Berlenga Grande is the only inhabited island from 3 of Berlenga Archipelago (comprises Berlenga, Estelas and Farilhões islands). In 2011 UNESCO classified Berlengas as “World Biosphere Reserve”, which is indicative of the rich fauna and flora that can be found on the islands.
In the summertime, the warmer weather and bigger influx of visitors results in great interaction moments, which are underscored by the beautiful scenery and clear water, resulting in an unforgettable experience.
Visitors can walk the trails; take a boat tour of the caves; visit Fort St. John, the Baptist, the Duke of Bragança Lighthouse or the Visitor Centre. The island also features a campsite, beach area and a restaurant.
The Praia do Carreiro do Mosteiro is the only beach on the island that is accessible and safe to swim from. The small beach lies in a beautiful setting, nestled between two steep cliffs and overlooking the pretty harbour.
The beach sea waters are very clear and ideal for snorkelling but are surprisingly chilly. For the more adventurous kayaks can also be hired from the harbour to explore the island in more detail.
On the island there is a very basic campsite managed by Peniche local council. Either side of the summer months it is very tranquil and relaxing but in the summer it is popular with overly excited Portuguese teenagers.
The limited facilities on the island means it is advisable to bring all of your supplies.
Start your tour by meeting your captain at the harbor of Peniche. Take a ferry towards the Berlengas archipelago, where your glass-bottom boat trip will take place.
Then, take a 30-minute cruise around Berlengas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that includes various nature conservation sites. Look down into the clear waters and spot marine life.
Enjoy a walk in the nature reserve and take in spectacular views from the pathways
Spend some time swimming off the pristine beach, do some snorkeling, or head out in a kayak.
Take a walk back to the port along the authorized paths of the nature reserve, admiring the amazing views in this UNESCO Biosphere Heritage Site. At the port, you’ll have some free time for lunch (not included), or for a quick swim or snorkeling at the beach nearby.
Berlenga Grande is part of the Arquipélago das Berlengas Nature Reserve, so visitors are encouraged to only follow the set paths, and not cause damage by wandering into the protected areas.
There is a restaurant on the island (the Mar and Sol), but it is always advisable to bring your own water and food, as can get busy in the peak months.
During the summer, always book tickets in advance or early in the day, as the trips are very popular and there is a limited number of seats on the boats. In the autumn and spring, there can be frequent cancellations due to the weather, and in the winter many tour companies close for the entire season.
When departing from Peniche, sit on the right side of the boat, as this side faces the dramatic cliffs of the Peniche headland
The day trip to Berlenga Grande is considered as one of the highlights of the Peniche and Lisbon region, and should be visited if you get the opportunity.