The Island of Pico

An oblong shaped island 42 ks long x 15 ks wide which is in essence one enormous extinct volcano reaching a height of 2351 metres above sea level, (it is in fact the highest mountain in Portugal).

Access to the Island is either by short boat ride (° hour) from the port of Horta on the Island of Faial or by air.

The principle town is Madalena which has just two hotels and a couple of very small pensions. The harbour has recently been greatly extended and is now host to many more fishing boats. Another harbour has been built at Cais do Pico some 40 minutes from Madalena, it is from here that the boats leave for the Island of São Jorge.

One of the principle products of the island of Pico is the dry white wine Verdalho, with an alcoholic content of l5 - l7 degrees which is used as an appetiser and in the last century even reached the tables of the Russian court. The vineyards are to be seen all over the island.

Pico is also known as the orchard island and apple, pear, damson and peach plum and orange trees flourish and above all the red figs symbolise the delicious fruit of Pico.

Traditional boat building skills can be seen at the Santo Amaro yards on the North coast of the island some 50 minutes from the main town of Madalena. Here they use local acacia and pine wood to build the ribs and planking of the traditional tunny fishing boats.

The landscape is occasionally scarred by "misterios", the strange formations of black lava full of small caves and indentations in which grow every conceivable type of wild flower.

Several interesting walks including a climb to the top of the peak particularly to see the sun either rise or set are a feature of Pico not to be missed.

Hang Gliding from the Peak is a new and colourful activity.

Eating out in Pico

Try "Restaurant A Torre" near Madalena, Restaurant Ancora d’Ouro near the port or "Lagoa" in Lages where the speciality is octopus and shellfish with rice.

Approximate distance from Airport to Madalena = 15 minutes drive.