How to travel to Pico Island

The most obvious answer on how to travel to Pico would be to take a direct flight from Lisbon or Porto to Pico. But there are alternatives that may even be cheaper.

Discover in this article the various ways to travel to Pico and depending on where you come from, which are the best solutions.

The second largest island in the Archipelago is one of the islands that have the most to offer visitors. However, the offer of direct flights from the mainland (Lisbon and Porto) is small and is only made by SATA Azores Airlines.

This scarcity of flights limits the arrival of tourists, either because of the dates (there are no flights every day) or because of the prices, since the lack of competition makes prices less attractive.

However, there are other solutions to be able to travel to Pico that I will explain below:

How to travel to Pico with SATA
How to travel to Pico with SATA. Image: Rui Medeiros

Travel to Pico with a Direct Flight:

Trips are normally made from Lisbon or Porto, and the company involved is Azores Airlines.

The number of weekly flights varies depending on the time of year and from year to year, there has been an attempt to adapt weekly flights to the growth that tourism has had in Pico. There are usually between 2 and 3 flights a week in the low season and 5 flights in the high season.

As I mentioned above, this amount is not fixed, as it varies, and with the growth in the number of visitors year after year, the number of weekly flights will tend to be higher in the future.

However, you can get the idea that with 1 flight a day, it is difficult to find a place and competitive prices, especially if you are trying to book summer holidays, and if you book flights after Easter.

Travel to Pico via Horta:

The city of Horta is one of the 5 existing cities throughout the archipelago and is located on the neighboring island of Faial. Being a city and district capital, its airport is larger, which allows larger planes to land and take off.

Also for being one of the 5 cities of the archipelago, Horta has a superior offer of daily flights to the Portuguese mainland.

This solution has yet another advantage: if you get an early flight on the way in or a late flight on the way back, you can take the opportunity to visit the island of Faial.

Being a small island, in a few hours you can visit the sights of Faial, and thus get to know another island in the Azores, without spending practically any money.

At the end of the day (in case you are arriving) take the boat that crosses the channel between Horta and Madalena do Pico.

If you opt for the end-of-holiday trip, catch the boat in the morning in Madalena and visit Faial before your flight back home.

The boat trip costs just over 3 euros per person and takes just 30 minutes.

To know the schedules of the boats and be able to book the tickets only takes accessing the site Atlântico online.

como viajar para o pico
View from Pico. Image: myazoreshome

Travel to Pico with forwarding:

The two islands with the most tourism (S. Miguel and Terceira) also have almost daily Low-Cost Ryanair flights.

Therefore, it is possible to take a Ryanair flight from Porto or Lisbon to S. Miguel or Terceira with this company, and from there, take an inter-island flight through the local company SATA.

The advantage is that sometimes you can buy tickets at a much cheaper price, and even adding the price of the tickets for the inter-island trip between S. Miguel or Terceira to Pico, round trip, it ends up being cheaper than buying direct with TAP / SATA.

For those that want to travel to Pico from the United States of America or Canada, the solution of traveling to Terceira or S. Miguel is probably the best, as there are direct flights from several cities in North America to these two islands.

To find out more, you can read the article: How to travel to the Azores

aeroporto da ilha do Pico
Pico Island Airport.

In the form below you can search for all available flights to Pico. Also compare the solutions via Horta and the routes via Lajes (Terceira) and Ponta Delgada (S. Miguel), especially if you are coming from the United States or Canada.

This tool does a search to find the cheapest and best options to travel to Pico, whatever your origin and you can still receive a cashback on the cost of the trip of up to 10%.

Traveling to Pico by boat:

It is an economical solution, especially crossing the channel with Faial, as mentioned above.

It is also possible to reach Pico by boat from S. Jorge, as it takes about 1h30 and is cheap.

The other alternatives, such as coming by boat from Terceira Island, only make sense if you like boating and want to save money, as inter-island plane trips are expensive.

However, from the point of view of the time lost to reach Pico by boat from islands other than Faial or S. Jorge, this method can make this method less functional, since, for example, the trip between Terceira island and the island of Pico takes about 6h40 hours and depends on the state of the sea.

The more distant routes, such as Terceira Island, are only available between June and September.

For more information, you can consult the website AtlânticoOnline.

Flight delays:

If you arrive at the Azores with connecting flights from another country to Lisbon or Porto and then travel to the islands, or if you have connecting flights between islands, always try to book flights with some safety margin between connections.

The airports on the islands, as they have a smaller capacity, can sometimes experience some delays.

The only good thing is that if there is a delay you can always request a refund using AirHelp and receive an amount that will help you pay for your vacation.

If you’ve had a canceled or delayed flight, know that you can get compensation of up to €600. Learn more in the banner below:

What is the best way to travel to Pico?

Of the various solutions, the best one, in case you have some time, is to use forwarding. The advantages are:

  • Greater variety of flights
  • Best price
  • Possibility to visit two other islands.


In addition to direct flights from Lisbon or Porto to the island of Pico, there are other alternatives for traveling to Pico, some even more accessible and interesting, especially if you are coming from North America.

Also traveling directly to Horta, and crossing the channel by boat, allows you to discover Faial Island.

Both solutions of entering Pico from another island give you the opportunity, if the time between flights allows, to make a quick visit to friends or places you have already met in the past, or to take a quick tour to discover another island without paying more for it.

Whatever the preferred solution, it is worth traveling to Pico and experiencing everything this beautiful island has to offer.

And don’t forget to visit our holiday homes in Pico. 


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