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Pico Island - Everything about the island is on a large scale. Its mountain which rises up from the sea to touch the sky. Its sperm whales which are on view for the tourists. Men with Herculean strength transform the dark lava into houses, vineyards, and tilled fields. Visiting Pico is like entering a world in miniature built up over centuries by whalers, farmers and fishermen. For a holiday of many contrasts, from the slopes of old volcanoes, the taste of fresh sweet figs and grapes to the enchanting panoramic views and snug villages overlooking the sea, visit Pico Island.

White and black strewn amongst tree groves
Spread out along the coast, nestled between the green fresco of vegetation and vineyards, the villages of Pico have a distinctive character all of its very own characterised by its houses which are built from blocks of black lava. An abundance of flowers in vases and surrounding gardens. Its small-scale ports where colourful fishing boats bob in the wind. Its humble little church perched on a hill overlooking the sea.
Lajes, Sao Roque and Madalena are three century-old towns steeped in their own fair share of art and history. Calheta de Nesquim, Sao Joao, Sao Mateus, Ribeirinha and many other parishes all boast churches that are worth a visit with picturesque streets leading out to the sea and houses set amongst the vineyard plantations.

Whalers and sperm whales
Until the end of the 19th century, American whalers would come to Pico to catch sperm whales and to recruit harpooners, though it would not be long before the islanders took to whaling themselves using their speedy rowing boats. Ending in a royal battle between man and sea creature which would so often end in tragedy. These days Pico is regaining its whaling tradition though in a more peaceful way-in the form of two museums which tell the story of whaling and display the delicate artwork performed by mariners using the teeth and bones of sperm whales. Boat trips also take the visitor out to sea to view the sperm whales and the graceful dolphins.

A mountainous island to be explored
Pico is a paradise for nature-lovers. Wind your way along its marvelous coastline, past the vineyards, the gentle slopes of the mountains, the extensive and verdant plateaus with their small lakes and pools of lava. Climb up to the peak of the Pico volcano (2,351m). Enjoy a spot of birdwatching and the primitive flora. Look out towards the neighbouring islands of Faial, Sao Jorge and Graciosa from any one of the excellent vantage points available.

Pico wine appreciated by the czars
Grown from the lava soil and sheltered the wind by walls of black stone, the grape-vines produce a nectar that graced the tables of the Russian court and even today will satisfy the palate of the most demanding connoisseurs of excellent wine.
There is no better souvenir to remind you of your dreamy holidays on Pico than a bottle or two of its exceptional wine. And don't forget to take home a miniature whale boat, a work of art crafted from real whale bones or some intricate lace, the handiwork of the local Pico women.