Welcome to Pico Island, a place where towering mountains, lush vineyards, and a rich maritime heritage come together to create an unforgettable experience. Pico, one of the Azores Islands of Portugal, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through everything you need to know about visiting Pico Island, from accommodations and dining to activities and transportation.
Flights to Pico Island:
You can reach Pico Island by air with regular flights connecting the island to the international airport in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, which serves as a gateway to the Azores. Alternatively, you can fly to the smaller Pico Airport. From Ponta Delgada, a short domestic flight will take you to Pico, making it easily accessible.
Pico Island, like the rest of Portugal, uses the Euro (EUR) as its official currency. Credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are available on the island for your convenience.
Accommodation- Where to Stay:
Pico Island offers a range of accommodation options, catering to various preferences and budgets.
- Quaint Guesthouses: Stay in cozy guesthouses like Aldeia da Fonte or Adegas do Pico for a more intimate experience.
- Hotels: Pico’s hotels include Hotel Caravelas, a comfortable mid-range option with sea views, and for a touch of luxury, consider staying at Aldeia da Fonte Nature Resort.
- Rural Tourism: Experience the charm of the island’s rural life by staying in a traditional rural house.
Exploring Pico Island:
Climbing Pico Mountain:
The centerpiece of the island is Mount Pico, Portugal’s highest peak. Hiking to the summit is a must for adventurous travelers. The hike in this island is challenging, but the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. Remember to check weather conditions and consider hiring a local guide.
Vineyards and Wine Tasting:
Pico is renowned for its unique vineyard landscape, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The vineyards, enclosed by volcanic stone walls, are a testament to the island’s winemaking tradition. Visit local wineries to sample the famous Verdelho wine and learn about the island’s viticultural heritage.
Pico has a rich history of whaling, and the Whaling Museum in Lajes tells the story of this industry, providing insight into the island’s maritime past.
Embark on a whale-watching excursion to witness the majesty of these incredible marine creatures. Pico’s waters are home to various species of whales and dolphins, making it one of the best places in the world for whale watching.
Relax on Pristine Beaches:
Pico’s coastline offers serene beaches with clear waters. Prainha de Canadelo and Praia do Monte are popular choices for sunbathing and swimming.
Food and Dining:
Pico Island’s cuisine reflects its seafaring culture and agricultural heritage. Seafood dishes are abundant, and you’ll find fresh catches prepared in various ways, from grilled fish to seafood stews. Don’t miss trying the famous Pico cheese, a local delicacy made from cow’s milk.
- Ancoradouro Restaurant: Located in Lajes, this restaurant offers a selection of seafood and regional dishes with ocean views.
- Canto da Doca: A cozy spot serving a mix of traditional and international cuisine.
- Prainha Restaurant: Enjoy fresh seafood while overlooking the beautiful Prainha de Canadelo beach.
Q1: Is Pico Island accessible by ferry from other Azores islands?
A1: Yes, you can reach Pico by ferry from other Azores islands, particularly São Jorge and Faial, offering an alternative to flying.
Q2: When is the best time to visit Pico Island?
A2: Pico Island is pleasant year-round, but the best time to visit is from May to September when the weather is most favorable for outdoor activities and tourism.
Q3: Are there scuba diving opportunities on Pico Island?
A3: Yes, Pico is a great place for scuba diving, with opportunities to explore the rich underwater world, including caves, wrecks, and marine life.
Q4: What is the traditional music and dance of Pico Island?
A4: The music of Pico Island is influenced by traditional Portuguese fado, and folk dances like the chamarrita and bailhinho are performed at local festivals.
Pico Island is a slice of paradise, where natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality come together. With its picturesque landscapes, captivating activities, and delectable cuisine, Pico is a destination for those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags and set your sights on Pico, the Azores’ hidden gem, and embark on a journey that promises lasting memories.