The Boca do Inferno is a seaside cliff located near the city of Cascais, in Portugal. The name of the place means Mouth of Hell, but the “mouth” itself is not too big – a relatively small hole compared to the size of the cliff -, but the scenery as a whole is stunning. The sound of the Atlantic waves crashing against the rocks, the wind blowing, the blue sky, it’s beautiful! And worth the walk from the center of Cascais to the natural formation.
There’s a legend about the creation of this place. The legend involves an evil wizard, the most beautiful woman, and a knight. In short, the wizard wanted to marry the prettiest woman, but since she wasn’t into him, he arrested her in a tower by the sea and placed a knight guarding the entrance. When the woman and her guardian saw each other, they fell in love and decided to run away together. The wizard, jealous and fury, created a storm. The cliffs opened and swallowed the two lovers into the sea. The crevice has never closed! Well, briefly, and without many details, that’s the legend about the formation of the Boca do Inferno.
The Boca do Inferno is located 2 km away from the center of Cascais. It takes about 20 minutes to get there by walking, depending on your pace and how often you stop to take pictures (so, yeah, it took me more than 20 minutes). The path following the Atlantic border is well paved for pedestrians and cyclists. You will, for sure, find many others doing the same route by foot.
If you can’t walk for some reason (or don’t want to), you can bike or take a cab. But it’s worth walking if you can, the path is beautiful, and you’ll find great photo opportunities on the way. Before you get to the Boca do Inferno you’ll pass through a shore of coastal cliffs, which is a good place for seabird watching and also to take pictures. You can walk through the rocky shores, but make sure you stay on the trails, so you don’t get hurt and don’t disturb the birds.
There’re a few cliffs before you get to the famous one, the Boca do Inferno. When I got there I wasn’t so sure about which one was THE ONE. Well, I didn’t know because I wasn’t really there yet. To get to the lookout and have the best view of the Boca do Inferno, you’ll pass through a little market with stalls selling local products, a snack bar, and a souvenir store. Then you’ll see a path that goes to the cliff.
Cascais was the first city I visited in Portugal after I started living in Lisbon. I confess that one of the main reasons I decided to go there was to see the Boca do Inferno. I like this kind of landscape; it always amazes me. Besides that, the town is cute and easy to be explored, and the beaches close to the city center have a good infrastructure for the tourists. So, it’s worth the trip.