Discovering the Berlengas Archipelago: Portugal’s Hidden Gem

Portugal is known for its stunning coastline, delicious cuisine, and historic cities. However, one of its lesser-known treasures is the Berlengas Archipelago, a group of small islands situated about 10-15 kilometers off the coast of the town of Peniche in central Portugal. The archipelago is a designated nature reserve and offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and history.

Natural Beauty

The Berlengas Archipelago consists of three main islands: Berlenga Grande, Estelas, and Farilhões-Forcadas. Berlenga Grande is the largest and the only one that is accessible to visitors. The islands are made of pink granite and feature rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The natural beauty of the area is simply breathtaking and provides excellent opportunities for hiking, swimming, and snorkeling.


The Berlengas Archipelago is a haven for wildlife. It is home to several species of seabirds, including the endangered European storm petrel and the rare roseate tern. The islands also support a variety of marine life, including sea bass, octopus, and various species of shellfish. Visitors may also spot dolphins and seals swimming in the surrounding waters.


The Berlengas Archipelago has a rich and fascinating history. Berlenga Grande has been inhabited at various times throughout history by monks, fishermen, and soldiers. The island features a 17th-century fort, Forte de São João Baptista, which was built to protect the Portuguese coast from pirate attacks. The fort is now a hostel, and visitors can stay overnight in one of its rooms.

Outdoor Activities

The Berlengas Archipelago offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Hiking is a popular activity, with several marked trails crisscrossing Berlenga Grande. The trails offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and provide an excellent opportunity to observe the local flora and fauna. Water-based activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and boat tours are also available.

The Berlengas Archipelago is a hidden gem off the coast of Portugal that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and history. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an outdoor enthusiast, the Berlengas Archipelago has something to offer. Consider adding this beautiful destination to your Portugal itinerary for a truly unforgettable experience.

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