Spend a day on Berlenga Grande, a scenic island in the Berlengas Nature Reserve, on this small-group day trip. Travel to the fishing village of Peniche where you’ll board your boat for the island. On arrival, visit St. John the Baptist Fort and take a guided stroll along the pathways of the UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve. Then, choose to join an included kayak or glass-bottom boat excursion through Berlenga Grande’s caves.
Meet your driver at one of the meeting points in Lisbon center and depart for the charming fishing village of Peniche in a climate-controlled vehicle.
Peniche is a hard-working fishing town, which has transformed into a popular tourist destination due to the regions outstanding beaches. These beaches are famed for their unique surfing waves, and a high portion of visitors to the Peniche region come here to either surf or to learn how to. The town of Peniche reflects the fishing industry, having a raw and ramshackle appearance, which has barely altered with the increase of tourism. Once beyond Peniche’s shabby appearance, there is a lot to love; with fantastic seafood restaurants, interesting historic sights and of course the incredible surfing.
Board a boat for the 40-minute crossing to Berlenga Grande, an island characterized by secluded caverns and twisting rock formations. After your boat drops anchor at the island’s port, enjoy some free time to pick up refreshments or stretch your legs with a stroll on the beach.
The Berlengas Archipelago is located 16 km west of Peniche. The archipelago is a powerful granite block. Its territory belongs to the parish of São Pedro, in the municipality of Peniche. The most important part of the island is called Berlenga and represents more than two thirds of the total surface of the island. The other part is called Ilha Velha and is separated from the rest of the island by maritime erosion. The Berlenga archipelago is a protected area that integrates nature reserves by the nature and forest conservation institute (ICNF) and has been considered a UNESCO Biosphere reserve since 2011.
Small tour boats provide tours of the island, and explore the cliff formations which can not be viewed from the land or accessed by the larger ferries. During a 30-minute tour you'll visit the blue cave, Furado Grande (a natural tunnel), Elephant Rock and the Ponta da França headland.
The São João Baptista Fort lies on the sheltered side of the Berlenga Grande and was constructed in the 17th century to prevent a staging area for seaborne assault along the western coastline of Portugal. This little fort is one of the most visually striking buildings in Portugal, rising up from the shallow turquoise sea waters and connected to the island by narrow arched bridges.
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 harbor. The beach sea waters are very clear and ideal for snorkeling, but are surprisingly chilly. For the more adventurous kayaks can also be hired from the harbor to explore the island in more detail.
After your excursion, begin the journey back to Lisbon, where your day trip concludes with a drop-off back at the starting point.
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