Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member h_raky
N 39° 24.732 W 009° 30.678
29S E 455983 N 4362645
Quick Description: one of the most beautiful locations in Portugal for swimming and diving, the marine flora and fauna of the place is gorgeous.
Location: Leiria, Portugal
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 11:57:13 AM
Waymark Code: WMAJ2F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 11

Long Description:
Human occupation on Berlenga Grande (the only habitable island) dates back to antiquity, when the islands was known as (Londobris). Much later it was referred to as the island of Saturno by Roman geographers, and was visited successively by Muslims, Vikings and pirates/privateers from England and France.

In 1513, with the support of Queen Leonor, monks from the Order of São Jerónimo established a settlement on the island to offer assistance to navigation and victims of frequent shipwrecks. The monastery founded there (Monastery of Misericórdia da Berlenga), remained until the 16th century the when disease, lack of communication (due to inclement weather) and constant assaults by pirates and privateers from England and France, forced the monks abandon the service on the island.

During the Portuguese Restoration War, in the reign of King John IV, the Counsel of War determined the demolition of the monastery ruins, and the use of their rocks to build a coastal defense. By 1655 it had already, during its construction, it was able to resist an assault by three Barbary coast pirates.

The island's lighthouse, dubbed Duke of Braganza by locals, was constructed in 1841. In the 20th century a solar panel was installed in the lighthouse's 29 meter column, providing a 50 kilometer field of vision.

Nowadays, the archipelago has no permanent population
Berlenga Grande (Portuguese: Ilha da Berlenga) is 1500 metres per 800 metres at 85 metres high. In this small island there are beaches and several caves, its waters are very clean with barrier reefs and vibrant marine life. Part of the island was ripped off in the past, forming a separated part of the island called Ilha Velha (Old Island). In the summer, the island becomes filled with various sorts of flowers. In the larger island (Berlenga Grande) there is an ancient fort and a lighthouse. The fort is now partially converted into a resthouse. As the archipelago has been declared a reservation area due to the localfauna (sea birds, mostly), it is only visited by scientists and, in the summer, by a small number of tourists.

The Berlengas archipelago is a group of small islands 10 to 15 kilometers off the Portuguese coast, west of the town of Peniche

To the north of Berlenga Grande are uninhabitable islets, known for the existence of species of marine birds and a diverse ecosystem: the Estelas and Farilhões-Forcados Islets.

Berlenga Grande also starred in a pre-revolutionary Portuguese movie called O Rei das Berlengas (English: The King of the Berlengas), a comedy about someone who one fine day decides to become king of the said archipelago. Due to this movie, several people, tourists and residents from the nearby towns, have declared the independence of the islands, and declare themselves as king, prince or president of the Berlengas Islands. These declarations and liberation armies are nothing more than fiction intended for amusement.
Water Type: Ocean

Salinity: Salt

Access: Boat (day trip)

Maximum Depth: 98

Typical Visibility: Excellent (60+ ft)

Has Reef?: yes

Wreck or Submerged Object?: Ship/boat

Underwater Life: Here you can find in their night-diving anemone (Alicia mirabilis), the chip (Scyllarides latus) and Gorgonian coral-chameleon (Paramuricea clavata) and are among the least spotted the coral-orange (Dendrophyllia ramea), the mero (Epinephelus marginatus)

Visit Instructions:
1) To log a visit, at least a picture taken at the surface, including any distinguishing landmarks or buoys if present, is required. While you do not have to enter the water, this is encouraged.

2) If you dive at the site, describe your visit including any details you wish to share such as weather, water temperature, visibility, bottom time, and anything of interest that you observed, living or nonliving.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
bmps2003 visited Berlengas-Peniche-Portugal 7/10/2013 bmps2003 visited it
NotMuggles visited Berlengas-Peniche-Portugal 8/9/2010 NotMuggles visited it

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