Tips for Trips – Berlenga Island

Berlengas archipelago is a group of small islands 10 to 15 kilometers (6.2–9.3 miles) off the Portuguese coast, west of the town of Peniche. Only Berlenga Grande has human occupation, meaning that about 10 small houses and one small camping site.

This is the island I’ve always seen from the beach where I spend my summers since I’m a baby, this is the island I’ve always imagined. It’s not expensive, 20/30€, and it’s only 45 minutes by boat away from the coast, but for some reason, I never made it to go there. Until now!

I really needed a break from all the work, and from computers and cell phones. And from all I’ve heard, nothing could be better than Berlenga. If you only go for one day, you just need comfortable shoes, a bikini, and a nice camera, because the Island is beautiful. But if you think of staying, there are some useful tips:

  1. There’s no drinking water on the Island, so you have to bring it.
  2. You should also bring an empty large bottle, they allow you to fulfill two in the first day, and then you can fill it again in the next days. It’s the water for baths, brushing teeth, washing clothes, etc. There are no showers, and the water from the toilet is salty.
  3. Bring salt to put around your tent, I haven’t seen any rat, but everyone says there are a lot of them.
  4. Don’t leave food outside, or garbage, the seagulls will make a mess, or a meal, of everything.
  5. Bring a Campingaz, or some sandwiches, there are no barbecues or freezers.
  6. There is no electricity.
  7. This is the strangest tip ever, but I would definitely use earplugs. These cagarros beards have the strongest singing during the night, and yes, some birds have an awful singing.
  8. Winter clothes! Doesn’t matter if it’s 40º degrees during the day, the night will be cold, super cold, winter jacket (it’s also good for the boat), socks, and trainees.
  9. Bring money, there’s not much to buy but everything is expensive.
  10. Girls: bring a hair brush, or some oil for the hair, the wind will make it a mess in the first half an hour.
  11. Bring your snorkeling mask!
  12. Lights! There are no lights in the night, and the bathrooms are quite far from the camping site.
  13. Don’t worry about bringing too much baggage, I was very stressed about it, but everyone helps in the boats and in the Island, there are some small cars to carry it.
  14. Travel with Julius
  15. You need to make a reservation for this email: campismo.berlenga@cm-peniche.pt

My trip was absolutely amazing! I was so lucky it’s even hard to describe. It was my first time in the Island and the first time in a boat in the ocean. On the second day, after a small walk in a misty morning, some friends of us arrived, and in one hour we ended up with their family eating fish that a local fisherman had caught in the morning. What a meal!!

After that, when we were already surprised with so much luck, a guy from this family who has a boat, took us and in his small boat to make a tour around the Island and to Estelas! The color of the waters is amazing, the caves are wonderful, and the waves scary. Sometimes the unexpected things are really the best. I can’t tell how happy and grateful I was about this lunch and the trip. We’ve made the trip with three kids. It was very special to see their excitement.

For dinner, we’ve made a wonderful veggie meal, and we talked with our friends in the dark of the Atlantic Ocean, of course, with some red wine in our glasses. Good people make everything better.

In the end, in such a small island I still have some places to visit. You can make it in one day, you can feel it if you stay a bit longer. I’ll come back! (Watch my very amateur video!)

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