It will be a lot of photos this time, I have difficult to decide which to exclude as most of them show the beauty of the Islands, therefore the many photos. When we left The Azores we said to each-other, what will Top this? It will be a challenge, definitely the most beautiful area we have seen. We just say go there does’t matter how you get there, just go there and enjoy
Pico is another beautiful island, known maybe for two things, the highest mountain in Portugal 2351 m high, and for wine production. Population is ca 15 000 people and not very touristic.
Of course we had to pay the island a visit, and climb the top of the volcano
The top of Pico as seen from Horta.
On the way up to the “base Camp” one passes a very beautiful landscape where the cows feast on the green grass and admiring the view, it looks as very ecological milk production?
Further up we came to this very special volcano crater
If you look carefully you see a gate in the entrance, our guess they bring the cows to the crater for milking.
Inside one has a great view of the top of Pico
Inside is very green and beautiful, I have used the word beautiful so many times describing the nature on Fajal and now Pico, and I can assure you I will use it many times describing the other islands that we have visited, it is amazing.
inside the crater
”Base camp” Pico is on 1100 m height to the right in the picture you see the broken volcano where we stopped on the way up.
At the base you buy a permit to climb and they give you a personal tracker so that they can keep track on everyone on the mountain. From here it is rather steep and demanding climb,
Witch for the feet very sharp and aggressive volcano rocks and gravel make it sometimes very slippery. Often so steep than one need to use both feet and hands to climb not only walk.
We had our daughter Emelie with her husband Axel visiting us, now they are smiling but further up their faces show more fatigue and admiration for the stunning view
A bit further up
A very strange thing we saw among the lava rocks at high altitude was spots with flowers,
At the top of the crater 2300 m
There is an extra 70 meters to climb to get to the highest point, it is very steep and take maybe 30 minutes up and 45 minutes down, we felt very tiered and it was with great hesitation we decided to stay and admire the view and rest after ca 3,5 hours climb.
On the way down I was very pleased we did stop a bit short of the peak, we were all very tiered and the way down is more demanding than the walk up and the risk of falling and hurt one self should not be taken easy on.
A few days later we returned to Pico for a more leisure full trip walking around the wine area. They started to produce wine already in the middle of the 15th century.
And they have over the centuries worked very hard to cultivate the land picking rocks to protect the plants
They are more proud over their white wines, which is much more expensive than the red wine.
A windmill for grapes to become juice.
The local cooperative for production of wine had ca 250 members and they produced just over 500 000 bottles of wine yearly so very small scale and manual production, they had a target to reach 800 000 bottles a year within a few years.
Oak casket for storage and maturing of the wine, they had both French and US Oak casks
And of course, we had to try and purchase a few bottles
But we also took a nice walk to one of the natural pools that exist on most of the Azores islands
A nice walk to the Natural pools took us past these nice places
Below some more pictures from Pico
Sao Jorge is a smaller island with about 10 000 in population. We know of Sao Jorge before from the cheese they do produce, a fantastic delicious cheese, with a very pleasant and powerful aroma.
On this island we also got in close contact with the cows
It was probably in excess of 100 cows walking from the field to the milking place that we had to pass, it took it’s time.
But we did not mind at all as we know how fantastic cheese, they produce
Cheese tasting at the local cooperative, and of course we had bags with cheese with us when leaving
Later on at an Airbnb
We enjoyed the cheese and a bottle of Pico whine on the terrass
Below some more pictures from Sao Jorge
Is a much more develop island with ca 50 000 inhabitants, larger villages better roads and more tourists.
We sailed to Praia Da Vitoria on the north side of the island, a well-protected harbor, luckily one boat just left when we arrived and we could take his place the only one free.
Praia Da Vitoria beach and marina “combined”
The village itself is rather colorful and not without some charm
Climbing up the “stairs” one reach a monument
And from up here one has a nice view over Praia Da Vitoria
Terceira has much more to offer
Angra Do Heroismo The oldest city on the Azores founded 1478 and an UNESCO world Heritage
A very nice place and we could easily understand why it was an UNESWCO world Heritage
The harbor loos well protected but there was a lot of swell coming in.
Two seafarers one a bit more famous than the other Vasco da Gama
Angra Do Heroismo has a very nice garden as well.
Of course there are Volcanoes also on Terceira
A tunnel into the interior of the Volcano, below the crater
Now we are in the Volcano looking up to opening where the lava once up on a time was coming out.
Stairway further down to the bottom where there is a small “lake”
A cool place to visit
On the way “home” again we encounter a lot of cows on the roads
And natural pools for swimmers
The largest island is Sao Miguel with ca 140 000 inhabitants, a much more modern place with plenty of tourist and motorways, so our first impression not so impressive as for the other islands, but we were wrong.
The main port is Ponta Delgada with ca 45 000 people residing
The waterfront is not very charming with hotels etc, but just a block in one found a charming old town.
Traveling on the island offers many interesting places one is the hot springs
Smoke coming out of the ground on many places
Kerstin enjoying a warm shower in the Waterfall
Pools with warm water
All this in a stunning environment
Walk along a water pipeline
And another walk to a waterfall
Now we are tiered
so enjoying a well-deserved beer
Are you tiered of all the pictures? if not below follow several pictures to illustrate the beauty of the island San Miguel, but no text only pictures remaining
Vilka vackra bilder!