Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Pico

Pico © AiresAlmeida
Pico © AiresAlmeida

The resort island of Pico is dominated by its volcanic namesake, rising from the middle of the landscape and towering 7,720ft (2,351m) above sea level. It is the highest peak in Portugal and makes an impressive and interesting holiday destination. A single road, following the rugged coastline, encircles the island. It is possible to climb the volcano to the peak but the route is arduous and should not be attempted by amateurs.

Pico's other main claim to fame is as a jumping-off point for whale-watching expeditions, offered by local boatmen. In the island's vineyards, the famous 'verdelho' wine grapes are grown. In the town of Lajes, there is a whale-hunting museum and at São Roche, you can discover a museum depicting the operation of a whaling factory.