Pico in Azores
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.
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 10 minutes drive from Madalena, a 4.5km long lava tunnel rising to 15m in height.