One of the most interesting activities to do in Pico is the hiking trails. Besides being a healthy activity, it’s free and allows you to get to know places with unique beauty and pieces of this island’s history.
History of the hiking trails:
For centuries, the Azorians used the sea route to move more easily between two locations of the same island.
The majority of the families had someone who was a fisherman or whaler, for it was very common to have at least one family member with a boat.
The pathways, a lot of the times narrow, were used by the habitants of the island for their daily tasks, many times accompanied by horses, donkeys or mules.
They also used them to go to parties and markets nearby to exchange agricultural products, fish, coal, and other assets.
The cattle also passed by there, by the winding pathways, to go or return to the pastures.
Later, it was this same path network that was recovered and placed at the disposal of all those who intend on enjoying the full Azorean landscape.
The hiking trails that exist in Pico are, therefore, many of them built by the ancient pathways that existed on the island before the appearance of the tar and the regional roads that connect the main villages and parishes of the island.
Description of the trails:
Being a volcanic island, Pico Island offers unique landscapes, unique by their relief and colour contrast.
The dark of its majestic mountain, of the lava fields (lajidos), of the walls and basaltic rocks that separate the gardens and the cames contrast with the deep blue of the ocean that surrounds it and with the luxuriant green of the island interior, which is full of punctuated pastures by small cones of basaltic scum and magnificent small lakes of clean and crystalline waters.
There are a total of 15 trails in Pico. One to climb the mountain, you’ll find a specific article and other 14 that all pass by areas of exceptional beauty and are the best way to discover the beauty of the island. Trail of Pico’s Mountain
We recommend that you only follow the “official” trails, that are part of the Trails of The Azores because they are well kept, signed in the starting point and marked along the route. Of those 15 trails, 4 are circular routes and 11 are linear.
Other activities you may like:– Whale Watching
– Visit one of the many natural swimming pools on the island
– Visit the Cave: Gruta das Torres
Walking Trails Linear and Circular
In a linear route, the starting point is different from the arrival point.
You must remember that when you get to the end of the trail you must go back the same way, or you’ll have to find a “ride” to go back to the starting point.
Being an island where the public transport network isn’t the most developed, you must think and organize the return before starting the trail.
The circular route, as the name says, starts and finishes at the same point.
This type of trail has the advantage of ending near your transport.
In the Azores Trails, you will find all the detailed information about every route, including maps, the duration of the walk, level of difficulty, GPS coordinates of the starting point, etc.
The pamphlet in PDF is especially useful because you can put all this information offline and print it out if necessary.
If you already know the signalling, navigating these hiking trails is fairly simple. Therefore, you won’t need a guide, you only need to pay attention to the signalling present in the route of each trail.
Images of some of the hiking trails of Pico:
Below you can see some images of some of the existing trails.
Trail PR03-PIC Porto Calhau – Manhenha – Tip of the Island
Trail PR05-PIC Vinhas da Criação Velha (Vines of the Criação Velha – “Old Creation”)
Trail PR19-PIC Caminho das Lagoas (“Path to the Ponds”)
And you, have you done any of the hiking trails of Pico? If so, tell us which one you liked the best and why.