Pico

Pico Island, Azores

 

Nature


Pico Mountain - Highest point of Portugal and third largest volcano in the Atlantic, Pico Mountain is the landmark of the island. In its crater there is a lava cone called Piquinho, from where it’s possible to view Faial and São Jorge islands on clear days, as well as the most distant islands of Terceira and Graciosa. For a unique experience, we recommend staying overnight at the top for a glimpse of the fantastic sunset and of the magnificent sunrise.

Achada Plateau - A 30km long volcanic mountain range with 200 volcanic cones. It’s one of the most important places in the Azores regarding endemic vegetation, with species as cedars, heaths, sanguinho or trovisco.

Lava fields - Generic symbols of the island, the lava fields are proof of the volcanic activity that gave birth to Pico Island. They were named by locals as “Mistérios” (mysteries) once they arose from the Earth’s fire.

 

Heritage


Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture - Classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2004, the vineyard culture in Pico Island is a secular practice that marks the island’s landscape. To protect the vineyard from strong winds and sea air, the locals built stone walls, organizing the fields in the shape of “currais” (squares).

Wine cellars - Due to the great vineyard tradition of Pico Island, its wine cellars have a clear importance in the tourism of the island, often being adapted to rural tourism. The Wine Museum, at Madalena, is installed in the old house of the friars of the Carmelita Order and displays collections of house farming, distilling equipment and barrels.

Whaling Industry Museum - Nowadays, the extinct whaling industry is fundamental in the tourism of the island and this fact can be proved in a visit to the Whaling Industry Museum located in the old Fábrica de Armações Baleeiras Reunidas (Whaling Industry Factory), in São Roque. In the museum you can find furnaces, calderas and other equipment once used in the sperm whale processing.

 

Cuisine


Stewed octopus with wine, sausage with yams, boiled beef and fish broth are typical dishes of the island.

Pico Island Cheese - Cheese produced since the eighteenth century which recipe passed on from generation to generation until today. With a soft paste, yellowish white color and a vigorous and salty flavor, it’s one of the main products of the island.

Wines and liqueurs - Pico is an island of recognized wine tradition and has the most valued wines in all the archipelago. In the past, Pico Island had internationally recognized wines due to the verdelho variety, exporting even to czares. Today, the wine produced in the island is based on new varieties. Angelica and fruit liqueurs are also greatly appreciated by locals and visitors.

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