Looking for a fun day trip full of adventure during your holiday to Ericeira or Peniche? Then this boat trip to the Berlenga Islands is the perfect activity. The Berlenga islands are just 12 kilometers off the coast from Peniche. On a trip to the main island you can go hiking, snorkeling in crystal clear water, cliff diving and explore the many caves by boat. In this blog you can read what to expect from this day trip.
THE BOAT TRIP
The tour starts in the harbor of Peniche, a 75 minute drive from Ericeira. You might want to rent a car to get there. With a high quality speed boat you will be brought to the main island of the Berlengas. Depending on the swell it’s about 30 minutes. When we went there, the swell was pretty big and it felt like we were flying through the air most of the time. It was really fun, but not for the faint-hearted. Of course there are also days with a calmer ocean. We’ll always let you know beforehand what you can expect. The boat driver has many years of experience and the boat is brand new. Life jackets and rain coats -if needed- are supplied.
The Berlenga archipelago is a group of small islands that are included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The biggest island is only 1,5 km long, so it’s pretty small. The big island is where to boat stops first. Here are some fishersman’s houses, although no one lives there permanently. In summertime there is a restaurant that serves the freshest fish ever and you can even camp on the island. When we were there (beginning of November), we were the only ones. Normally in July and August there are many people visiting the island.
GUIDED WALKING TOUR
From the fishersman’s houses you walk up the path leading to the lighthouse. The tour guide tells all about the history of the island, about the pirates and the shipwrecks. Walking from the lighthouse to the fort you get a good view over the islands and its bays. There are no trees on the islands, it’s mostly rocks because of the weather conditions (a lot of wind).
There are a couple of bays on the island that are suitable for snorkeling. Masks and flippers are provided. It’s not like the tropics, so you’ll need to bring a wetsuit because the water is pretty cold (around 17 degrees). You can also rent a wetsuit for €6. There is plenty of fish to be seen and the water is really clear.
At the snorkel spot next to the fort of São João Baptista there are several places from where you can jump in the water. The old bridge that connects the island to the fort is a nice jumping spot (about 3 meters depending on the tide) or you can jump from the higher rocks (up to 12 meters). Most places are deep enough, but always check the bottom of the sea before you jump, there are a lot of rocks.
Not always possible on this trip, but we tried to wakeboard behind the speed boat and it was pretty cool! Get in touch with us if you want to get more info about this special service.
Return ticket speedboat, guided walking tour and snorkel equipment:
€30 in the low season, €34 in the high season (July 15-August 31).
Return ticket speedboat, guided walking tour, snorkel equipment and a tour to the many caves around the island:
€36 in the low season, €42 in the high season.
Wetsuit rental: €5
Want to visit the Berlenga Islands? Contact us to book your spot on the boat! Don’t forget to rent a car, transport to Peniche is not included in this trip. For more photos check out our album on Facebook.