Rising from the clear azure depths of the Atlantic Ocean the Berlengas archipelago lies only several miles westwards from the picturesque coastline of Portugal. The group of small granite islands may seem a little out of the way from the established route of visitors’ attractions, but this makes it all the more exciting for exploration and suited to a mixture of thrilling pursuits – from hiking and observing the rich birdlife on the land to snorkeling in the pure waters brimming with a wealth of marine fauna.
Peniche, the little town offering a gateway to Berlenga, is a scenic settlement and an attraction in its own right. Nestled between steep cliffs on a piece of sandy earth flung deeply into the cobalt waters Peniche boasts beautiful causeways and clean beaches with ideal conditions for surfing.
Berlenga Grande, the largest of the Berlenga islands, is only a short ferry trip away from it. A former fort and pirates retreat, and currently a nature reserve of extraordinary beauty, the island is a blend of stunning natural views and sound. The jagged outlines of rocks on the backdrop of the ocean, the soft murmur of waves lapping on to the beach, sightings of playful dolphins during the boat tours, the mystery of the island caves, the caw- cawing of the seagulls occasionally breaking through the tranquility all contribute to its magical atmosphere.
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