Fort of São João Baptista (Berlengas) – Peniche, Portugal - Atlas Obscura

Peniche, Portugal

Fort of São João Baptista (Berlengas)

A fortress off the West coast of Portugal that dates back to 1502.  

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Dating back to 1502, the Fort of São João Baptista is drenched in history. The walk back to the harbor is not easy (about 300 stone steps take you up to the top of the mountain and there is an additional walk after that) but the view is stunning. 

Know Before You Go

The fort itself is located in the Berlengas archipelago which can be reached by boat from Peniche, Portugal. Once on Berlenga Grande, another boat will take you to the fortress where you can stay and explore (or you can walk there and back but for 10€ the boat trip over is worth it), or even rent a room at the hostel that is now run out of the fortress.


There is a restaurant and a cafe on the island, both of which are cash only so be prepared. You can also pack a picnic if you’re day-tripping there from Peniche.  


On windy days, the trip over can be quite rough. There are opportunities to swim in crystal clear water there so you may want to pack a bathing suit as well. 

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