Otherwise known as the 'black island', this 26 mile (42 km) long and 9 mile (15 km) wide island is dominated by its volcano (snow capped in winter), Mount Pico, which stands at over 2300 metres and is the highest point in Portugal.
Marvel at sweeping views of rolling green hills and fields dotted along the black-ash coastline, and stroll through fields and countryside footpaths surrounded by walls made from the black stone that can be found on the island in abundance. The houses and churches, too, are black – their features outlined in white. Take a guide and walk to the summit of the volcano, or explore the 'Gruta das Torres' volcanic caves, the longest lava tubes in Portugal at over 3 miles long.
Enjoy a visit to the whaler's museum at Lajes and try local wine made with the Pico verdelho grape - said to have been imported from Cyprus in the sixteenth century.