Ready for an adventure? A trip to the Berlengas Islands will bring a thrill to your holiday plans. The Berlengas archipelago is a group of small islands 10 to 15 kilometers off the Portuguese coast, west of the town of Peniche. The only habitable island is the largest: Berlenga Grande, although there is no permanent habitation there at present – only sea birds. Since 2011 the Berlengas islands are included to the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. While there is little soil on the rocky archipelago, little plant life is supported: sea birds and marine life, such as mackerel, mullet, and swordfish are abundant. As the archipelago has been declared a reservation area for the protection of the local fauna (primarily sea birds), it is only visited by a limited number of tourists. Think about buying your tickets to get there few days before.
How to get to the Berlenga island
- Go on a big boat with one of the companies: Viamar or Julius. Trip to the island takes about 40 minutes.
- Go on a fast boat: FeelingBerlenga. It will take 20 minutes.
You will arrive to the smallest and cutest port in the world. Nearby you can find a cafe and restaurant. Climb the hill to discover the lighthouse Farol deDuque de Bragança and follow the trail till the edge of the cliff from were you will have a stunning view of The Fort of São João Baptista das Berlengas. This fortress was built between 1640-1656 to protect the coast from pirates attacks. It’s located in the waters off the southeastern coast of Berlenga Grande, on a small islet connected to the island by an arch-bridge. And guess what? You can even sleep there! There is a hostel inside of the fortress.
What to do on the Berlenga island:
The island is quite small but there is so much to do there!
- Try the walking trails to see the island from different perspective and discover it’s gem
- take a boat tour to the caves
- visit the Fort of São João Baptista das Berlengas
- sunbath at the beach
- take some pictures
- watch the sea birds
- do scuba-diving or snorkeling
- rent a kayak (the island has a number of notable caves which can be visited by boat or kayak)
If you are thinking about filming with a drone: forget about it. When we were having a coffee in the fortress and I took from the backpack a box with my drone, Bruna – a waitress looked at me and smiled:
– It’s a drone?- she asked.
– Forget about it. We are in a protected area. Nobody would catch you to give a fine but believe me, seagulls here are crazy!- I start to laugh.
– Sounds funny, right? – Bruna continues – If you could only see filming team a month ago: they were attacked by the seagulls up there and they run down to the fortress to hide from the crazy bird. I used all my supplies of band-aid to take care of the guys.
We all start to laugh. It’s better to not mess with Portuguese seagulls!
Tips before the trip to Berlenga Island
- Buy your tickets online and do it few days before- Berlengas are popular destination.
- You can go on a big boat with one of the companies: Viamar or Julius (it takes about 40 minutes) or go on a fast boat, for example with FeelingBerlenga (it will take 20 minutes).
- If you suffer from seasickness: take your medicine and prepare yourself before the trip on a boat.
- Take the food and water/ drinks with you. There is only one little shop, 2 cafes and one restaurant on the island. And a lot of places to make a picnic.
- Please remember to clean up and take back your trash. The island is a protected area, it’s clean and beautiful – let’s keep it this way!
- Move only on the designated trails.
- You can spend one island or stay for the night. There are three accommodation options: a room in the tiny hotel, a room in the hostel inside of the fortress and a camping (you have to bring your own tent). Each of this options has to be booked in advance!
Now that you are prepared for the adventure, grab your backpack, explore and let me know how much you have enjoyed! 🙂