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  • Address: Desertas Island, Madeira, Portugal


Desertas Islands

The three Ilhas Desertas, or "Deserted Islands," stretch slender and mysterious off the Madieras' southern shore toward the Canarias. The hazy silhouettes of Deserta Grande, Bugio and Ilhéu Chão, just visible from the Funchal Marina, only hint at their rocky majesty, rising to sudden heights from the foaming waves.

They famously beckon birders with their protected and isolated populations of Cory's and manx shearwaters, Madeiran storm, Bulwar's, and Fea's petrels, canaries, linnets, and several types of terns. But you'll also find a breeding population of monk seals, as well as whales, dolphins, and other sea life offshore.

Practical Info

The Desertas Islands are located about 25km (16mi) south by southeast of Funchal, Madeira. You must book private transportation to the islands.

Several operators offer tours, some overnight; birders and other nature lovers should make sure yours includes a trained naturalist guide. Even if you visit with your own boat, be aware that this is a Nature Reserve, with restrictions on fishing and other activities.

Tours & Tickets

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Ria Formosa Catamaran Trip from Faro, Faro, null

Ria Formosa Catamaran Trip from Faro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Board a comfortable catamaran with a small-group of no more than 10 people to discover the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Visit the Deserta Island and Farol Island ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $27.68
Ilha Deserta - Guided Nature Tour - Ria Formosa, Faro, Day Cruises

Ilha Deserta - Guided Nature Tour - Ria Formosa

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Explore the Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island) in the Algarve and observe native Portuguese birdlife in its natural habitat on this 1.5-hour tour of the Ria ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $33.21

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