Berlengas Natural Reserve
A natural heritage of great value, the small Berlengas archipelago, situated at about 10km distance of Peniche, is constituted by the Berlenga Grande Island and the adjacent reefs, the Estelas and the Farrilhões-Forcados, classified as a Natural Reserve since 1981.
The main island, Berlenga, occupies about 2/3 of the entire surface; on the eastern side is situated the so called “Ilha Velha” (old island), separated by the ocean erosion.
Presented in an almost pure and wild state, the Berlenga is accessible by sea. The archipelago presents an important and rich habitat for the most diversified species, with more than one hundred diversified kinds of plants.
The Berlengas flora is endowed with yellow marigold, corn poppy, silene, pulicaria or armerias, among many others that make of this a special place. Berlega’s Fauna is composed by many sea species, like the octopus, the starfish, the most diversified species of fish and a very rich avifauna, with species such as the Common Guillemot (the symbol of the reserve), the Calonectris, the European Shag, the Ruddy Turnstone, the House Martin and the much famous and numerous Seagull.
The Berlenga Natural Reserve delights for its great beauty landscapes, with crystalline waters and charming natural nooks, like the small Beach Carreiro do Mosteiro, or the Cova do Sonho, among many other special unique places. It is more than worth to discover the secret places of this natural wonder, through the pedestrian itineraries or by the interesting boat trips into the interior of the caves and grottos resultant of the ocean’s erosion over the granite stone.
The access to Berlenga is made by Boat, from Peniche, in, as many say, “a difficult trip” due to the strong ocean tides. The journey takes about 30-40 minutes. The visits to Berlenga are conditioned to the maximum of 350 visitors a day, in order to maintain the natural environment of this island and all the species that here inhabit.
The island has two restaurants in the “aldeia dos Pescadores” (fishermen’s village), and accommodation in the São João Baptista Fort, in the Mar e Sol Pavilion or on the Campsite (although an afterwards cleaning to the tents is almost mandatory, as they are quite tainted by the seagulls and all the seabirds).