The Region

In the heart of the North Atlantic Ocean, they are just two hours away from the European mainland. The nine islands that make up this archipelago, in an extensive maritime area, are endowed with a unique marine richness and biodiversity. These waters are home to more than 27 species of cetaceans, 5 species of sea turtles and more than 600 species of fish, including large schools of pelagic fish, graceful manta rays and friendly groupers. All this is combined with the beauty of the clear, uniquely colored waters, with mild temperatures, making this a European paradise in the Atlantic. The Azores archipelago is made up of nine islands, divided into three groups: the Eastern Group, made up of the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria; the Central Group, made up of the islands of Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial; and the Western Group, made up of the islands of Flores and Corvo.

How to get here

Air connections between Europe and the Azores archipelago and between the islands are guaranteed by the Portuguese companies TAP and SATA. This service is guaranteed all year round, although during the summer there are more connections and services.

Sea connections between the islands are provided by Atlanticoline and Transmaçor.


Portuguese is the official language on the islands. The population often speaks English and occasionally French. Castilian and Italian are easily understood by the Portuguese


To drive in the Azores, you must have a driver's license, identity card, insurance, car registration and title deed.

Currency, banks and exchange

In the Azores, the EURO, the currency common to the countries of the European Union, circulates. Currency can be exchanged at the banks, which are open to the public between 8.30am and 3pm on weekdays, or at the Multibanco (ATM) machines, which are available 24 hours a day. Credit cards are accepted, the most commonly used being VISA and VISA ELECTRON, AMERICAN EXPRESS, MASTERCARD and MAESTRO.

Time zone

In the Azores, the time follows Greenwich Mean Time (-1), which is 1 hour less than in mainland Portugal.

Phone calls

Portugal's international telephone code is 351. To call abroad from Portugal, dial the international code (00), the country code and the country number.

Pico Island

Pico Island is the second largest island in the Azores archipelago.
It is home to Portugal's highest point, the 2351 m high Pico Mountain. The island is 447 km2 in area, 42 km long and 15.2 km wide at its widest point.

Inhabited by just over 14,000 people (Instituto Nacional de Estatística - 2011 census), this is a unique island, namely because of its natural beauty, on land, such as the caves, lagoons, trails, natural pools and many others, and at sea, because of the wonderful encounters with dolphins and whales, turning sea trips into unforgettable adventures.

The year of the discovery of the island of Pico is not known, however, its settlement began a little before 1460. According to most records, the first settlers on the island came from the north of the continent and set up camp in the Castelete inlet, where the town of Lajes do Pico is today.

The first town on the island was Vila das Lajes, in 1500, followed by Vila de São Roque, in 1542. The population's means of subsistence were found in the cultivation of wheat, pastel - a dye plant exported to Flanders - and vines.

From an early stage, the island of Pico established itself as an important place of commerce, thanks to the port that connects it to the island of Faial and through which trade with other countries took place.

The island of Pico, home to the owners of the island's immense vineyards, which had previously produced wine, then established itself as an important and renowned wine-producing area.

The land was plowed, transformed into orchards and vineyards from which comes, for example, the famous verdelho do Pico, which for more than two hundred years has achieved international fame, being appreciated in several countries such as Russia, England or the United States.

Of particular note is the presence of American whalers in the waters of the Azores at the end of the 18th century, who ended up introducing a new area of activity to the island.

All this history is portrayed and remembered in the Pico Island Museum, in the Whalers Museum in Lajes do Pico, the Whaling Industry Museum in São Roque do Pico and the Wine Museum in Madalena.


Vinhas da Criação Velha PR05 PIC

This linear route connects the parishes of Candelária to Areia Larga, in the municipality of Madalena.

Ponta da Ilha - Pico PR03 PIC

This route starts at Porto do Calhau, in the parish of Piedade, on the east side of the island.

PRC12 PIC - Lajes do Pico

This is a pleasant trail on the island of Pico, located in the Azores archipelago, which begins and ends in the town of Lajes do Pico.

Regional cuisine

Gastronomy, the art of preparing delicacies in such a way as to bring pleasure to those who eat them, is very rich and varied in our municipality, whether in the preparation of typical dishes or sweets, or in the quality of the traditional wines.

Fresh fish, good beef, good cheeses and good seafood are the raw materials for preparing delicious meals.

The famous fish broths, sausage with roasted yams and yams, meat sauce and stewed octopus are the recommended dishes.

Pico cheese, as a starter or dessert, accompanied by homemade bread or corn cake and with table, aperitif, white, red and aromatic wines is recommended.

As far as sweets are concerned, rice pudding, "massa sovada", "bolo de véspera" and "rosquilhas do Espírito Santo" are all specialties characteristic of this land that should be tried.

  • Pico cheese, as a starter or dessert, accompanied by homemade bread or corn cake and with table wines, aperitifs, whites, reds and aromatic wines, is recommended.

    As far as sweets are concerned, rice pudding, "massa sovada", "bolo de véspera" and "rosquilhas do Espírito Santo" are specialties characteristic of this land that should be tried.

What to see

Whalers' Museum

The need to support their large families forced the people of Lajá to work the land every day, always with one eye on the sea and waiting for the rocket to burst. The whale warning signal was in sight. As soon as the signal was heard in the air, farmers, bricklayers and blacksmiths took to the sea, running along the canadas, picking up their lunches along the way.

This whaling heritage is still visible, especially in the Museu do Pico - Whalers' Museum in Lajes, housed in the old Casa de Botes in the town of Lajes do Pico, whose collection includes: tools and working utensils; the blacksmith's store; the whaling boat and other relics associated with whaling.

Center for Marine Arts and Sciences

The Center is housed in the former SIBIL whale factory, an industrial facility that processed large cetaceans into oils and meals. It was shut down in the early 1980s. Between 2005 and 2007, the SIBIL building was restored by the Municipality of Lajes do Pico.

In the current phase of the Center, you can see the factory's equipment and multimedia exhibitions about the factory and the biology and ecology of large cetaceans. The Center also promotes various artistic and cultural events and educational activities.

Whaling Industry Museum

The Whale Industry Museum, in São Roque do Pico, is housed in the building of the former Fábrica das Armações Baleeiras, which operated between 1946 and 1984. As a museum space, it opened to the public in 1994 and is considered to be one of the best industrial museums of its kind, exhibiting boilers, furnaces, machinery and other machinery and equipment used for processing.

This is a museum of industrial archaeology. Of an ethnographic nature are the objects used to cut up and dismantle/quarantine sperm whales, documentation relating to the factory's activities, photographs relating to whaling and the Port of São Roque do Pico, as well as miniatures of sperm whales and whaling vessels.

Tower Cave

The Gruta das Torres is the largest lava tube in Portugal, with an extension of 5150 meters, and is part of the Lajidos - Gruta das Torres formation, which is part of the Volcanic Mountain Complex. It is estimated that it was formed around 1500 years ago during an eruption originating in Cabeço Bravo.

The visit is a pioneer in Portugal, following the cavity for 450 meters and lasting approximately one hour. Visitors will experience a unique expedition-like visit, where they will be provided with the necessary equipment to get to know the cave in its natural state and where they will be able to observe various types of lava, as well as various geological formations, including different types of lava stalactites and stalagmites, side benches, lava balls, striated walls and roped lavas.

Pico Island Vineyard Landscape

The Pico Island Vineyard Landscape has been a UNESCO site since 2004, covering an area of 987 hectares on the island of Pico, the second largest in the Azores archipelago. The classified area includes a remarkable pattern of linear walls parallel and perpendicular to the rocky coastline, where the vines are cultivated on a black lava floor.

The walls were built to protect the thousands of small, contiguous rectangular plots (known as currais or curraletas) from the sea water and sea wind, while still letting in the sun necessary for the grapes to ripen.

Pico Island Vineyard Landscape Interpretation Center

The Interpretation Center is housed in a building located in one of the most peculiar nuclei of the Protected Landscape of Vineyard Culture - Lajido de Santa Luzia.

It is a starting point for understanding the valuable cultural heritage classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004

Wine Museum

The Wine Museum, in Madalena, is housed in the former Carmelite Convent, built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The building houses a permanent exhibition related to the Verdelho wine cycle, a small store selling wines, a wine cellar, a wine press and a garden with centuries-old dragon trees (Dracaenadraco).

House of Volcanoes

The Casa dos Vulcões is located in the heart of the Protected Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture and is housed in the Lajido de Santa Luzia.
It is the starting point for learning about the volcanoes of the Azores and an important tool for promoting the natural heritage of the Azores, especially its geodiversity.