It's been hard to get the motivation to post these days; it seems there's always something else to do, and together with a lack of time/patience, I'm not as active as I used to be. But to resume some posting, nothing like writing about something that gives me great joy: nature trails!
The Sintra-Cascais natural park is probably the closest park to the country's capital; it encompasses the westernmost point of continental Europe, a good extension of shoreline and an amazing forest with it's own micro-climate, called Serra de Sintra (it's the one covered in clouds in the above photo!).
I did the nature trail between Cascais and Cabo da Roca, around 16km; the path follows among fields with the natural flora, with a good part very near the shore.
Baby oaks were seen in places that were devastated by fire not that long ago, it's good to see nature bouncing back!
This paths goes near Guincho, where a protected dune park ends up in a beautiful but very windy beach, perfect for watersports such as surf and windsurf.
Big cliffs are a common part of the show, and harsh sea and wind are the norm here! Here, the path follows the coastal line, before a small climb starts. The fresh air is filled with sea breeze and the odor of rock roses, that are all around.
Although nowadays with apps and gps it's so easy to follow the trails, the basics do help! If you see these signs on the ground... you're in the right track!
Higher above, before reaching Malveira da Serra, you have a great view of the Guincho beach, far on the landscape.
All around, even more rock roses and other typical bushes of the mediterranean flora, such as the Heather.
After going uphill from the shoreline, there's a small part of the path that crosses small villages and it's near the road, but I'll skip that part. From that small plateau, the trail goes into the nature again, up and down the hills, straight to its destination: Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe!
And there he is, on the horizon, with its famous lighthouse. But still plenty of walking to do!
We reached our destination around one hour before sunset... but we didn't stop there. Because a couple of kms more, the beautiful Praia da Ursa was calling me.
"Bears beach* (the literal translation) is an amazing beach, completely wild. No coffees, no guards, no infrastructures, nothing. Just nature in its raw form.
It still involves a narrow path all the way down, and having to climb back again! But for ages I was planning to finally swim in the westernmost beach in continental Europe... and I finally did it!!
Swimming in these cold waters was the best way to finish this hiking trail. In crazy times like these, surrounding ourselves with nature and breathing the fresh air makes wonders to our physical and mental health.
After the refreshing dive... time to climb back up, and enjoy the amazing sunset before heading home to a well deserved dinner!
This hike wasn't that long ago... but reviewing these photos just make me want to go hiking again! As soon as the damn curfews allow it, off to nature! Have you been able to enjoy the outdoors? 🙂
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