Posted by: Author | January 9, 2013

Desertas Islands

General Information

Also part of the Madeiran archipelago is the arid and treeless Ilhas Desertas …

… which lies about 25 km to the southeast of Ponta de São Lourenço, the eastern tip of the island of Madeira.

Ponta de São Lourenço is linked underwater to the offshore Ilhas Desertas (“Desert Isles / Desertas Islands”), which form part of the same volcanic formation. Though arid and uninhabited, these islands nevertheless host all sorts of rare and endangered wildlife, including spiders, monk seals, petrels and shearwaters. An application has been made to UNESCO to have the islands declared a World Natural Heritage Site. A tiny colony of Mediterranean Monk Seals inhabit the beaches, and since 1990 the islands have been a nature reserve for their protection. The only human presence are the permanent wardens, geologists, occasional boaters, and the few research stations on the islands.
Exploring For a closer look, contact one of the boat companies based at Funchal’s marina, many of which offer day-long trips to the islands. Administratively, the islands are part of the municipality of Santa Cruz, Madeira.
Desertas Islands, Desert Isles, Ihlas Desertas, Madeira
The three islands of the Desertas are, listed from north to south: Chão Islet, Deserta Grande, Bugio.

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