PICO ISLANDWe are waiting for you in
Pico Island is the second largest island of Azores Archipelago. It is 8.3 km from Faial Island and 15 km from São Jorge Island. It has a coastline 151.84 km long and a total number of 31 islets between large and small.
The island population rounds 14,114 inhabitants (2011 data).
It owes its name to a majestic volcanic mountain, Pico Mountain, which culminates in a pronounced peak, known as Piquinho. This is the highest point of Portugal, reaching 2,351 meters above sea level.
The island has three councils: Lajes do Pico, Madalena and São Roque do Pico.
It has a modern regional airport with direct air connections to Lisbon (Azores Airlines), Terceira (Lajes) and Ponta Delgada (SATA Air Açores). It has daily sea connections (Atlanticoline) with Horta City, Velas, and Calheta. During the summer months, it normally has boat connections with the other islands of the archipelago.
Pico island is marked by vineyard cultivation and wine production. It is believed that this production might have started with the “Verdelho” vine.
Its culture was refined over the centuries with the help of Franciscans, Dominican, and later on Jesuit friars, in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In the middle of the 19th century, wine production suffered a severe blow when Oidium destroyed the European vine strains. Recovery was slow and was made on a new vines basis. As an alternative, fruit production such as oranges, apples, peaches, and figs was developed. It quickly was capable to support the exportation on the regional circuit. Thus, it became a daily habit to travel to Faial island to sell fruit.
The island was the main whaling center during the golden age of sperm whale hunting, having managed to overcome its decline in the last quarter of the 20th century, with tuna fishing and the canning industry, and more recently with tourism, associated with whale watching.
Nowadays, in July 2004, UNESCO considered Pico Island's Vineyard Culture Landscape as a World Heritage Site. The area classified includes the Lajidos of Criação Velha and Santa Luzia villages. The Pico Island Natural Park includes Pico Mountain and the Central Plateau, as well as other special protection areas.
Pico Island volcanic landscape was considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal.