally reached the so-called waterfalls in Anços.
When we got to the end of the trail we were expecting to see something like this but the only thing we saw was a tiny sample of water. Turns out we didn’t walk far enough to see this hidden gem, so I have to go back and find it!