From night to dawn (Pico)

The most famous and somehow also the most physically demanding walks in the Azores: the ascent to Pico, made in order to get there at sunrise.

Sacred mountain in the Azores, the challenge of rising to the top of its 2351 meters above sea level is certainly the most attractive among the many islands that summon us. The climb requires proper equipment; to abide by the specific and signposted routes of travel; the company of knowledgeable guides; some personal energy; and above all a favourable atmospheric and meteorological situation, given the capricious changes of weather to which the territory is always subject. The climb takes all its worth if you have prior assurance that there will be visibility over the other islands of the archipelago - and then, yes, it's fantastic the arrival to Pico do Pico (which is now a natural reserve). The access is made by the longitudinal road of the island, the only one approaching the foot of the mountain, in its north side - and that is linked to the three main towns and municipalities of the island: Madalena, Lajes and São Roque.

 

 

Usually in a group, you can stay overnight in one of the caves halfway up the hill (a few 1000 meters), and leave it in the middle of the night, making sure to reach the summit by dawn when the air is clear and the sight of the surroundings, at sunrise, is certainly sharper. It is always upwards, the slope becoming steeper. After the dense vegetation, from the height of 1500 meters, it becomes almost flat, disappearing altogether in the lavas and the loose soil of the final section - where you should pay attention as you can easily slide, due to tiredness and stress of the climb. Finally reached the crater of Pico Grande, there is yet the ascent of Piquinho, the small rise of over 50 meters, where geysers occur here and there. From the top, travelers use to recall that, in a complete silence, they look at the neighboring islands of Faial and Sao Jorge - which seem as if viewed from an airplane Looking at the Pico own territory, down, at the area along the coast, the feeling is that one is in another island, such the sense of distance caused by the altitude. And on clearer days, if not seen, the other islands can be perceived.

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