Go to Ponta Delgada (Azores)

Island Hopping in the Azores from Ponta Delgada

Around 1,500 kilometers from Portugal's mainland, the nine Azores islands rise from the deep blue Atlantic as the peaks of huge underwater volcanoes. Several small airports and regular ferry connections make island hopping between the green islands particularly attractive and uncomplicated. So you can discover not only Ponta Delgada and the main island São Miguel in one vacation week, but also the neighboring islands Faial and Pico.

A whale watching boat on the lookout for whales
Whale fin

Up close with whales off Faial

Just a half-hour flight from São Miguel is the island of Faial. Faial is also called the blue island and is a popular place to watch whales. Up to 28 species of the world's largest sea creatures pass through here every year. Norberto Serpa has been offering whale watching excursions since 1993 and knows where the sea giants are. Especially in April and May, the chances of seeing sperm whales or even blue whales are good, when they follow the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream northward.

The picturesque city Horta on Faial island
Peter Café Sport

The sailing town of Horta on Faial

The island of Faial is also a popular destination for sailors. Especially in the town of Horta, the yachting flair can be felt everywhere in the harbor and the local restaurants. For example in the Peter Café Sport. Here hang numerous flags of sailing ships that have anchored in Faial. One floor above the café is the Scrimshaw Museum, where visitors can marvel at a huge collection of whale tooth engravings and carvings.

Pico Mountain, the highest point in all of Portugal, towers over the island of the same name and is already clearly visible from the hotel in Horta on Faial. The ferry takes about 30 minutes from the island of Faial to the island of Pico. Pico is known for its black lava fields and is with "only" 300'000 years the youngest island of the Azores.

Pico Mountain
Man hiking on Pico mountain

The highest mountain of Portugal on Pico island

The 2,351 meter high mountain on Pico is a stratovolcano. The actual summit is Pico Pequeno, Portuguese for small peak, or also called Piquinho (little peak). It sits on the northeastern edge of the upper crater. If you want to climb Serra do Pico, you should plan a whole day and be physically fit. But also around the volcano numerous hikes with magnificent panorama and often with a view of the Atlantic Ocean are waiting

Hiking route to the top of Pico

Vineyards on Pico
Mountain biking along black lava stones

By bike through Pico's vineyards

On Pico, numerous small walls made of black lava stone adorn the landscape. What at first glance resembles border walls turns out to be a sophisticated technique for growing grapes. The lava stones protect the vines near the ground from strong winds and also give off heat. The vineyards can be optimally explored on a mountain bike - gladly also in combination with a wine tasting.

Lava rocks at Lajido and Cachorro
Rock formation in Cachorro which looks like a dog

Unique rock formations on Pico

Since the island is very young, there are no sandy beaches on Pico, but only rocky coasts. In Lajido and Cachorro, visitors can discover particularly spectacular lava rock formations. Along the bizarrely shaped coastline, there are also short observation paths. On the outskirts of Cachorro, with a little imagination, one can also discover a lava formation that looks like a dog.


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