Otherwise known as the 'black island', this 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.
On this island you have a chance to learn more about the role whaling, and more recently whale watching, has played in the life of the Azores at Pico’s whale museum. Sample local wine made with the Pico verdelho grape, said to have been imported from Cyprus in the sixteenth century. Pico is easily reached by a short ferry trip from Faial. Keep your eyes peeled for whales while you're on the water! The warm seas surrounding the Azores are home to a wide variety of species of whale and cetacean year round, including bottlenose dolphin, sperm and pilot whales, and also sit on the migratory routes of blue whales.