Climb the Highest Mountain in Portugal
Venture into the heights
The 2,351-meter climb to Pico Mountain is a remarkable experience. Although it is not located on the island of Faial, you can leave Horta in the morning on a 30-minute ferry ride to Pico and return in the late afternoon.
Pico Mountain is a stratovolcano with peculiar characteristics. It is covered with lava flows that, for the most part, are less than 5,000 years old.
The longest route takes you to the top of Piquinho, the highest point in Portugal. However, you can always choose to take a shorter route, lasting about 45 minutes, to the Furna do Abrigo.
The climb and descent of the mountain takes about 9 hours. Typically, this activity is done in one day. However, there is also the possibility of staying overnight/camping for one night on top of the mountain.
It is not necessary to use specific mountaineering techniques to climb Pico. However, this is considered a difficult hike due to its steepness. The type of terrain, which can vary between dirt, rock, gravel, and mud, sometimes makes the ascent and descent a challenge requiring attention and endurance. That is why this activity is especially indicated for active people who are used to hiking in natural terrain or practicing sports in general.
The weather conditions on the mountain are extreme and can change very quickly.
The ascent starts and ends at Casa da Montanha, at about 1,200m altitude. The passage through the Casa da Montanha both before the start and at the end of the hike is mandatory to control the activity and pay the appropriate access fees. There is a maximum limit of people
allowed on the trail: up to 160 at the same time and up to 320 per day. To ensure your place, we recommend that you book in advance on the online platform. This will provide you with all the relevant information about climbing Pico Mountain.
Rules and recommendations:
- General and basic: Sweater, jacket, waterproof, hiking/mountain boots or sneakers, hat, sunglasses, hiking poles, cap, gloves, sunscreen, at least 1.5L of water, and energy food.
- For overnight stays: Extra warm clothing, tent, sleeping bag, and flashlight.
- In the event of snow: The ascent will only be authorized if climbers are equipped with crampons.
Note: Casa da Montanha may refuse access to the ascent trail to those who are not properly equipped.
Orientation on the Trail:
- You can do the activity independently or with specialized guides, which we recommend, especially for those who don’t have much experience in outdoor activities, in orientation on trails, or in mountain climbs.
- At the Casa da Montanha, you will be given a tracking device (GPS), which should be returned at the end of the climb.
- Along the route there are 47 marker poles. The last milestone is located inside the crater and indicates the trail to Piquinho.
- Always begin your descent at least four hours before sunset, as it is dangerous to descend after dark.