Azores - Açores
|Ascent of Pico|
At 2351m this is the highest summit not only in the Azores but also in Portugal. Although only a walk it is along rough trails and in places up steep paths. Because of accidents and fatalities that have occurred in the past it is now necessary to have a guide for the ascent and register with the local fire service. In winter an ice axe or walking poles and even crampons may be necessary and be prepared for some rough weather to add a bit of excitement to the ascent!
The rest of the trekking on this 8 day trip will be rather tame by comparison enjoying the dramatic verdant scenery: volcanic calderas, fajas, sea-cliffs and lakes. For the best flowers come in May, June or early August.
The best way to the three islands is to fly in directly to Horta on Faial. There are daily flights in the morning from Lisbon to Horta. Convenient ferries connect the islands and crossing times are never more than an hour. It is possible to see whales and dolphins on the boat crossings as an added attraction. If you fly in to Terceira or Sao Miguel there are connecting flights every day to one of the three islands but this is a more expensive alternative.
Although some early flights from London to Lisbon connect with the Horta flight, this is not always the case, and sometimes it is necessary to overnight in Lisbon.
Details of the ascent of Pico
During the winter months you may have a perfect ascent but be prepared for storms and bring an ice axe or walking poles and crampons.
Another walk from Madalena follows tracks and paths along the south coast of Pico through seaside vineyards.
Finally near Madalena are the Azores longest lava tube caves recently opened up to the public.