Pico Mountain – At the top of the Portuguese World

Pico Mountain is the highest point of Portugal. Climbing to Pico is a symbolic moment, but also an opportunity to establish contact with the unique and distinct nature of this part of the world. This is a walk which has to be done in safety and that might not be appropriate for everyone. But, to those up to it, it’s something that can´t be missed.

For the more adventurous ones, this is the climb to the highest mountain of Portugal. The walk to the top of Pico Mountain is classified as being of a medium to difficult level. Therefore, you should consider your physical fitness before embarking on this adventure. The trail extends through 7.600 metres, being almost 3.800 metres from the bottom of the mount to the peak, with a 1.100 metres altitude difference.

To begin this walk it is mandatory, for security reasons, the register at the Mountain House, which is located at 1.230 metres of altitude. All hikers, after the climbing register, reach the peak at 2.351 metres of altitude and when they finish they return to the Mountain House.

The climbing, besides being symbolic – after all, you are conquering the highest point of Portugal – allows enjoying, along the way, several unpaired aspects of the local nature. During the walk, the visitor will also be surprised by Furna Abrigo. This is a volcanic cavity which has a cave approximately 40 metres deep. There is also a gallery which, in the past, served as shelter to hikers who ventured into the mount.

Also in the way up it is possible to observe unique aspects of the Azorean nature. Several geological formations can be observed during the climb. importance. The highlights go to the pyroclastic deposits, lava toes, pits and tunnels of lava, hornitos, driblet-cones, plagioclase in rosette and entrail lava. At an altitude of 2.050 metres one can also find a crater fossil and, at the peak, a crater well, the lava tube of Piquinho and an eruption fissure.

These are the little details that make this a mandatory stop for the ones travelling to the Azores and having the opportunity to visit this particular island. As hikers move on their path, they can observe a much more sparse vegetation. It becomes more disperse and smaller. Only some species make it to the top and survive the harsh climate at the peak of the mountain. The Bremim da Montanha is an endemic subspecies which only exists at the crater of Pico Mountain.

To enjoy to the fullest this contact with nature and the breath-taking landscape, from where all the Central group islands can be seen, it is also necessary to have the more adequate weather conditions for this moment. If you are lucky, then you will have an unforgettable day!