Pico summit, the highest mountian in Portugal - Azores
The hike up to the Pico summit must be among the most common goals for hikers and mountaineers in Portugal.
As the name implies, the Pico mountain can be found on the island of Pico, one of the islands of the Azores archipelago.
Being on the island of Pico, the mountain is obvious and visible from most parts of the island.
In relation to the ascent to its highest peak, Piquinho with 2351m of altitude, the question often arises whether or not to use a local guide’s services.
The answer will depend on the experience of who will be going up there, either individually or in a group.
In any case, the use of a guide service is not mandatory, but if you are in doubt, then it is because you may need a guide.
However, it is mandatory to pass through the “Casa da Montanha”, the local mountain experts office, before the ascent and at the end of the descent.
The “Casa da Montanha” exists to give support to anyone who wants to access the mountain and, in its objectives statement, you can read the following “The Mountain’s House is an obligatory stop at Pico Mountain. Its main goal is to support those who want to climb the mountain and to make the registration and control in accordance with the regulation.”
It is advisable to access the “Casa da Montanha” website for more specific information such as the office timetable, fees, regulations, etc. You can access it here.
As you can read on the “Casa da Montanha” website, there are several options with regard to the hike’s objective, as is the case of going only to the crater or to Piquinho, the summit.
One popular option is to stay overnight in the crater so that you can see the sunrise the next day.
Casa da Montanha is 1250m above sea level and it is from there where you can start walking up to Pico summit.
The ascent and descent times vary a lot from group to group, as you can understand.
Either way, you shouldn’t be surprised if the climb takes about 3 to 4 hours and the descent takes about 3 hours.
For this activity, in addition to other equipment, it is necessary to pay attention to mountain boots and hiking poles that I consider essential for walking on volcanic stone terrain such is the one you will find here.
During the route there is no possibility of supplying water or food so you only have to rely on what you are going to transport.
Enjoy yourself and be safe.