The Azores, a biologically diverse archipelago of nine volcanic islets, are certainly the most enticing tourist destination in the mid-Atlantic. They are full of immaculate landscapes, lakes, mountains, volcanic springs, scenic places, and historic towns. Of all the islands, Pico grabs the most attention of the tourists who are keen to take up the challenge of diverse but scenic adventures on land and sea.
Pico is the second largest island in the Azores with the popular label of an extraordinary volcanic island. It is the abode of the highest mountain in Portugal rising up to 7725 feet! Apart from that, the Azores holidays in Pico take you on a tour of incomparable landscapes, picturesque vineyards, vast forests, and bizarre lava flows via a network of smooth roads. Further, ferries to the Sao Jorge and Faial islets are ideal of island hopping for the enthusiasts.
Mountain Climbing: The Volcano Expedition
Climbing the biggest volcano of the Azores is certainly the most loved adventure in Pico. However, it is quite taxing due to which it is only fit for those who are physically and mentally healthy. On your journey to go high with a guide, you come to know more about the mountain’s history and vegetation. The climb and descend together takes around four hours at least. However, if you have time, it is recommended to stay at night on the peak for enjoying sunrise.
Diving: The Underground Sojourn
Diving is really a calm and exciting activity in the mid-Atlantic but on the Pico, it is an ideal haven for divers who always long for immaculate spots. Interestingly, Pico has sufficient diving sites for all experience levels, which are diverse in terms of vertical walls, volcanic arches, soothing slopes, caves, and seamounts. Further, the aquatic life is abundant and diverse with tuna, sardines, mackerels, barracudas, and jacks best seen from July to September. You can even spot manta rays during July to September in seamounts. Otherwise, it is common to see wrasses, morays, stingrays, parrot fish, dusky groupers, and damselfishes.
Dolphin and Whale Watching: The Most Exciting Activity
Pico holidays are just incomplete without this activity on the island. You can simply ask at your hotel reception to arrange this activity for you. There are over 30 sites for diving and whale watching on the island. Irrespective of the site you choose, chances are high for you to spot almost 25 different types of resident and migratory species of whales in the blue Atlantic waters: Sperm whales (resident) and migratory species such as Blue Whale passing during the summer months. The whaling community here has become the role model of how to give priority to whale conservation.
Another great opportunity although rare is of swimming with the wild dolphins such as Bottlenose, Orcas, Spotted and Striped Dolphins. All that you need to do is just jump off the boat and the dolphin will approach you out of curiosity to render a thrilling experience.