Europe Travel News

Leave the mainland and make the Berlanga Islands part of your tour of Portugal

Portugal tours have plenty to offer, even if you don't leave the mainland. With cities like Porto and Lisbon, there is something for everyone. Yet while you won't have to leave the Iberian Peninsula to enjoy yourself, if you take an excursion just several miles offshore you'll hit one of Portugal's best hidden gems. The Berlengas - a group of several islands about 6 miles off the coast - has plenty of adventure travel opportunities, whether you'd like to hike through the gorgeous landscapes or relax on the crystal clear water.

The heart of the archipelago is Berlanga Grande - the collection's largest island. Aside from its size, Berlanga Graden is an attractive tourist destination thanks in large part to its picturesque beaches. However, there is more to do once you arrive than relax in the sand. Specifically, you should consider taking the hike to visit the Fort of São João Baptista das Berlengas. Built in the mid-17th century, this structure was originally used as a military fortification. It sits just off the coast of the Berlanga Grande, offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Of course, you'd be remiss if the Fort of São João Baptista das Berlengas was the only place you visited during your time on the island. The water surrounding Berlanga is among the clearest in the world, making it perfect for snorkeling. If you want to get an untarnished look at the natural appeal of Portugal, the Berlengas Natural Reserve is the place to go. The reserve is among several areas that are protected by the government, and it is particularly famous for being home to a diverse set of bird species. Even if you're not an avid birdwatcher, catching a glimpse of the rare puffin mingling with seagulls will certainly leave a lasting impression.  

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