Berlenga Island, a Portuguese natural paradise
Are you looking for a perfect hideaway, where nature protection is the main concern? Then you should head to the amazing and unique Berlenga Island.
Berlenga, actually named Berlenga Grande, is the main island of the Berlengas archipelago, a nature sanctuary located in front of Peniche, Portugal. The archipelago also includes three small islet, the Estelas and the Farilhões-Forcados, as well as Ilha Velha, that used to be the East part of Berlenga Grande until the day it was separated by the sea erosion.
A nature reserve just 5.7 milles away from Peniche, Portugal
Berlenga Island is a remarkable nature reserve, offering visitors a paradise of fauna and flora, with species that cannot be found elsewhere. Berlenga Island is, indeed, a gem of Central Portugal.
Aiming nature protection and the preservation of this ecosystem, visitors are not allowed to go outside the 2 km long official tracks. Nevertheless, trust me when I say that they are more than enough to overwhelm you thanks to the breath taking views that you will be coming across along the way.
Diving in the Berlenga Island’ sea
Diving in the Berlenga Island’ sea means discovering an underwater world filled with life. The many species to be found in the area offer visitors an amazing ballet of color no one should miss.
However, if you are not a fan of scuba diving or snorkelling, don’t worry. Just go for a swim in the magnificent calm and green clear waters is enough to justify the boat trip from Peniche, Portugal to Berlenga Island. Although Carreiro do Mosteiro beach is the most pouplar, you may try one of the many small beaches around the island.
The main attractions
Besides the incredible natural beauty there are a few other good reasons to visit Berlenga Island. One of them is S. João Batista Fortress, a defensive structure dating from the XVII century; another ex-libris of Berlenga island is its lighthouse nicknamed “Duque de Bragança”. Since 1841 its light keeps guiding all ships into safety, letting them know where land is.
A not to miss activity is a boat trip around the island to discover its many fascinating caves. Some of the most famous are Gruta da Flandres, Gruta do Brandal, Gruta da Muxing or Gruta da Lagosteira. You may book your trip at the island’s pier.
Some things you shouldn’t forget to assure your safety and nature protection
While on the island there a few rules you should follow in order to have a wonderful stay as well as to protect the priceless ecosystem.
– Don’t leave the tracks;
– Don’t hunt the animals nor gather any plants;
– Although fishery by line is allowed, it is forbiden to catch species like octopus, limpets, mussel, clams and crabs;
– Underwater fishing is forbiden;
– Electric supply is interrupted at 11p.m.
How to get from Peniche, Portugal to Berlenga
There are several companies organizing the crossing, however Cabo Avelar Pessoa is probably the most famous boat traveling between Peniche, Portugal and Berlenga. For infomarion and reservations just check Viamar site
Where to stay and to eat at Berlenga
Due to the policy of nature protection, mass tourism isn´t encouradged; Therefore there aren´t many accommodation options at Berlenga Island, and certainly the ones available aren’t suitable for people used to luxury. In fact, there are only three choices:
– S. João Batista Fortress
Contact: Associação Amigos da Berlenga
Address: Trav. Proletários, 14 r/c Dtº
Phone: 262 750 244
– Mar e Sol Restaurant
– Berlengas campsite
Peniche Tourism Office
Address: Rua Alexandre Herculano
Phone and Fax: 262 789 571
For a good meal you may only rely on Mar e Sol Restaurant and S. João Batista Fortress.