Farol do cabo da Roca, Sintra

#7 of 11 in Historic Sites in Sintra
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Cabo da Roca Lighthouse is a beacon/lighthouse located above the Atlantic Ocean, on Portugal's most westerly extent . It is located in the civil parish of Colares, in the municipality of Sintra, situated on a promontory that juts out into the ocean, made up of granite boulders and interspersed limestone. It is a third-order lighthouse, which originally began operating in 1772. It was the first new purpose-built lighthouse to be constructed in the country: the older lighthouses in existence at that time, were constructed on existing platforms or from pre-existing beacons.HistoryThe initiative to construct the lighthouse came from the Junta Geral da Fazenda do Reino on 1 February 1758, in an order to construct six lighthouses strategically throughout the country to assist navigation.Cabo da Roca lighthouse began operating in 1772, becoming the third oldest lighthouse along the Portuguese coast.During the management of civil engineer Gaudêncio Fontana (1843), the lighthouse was updated with a new rotation platform, comprising sixteen Argand lamps with parabolic reflectors. Yet, by 1865, there were critics of the system, noting the inefficiency of the lighthouse. Over time this was addressed by the installation of a blow-horn signal and the renovation to electric-powered machines. The "electrical" lighthouse began functioning in 1897, with a system that included a backup petroleum lamp. The main unit was a fourth-order optical system, with rotational platform and clock mechanism, and was paired with a steam siren.In 1917 a building was constructed to produce the acetylene gas necessary to power a new lamp system.The siren was replaced in 1932 by a compressed air blow-horn, while a lighthouse radio system was installed in 1937. During the post-World War era a new fourth-order optical system replaced the older mechanism, but was quickly substituted by a third-order lamp with a 3000 Watt lamp. At the end of the 1940s, the site was reached by public water and sewage.
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Farol do cabo da Roca reviews

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61 reviews
  • Cabo da Roca. the westernmost point in continental Europe. A small lighthouse located here is a historic site, one of the oldest lighthouses in Portugal and in such a beautiful area. Cabo da Roca...  more »
  • First of all, if there is wind take a sweater because we were literally almost blown away. The views over the ocean are stunning and it is a nice stop between Sintra and Cascais. And of course it is.....  more »
  • Well it is a very impressive place, with a stunning view, however, bare in mind that if you're not "view" kind of guy there is not much to do there longer than 30mins. Small tip I would like to share: Avoid driving there!! The roads are so narrow and curving sometimes that local drivers beep before approaching such places. Also I wouldn't recommend the bus for the same reason and its extremely long rout. Taxi is the best deal! Specially if you're are 3 or 4 people group the taxi would be maybe 1 or 2 eur more expensive or even cheaper if you get lucky. The bus from Sintra costed us 13.5 for free of us and on the way back managed to fish a drive for 12.75)) It was really a lucky strike but most of drivers were talking about 15eur for the ride and it took twice less time. Have a nice one!))
  • Fantastic view, but only for non group visiting

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