Created by dramatic volcanic activity hundreds of millions of years ago, the Azores exists as an unusual and varied environment. And, in those nine islands the 7,700-foot peak of Pico island rises above the green, sculptured landscape to the highest peak in all of Portugal. With a wild and lava strewn countryside perfect for hiking, world Heritage vineyards, and some of the best whale watching in the world, Pico is Portugal’s high point.
Pico was the obvious choice of name for the highest point in all of Portugal. You cannot miss it! Its giant peak soars about the clouds most days, and it is often seen by approaching planes rising above the cloud cover. It is impressive from any angle! Some intriguing places to visit are Escalada ao Pico where tourists can scale Portugal’s highest mountain, and Quinta da Rosas, a forest park with exotic species. The interior of Pico is mostly a natural park, and the trails are well marked. The climb up to the 7,700-foot summit can take up to 3 hours, but the views are worth it. Hiking is abundant, and trails soar up the mountain and along the coast, with spectacular views.
The volcanic explosions that built Pico are visible in the island’s wild landscapes, soaring peaks, and black cliffs that drops into the sea. Many days the peak is covered in clouds; however, on clear days, it can be seen from surrounding islands, with its lava cone rising above the massive volcano. Ancient lava flows are frozen in solid rock in areas called misterios.