Berlengas Islands, the best kept secret in Portugal is a destination worth visiting

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It usually happens: we believe that the farther you go, the better the experience will be, and this is not always the case (as far as travel is concerned). Every corner of Spain hides some valuable secret and the neighboring territories are easily accessible places that we never get tired of discovering. After knowing the paradises of French Brittany, today we travel to Portugal. The neighboring country is much more than the Algarve, Porto and Lisbon. It also hides treasures such as the Berlengas Islands, a paradise that is closer than we think and that is one of our bets to spend the summer this 2022. We tell you how to get to these islands, what to see on them, where to eat and what accommodations we can sleep in.

Where are the Berlengas Islands and how to access them

On the tourism website of the Berlengas Islands we find all the information we need. As we read on that site, “the Berlengas are a small archipelago made up of granite islands, which are located west of Cabo Carvoeiro in Penicheoff the coast of Portugal”. Berlenga Grande, Estelas and Farilhões-Forcados are the three islets that make up this archipelago. The entire territory is considered a nature reserve.

To access these islands we must leave by boat from Peniche. Getting to this town is easy: there are public buses from Lisbon and Porto. You can also access with your own vehicle. Once we are in Peniche, there are several railway companies that will guide us to Berlenga Grande, Estelas or Farilhões-Forcados. The main boat “Cabo Avelar Pessoa” or Viamar is the busiest. In this link you will find more information about it. Regarding the prices, in high season the price of the round trip from Peniche is 27 euros for people over 12 years old, 18 for children from 3 to 11 years old and 10 for children under 3 years old. In addition, there are packs that include the boat and other activities such as guided tours.

Things to see in Berlengas Islands: the essentials

Sao Joao Baptista Fort

São João Baptista Fort is located on the island of Berlenga Grande. Thanks to its military structure, it is the most popular construction of the Berlengas and the most emblematic monument of the archipelago. On the tourism website of the islands they detail that “it is not known with certainty how much São João Baptista Fort was built, with unclear testimonies indicating that there was a fortification there since the 16th century.”

Duke of Bragança Lighthouse

Lighthouse lovers have a mandatory stop: the Duque de Bragança Lighthouse. This item has a height of 29 meters, with a range of 27 nautical miles. This lighthouse, also known as Farol da Berlenga, was built in 1758 by the Marquis of Pombal. It is located on the island of Berlenga Grande.

fishermen’s quarter

The Bairro dos Pescadores is the only town in the entire Berlengas archipelago. It is located on the southern slope of the so-called Ilha Velha, where the Misericordia Monastery once existed. Here we find a restaurant, a minimarket, Praia da Berlenga Grande (another point to take into account) and the island’s public toilets.

O Grove, a Galician paradise with fine sand beaches and crystal clear waters

Where to stay in Berlengas and Peniche Islands

Berlengas cannot receive many visitors at once. In addition, being considered a nature reserve, there are few possibilities to spend the night on this island. On the tourism websites of the islands we discover that there are only three possibilities to sleep there, it is advisable to sleep in Peniche. To spend the night in Berlengas we must go to the São João Baptista Fort (capacity for 50 people), the Mar e Sol Pavilion or the Parque de Campismo das Berlengas. On the other hand, those who wish to have accommodation in Peniche have many options.

Hotel Neptune (2*)

hotel neptune

Double room without breakfast at Hotel Neptuno, Peniche

Double room without breakfast at Hotel Neptuno, Peniche

Star Inn Peniche (3*)

peniche

Standard Double Room - 1 or 2 beds with breakfast at the Hotel Star inn Peniche

Standard Double Room – 1 or 2 beds with breakfast at the Hotel Star inn Peniche

MH Peniche (4*)

MH Peniche

Standard Double Room without breakfast at MH Peniche

Standard Double Room without breakfast at MH Peniche

Maré Alta Accommodations – Aparthotel

Double room with balcony

Double room with balcony - Maré Alta Alojamentos

Double room with balcony – Maré Alta Alojamentos

Where to eat in Berlengas Islands

The culinary offer of this archipelago is not very extensive, but we can manage well if we are only going to spend a day or if we are not on gastronomic vacations. There is a restaurant in Berlenga, the restaurant of the Hotel Mar e Sol and a cafeteria in Forte São João Baptista. To buy food there is Castelinho, which can always come in handy. Note: Some of the links posted here are affiliate links. Despite this, none of the items mentioned have been proposed by either the brands or the stores, their introduction being a unique decision of the editorial team. Photographs | Booking, Berlengas.org

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