Hiking the Atlantic Way, Portugal

I am going to take a one-post break from writing about our Valencia trip, because, while the weather was nice over the weekend, my friend and I took a hike along the Caminho do Atlântico (GR11) near Lisbon. It was absolutely gorgeous, I thought I would write it down in case anyone is interested in doing this in the future.

We started the hike from Cabo da Roca – the westernmost point of the Continental Europe.

To ger there: We took the train from Lisbon Cais do Sodré to Cascais (40 minutes) and ordered a Bolt ride, which costed €10.26 with 30% off promotion. We did try to take Bus 403 at the underground Bus Terminal across from the Cascais train station – which is supposed to run every 30 minutes and costs €4 per person – After waiting 40 minutes and no bus, we decided to Bolt.

From Cabo da Roca, we found the trailhead (pictured below) for GR11/PR7 to Praia da Adraga and followed the white/red/yellow marker.

The trail started off flat on top of a cliff

In about 10 minutes it crosses a small pine forest, near a car park

Before descending into our first beach – Praia da Ursa.

Be warned…The way down is steep and easy-to-slip with lots of loose rocks. Rope is provided at one section. Good footwear is a MUST!

It was totally worth it!

In total, it took us 25 minutes from Cabo da Roca to the beach, with many photo ops along the way.

After spending half an hour on the beach, we started our climb back up to proceed to the next beach – Praia da Adraga.

Even with some scrambling, coming up was A LOT easier than going down.

Shortly after we passed the steep(roped) section, we came to an intersection.

The path veered to the left was overgrown with a copse of trees/bushes and there was no marker in sight. Unsure, we stuck with the main trail, which led us to a traffic ladden road, shared by cars and bicycles.

We were not comfortable in sharing the road/trail with anyone not of human flesh, so we ordered a Bolt, which delivered us to Praia da Adraga for €4.59

I had fond memory of this beach as a sanctuary from one of the hottest days in Lisbon back in 2021.

After spending another half an hour or so on the beach, determined to put some mileage beneath our feet, we trailed the soft sandy path up, then through a pine forest to our next beach

Praia Grande – the Grand Beach – is known for its ocean-fed pools (on the north end) and traces of dinosaur footprints on the south side of the cliffs

The ladder on the left goes down to a cliff face where 51 dinosaur footprints can be seen. These footprints are believed to be from two sets of dinosaurs, Megalosaurus and Iguanodons.

Given that the ladder was on the other side of a low wooden fence and there were danger – illustrated as little man falling off a cliff – warnings all over, we decided not to risk it this time around.

Overall it took us approximately an hour to get to the Grand Beach. The trail was well-marked, with views along the way.

By the time we got to the beach, it was almost four in the afternoon

The sky turned cloudier and the sun was about to set in an hour

Although we did not get to see dinosaur footprints

We saw “dinosaur” nonetheless

We found the ocean-fed pool and saw how the water got fed into the pool, naturally(?)

Watched a couple of surfers ride the waves

Then decided to get another Uber (€4.18) to our final destination of the day: the seaside village of Azenhas do Mar


where a glorious sun set off the Atlantic Ocean

Helpful Details:

Travel Time:

Lisbon -> Cascais 40 minutes (train)

Cabo da Roca 30 minutes (bus/car)

Cabo da Roca -> Praia da Ursa 25 minutes (hike)

Praia da Ursa -> Praia da Adraga 20 minutes (car) / 40 minutes (hike – skipped this time)

Praia da Adraga -> Praia Grande 60 minutes (hike)

Praia Grande -> Azenhas do Mar 10 mintues (car)

Or

Praia Grande -> Praia das Maçãs 40 minutes (hike – skipped this time)

Praia das Maçãs -> Azenhas do Mar 30 minutes (hike – skipped this time)

Trip Costs with Uber/Bolt:

Cascais -> Cabo da Roca €10.26

Praia da Ursa -> Praia da Adraga €4.59

Praia Grande -> Azenhas do Mar €4.18

Azenhas do Mar -> Portela de Sintra Train Station €7.86

Total: €26.89 (For 2, €13.45 per person)

Note:

We started late – didn’t get to Cascais until around 11am – the day’s shorter this time of the year. To see the best part on the coast all in one day, we used Uber/Bolt at times. This trail is totally doable without the hired cars, with an early start and when the day is longer as in the summer.

8 thoughts on “Hiking the Atlantic Way, Portugal

  1. Gorgeous! Must’ve been surreal to have stood at the westernmost point of continental Europe…look a bit closer and you could’ve seen out to the easternmost point of North America (kidding)! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, the coast is so rugged and beautiful! I also never thought about where the westernmost point of Europe would be. I think now you have to go stand on the most northern, southern, and eastern points too!

    Liked by 1 person

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