pico mountain

Pico Mountain

Pico Mountain is the highest point in Portugal and the third-largest in the Atlantic, at 2,351 meters above sea level, and is part of a nature reserve which aims to preserve and conserve all of its environmental areas.

The climb to Pico Mountain is one of the extraordinary experiences that everyone should have, becoming essential in the itinerary of your Vacations in Pico.

Pico Mountain has 750,000 years old and its origin is volcanic. It offers tourists a magnificent view of the surrounding nature.

The mixture of the blue of the sky with the blue of the water and all the green of the vegetation is summed up in an indescribable beauty.

Although it is not technically difficult, it is a climb that requires an adequate physical condition and the necessary precautions.

Children under the age of 16 can only take the ascent of the mountain if accompanied by their parents or an adult tutor.

Pico Mountain: The ascent

The ascent begins at Casa da Montanha, a compulsory stopping point located around 1200 m, where information on the geology, biology, history, and climate of the Pico mountain is available, either in informative panels or in a video format that can be viewed in the auditorium.

In addition, it is at Casa da Montanha that the ascents are recorded and controlled, as well as to ensure that the maximum carrying capacity of the mountain is not exceeded (there is a maximum carrying capacity of 320 visitors per day, as well as simultaneously – between 120 and 200 people – which may require a waiting period until the elevator is authorized).

pico mountain - the climbing

Pico Mountain – the climbing

The average duration of the climb is around 3 to 4 hours (speed and effort must be managed to avoid too much acceleration of the cardiovascular rhythm).

Those who climb to the top of the mountain will be able to observe a central volcanic crater called Pico Grande. The interior of this crater consists of a lava cone 70 meters deep, called Pico Pequeno or Piquinho (Small Pico), which gives off fumaroles. Its last eruption occurred in 1718. If the weather permits, you will be able to admire the neighboring islands of Faial, São Jorge, Terceira, and Graciosa.

Pico Mountain: The descent

The descent also lasts an average of 3 to 4 hours, so it is important to descend at least 4 hours before sunset).

In total, the trail has a length (round trip) of about 7,600 m (3,800 m from the base to the summit) and a difference of 1,100 m, which is properly identified by 45 wooden markers. (numbered and painted with two red and yellow rail marking lists).

Pico Mountain: The recommended equipment

The recommended equipment for climbing Mount Pico is:

  • booting suitable for trails
  • light, and cool clothing
  • a raincoat (the weather can change very quickly)
  • food
  • drinks
  • and sunscreen.

When you go up or down at night, you cannot forget to take a flashlight.

If you stay overnight, bring sleeping gear.

It is allowed to set up a tent in the mountain crater, but only for one night.

pico mountain the descent

Pico Mountain – the descent

Pico Mountain: Opening hours

01 – 30 April

Monday to Thursday > 08h00 – 20h00

Friday opens at 08h00 and stays open until Sunday 20h00 without interruptions.

01 May – 30 September

Opened 24/7

01 – 31 October

Monday to Thursday > 08h00 – 20h00

Friday opens at 08h00 and stays open until Sunday 20h00 without interruptions.

01 November – 31 March

Everyday > 08h00 – 18h00

Closed > 24 December

PICO mountain CLIMBING

Pico Mountain – View from the top

To make this experience safe and unforgettable, we recommend the services of a certified company.

There are several companies that offer these services. We recommend Tripix because we know the owners, we get no commission for this recommendation.

Tripix is a company of young and experienced local guides. They are all certified as Azores Natural Park Guides and Pico Mountain Guide.

The tripix offers 3 types of climb:

Pico Day climb:

The ascent begins with the first rays of the sun, making the most of every moment of this challenging activity, always with interesting information about the genesis of the islands and the biodiversity of the volcano.

Pico Night climb:

Climb the Pico volcano is challenging, climb during the evening gloom is even more! Armed with flashlights, the ascending is done during the dawn, with the reward of a fullness feeling when we see the first rays of the sun coloring the horizon over the ocean.

Pico Overnight climb:

The ascent is held with the light of the evening in order to enjoy the incomparable Sunset and all shades of the last rays of the day. At night you will sleep in tents inside the volcano crater, with the sky full of stars. The awakening is done before Sunrise, so you could enjoy every second of the most beautiful Sunrise at the “top of the world”.

You can get more info and book here: www.tripixazores.com

Climbing Pico Mountain – credits to MoreReenaHart

Pico Mountain: The omnipresence

Not everyone can, or want, or have time to climb Pico Mountain.

For these, the contemplation of its splendor can be done by the many photos that can be taken from almost the entire island.

There are few places on the island where the mountain is not visible.

Therefore, you are likely to be able to take photos of various locations, always with the mountain in the background.

Of course, sometimes she gets embarrassed and hides behind the clouds.

But apart from these moments, you will be able to take spectacular photos with the mountain, even if not climbing to its top.

And even from below she has an energy and greatness that leaves no one indifferent.

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