Berlenga Island

The Berlenga Island is the biggest of the Berlengas archipelago, a small group of island and islets off the coast of Peniche, Portugal. As it’s part of a natural reserve, its accessibility and traffic is conditioned, with restricted zones and a daily visitors limit.

Anyway, it’s possible to spend the night on a small camping site or inside the beautiful Fort of St. John the Baptist, which was built on the seventeenth century to protect the island against pirate attacks and Spanish invasions.

In 1666, the Spanish tried to conquer the island, which was then defended by a force of just two dozen soldiers. A combined naval bombardment and ground operation caused over 500 casualties in just two days (against one dead and four wounded by defenders) and a sunken Spanish carrack. Such gallant defence was led by Corp. Avelar Pessoa, the name chosen for the biggest boat that makes present day round trips to the island.

The Berlenga Island is also known for its picturesque beach (Carreiro do Mosteiro), the place where visitors land and appreciate some of the most beautiful water colors in Portugal. Other interesting site on the island is its lighthouse, named Duque de Braganca.