Overview

The second largest island in the Azores and the most obviously volcanic, Pico offers a landscape of dramatic contrasts. The Capitão, Caiado, and Paúl lakes are set within rugged moorland along the central spine of the island, whilst the western end is a mass of black lava flows which have been broken up and turned into low stone walls to protect the vines.

Its reputation as a whale watching centre draws many visitors, but there are many more reasons to visit.

Highlights

Climb Mt Pico (2351m) and have a spectacular view on a clear day of the five islands of the central group. Sunrise viewed from the summit is truly an unforgettable sight. The distinctive Pico vineyards are a maze of stone walls, adding a unique aspect to the island’s landscape. The product of these grapevines is the famous wine known as ‘Verdelho do Pico’, a superb aperitif sold in nearly every shop and restaurant.
The island also has a long history with whaling evident from a visit to the old whaling factory in Sao Roque and the fascinating whaling museum in Lajes, all within 40 minutes drive of the capital, Madalena. A must is a trip to see these amazing mammals in action. Take a tour of the spectacular Gruta das Torres just 10minutes drive from Madalena, a 4.5km long lava tunnel rising to 15m in height.
From Madalena’s harbour, it's just a 30minute ferry trip to Faial. From the ocean the visitor is left with a final portrait of the mountain island which includes the islets Deitado (lying down) and Em-pe (standing up) overshadowed by the magnificent mountain.

Activities

The quiet roads of Pico make for some great cycling and the walking is obviously a highlight with Mt Pico being the highest mountain in Portugal, though there are many less challenging but equally beautiful trails. But a big attraction is the whale watching and Lajes do Pico is considered the home of Azorean whale watching.

Accommodation

Many of our guests choose to stay in the lovely basalt self catering cottages set in and around small fishing villages, but there are some gorgeous guesthouses and boutique style hotels to choose from. Just make sure you stay long enough to explore this fascinating island.

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