"Home of the "Monk Seals"" Deserta Grande by bambino36

Deserta Grande Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 16 photos

From the south side of Madeira Island we can can see three distant islands to the southeast. These are the mysterious Ilhas Desertas, which means 'the deserted islands' and this is due to the lack of permanent water and the consequent barrenness of the soil.
These three islands are Deserta Grande (the largest, with a length of 11 km), Ilhéu Chão and Bugio.
In 1990 the Desertas became a Nature Reserve, comprising the islands themselves and the surrounding sea to a depth of 100 metres. The reserve is divided into two protected zones of which the southern half of Deserta Grande and Bugio are strictly forbidden to visitors even by boat. On Deserta Grande there is a permanent research station with two guards from Parque Natural da Madeira, who are the only human inhabitants of the islands today.
Deserta Grande is one of the places where the monk seals still exist, although everytime I went there I never saw any.
The island is located 15 nautical miles southeast of Funchal (Madeira Island).

  • Last visit to Deserta Grande: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (6)

Comments (2)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2004 at 1:30 PM

    These remote islands of yours are very interesting! I thought this one was the Salvegens when I first looked at my Madeira map. Great avalanche photo & the opening one too!!

  • lichinga's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2004 at 7:41 AM

    Mas como é que vc chega até à ilha?


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