Best Travel Tips to Desertas Islands (Madeira Islands)

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira Islands

The Desertas Islands are three small rocky island (Ilhéu Chão, Bugio Island and the largest island in the archipelago – Deserta Grande) with a highly elongated shape, and are part of the archipelago of Madeira. They are located about 25 kilometers southwest of the large island in the Atlantic, and they are completely deserted, without any settlements. The islands form a narrow strip of land with a length from north to south about twenty kilometers.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira Islands
Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira Islands by Jean & Nathalie

The landscape of the Desertas Islands is extremely harsh. It is mountainous and almost completely devoid of vegetation.

For the most part, the shore of the Desertas Islands is very difficult to access because it is very steep and rocky. The islands are dominated by two colors – blue (the sea and sky) and brown (the rocks).

Their colors change depending on the weather and sunlight. In 1990, the islands were declared a protected area, so if you are planning a visit to this place, you need special permission.

Although belong to Portugal, geographically these islands are part of Africa. This place is teeming with life, and is an important habitat for seabirds.

Because of the lack of people and predators, the Desertas Islands offer a safe environment for numerous species of birds to nest here. The ocean is rich in fish, and is for this reason an important source of food.

The shore is colonized by sea lions and seals, and they feel quite safe here. Surprisingly, among the rocky landscape can be seen feral goats. They feed on herbaceous vegetation, and are very maneuverable when it comes to running and climbing up the steep slopes.