Pico Island, Azores

The Island East of the Pico Mountain

Monument to Balaieiro
Whaler statue in front of the museum dedicated to the activity of São Roque do Pico.
Captain's Lagoon
Clouds cover the top of Pico, beyond the Capitão lagoon.
Church above Lajes do Pico
Church of Lajes do Pico, prominent above the village.
Ponta Lighthouse
The Ponta da Ilha Lighthouse, which illuminates and signals the southeast of Pico to navigation.
View of the Church of Lajes
The square and street in front of the church of Lajes do Pico.
Lajes do Pico, from afar
The village of Lajes do Pico, seen from the south slope of the island.
Path overlooking Pico
Resident walks along the Lajes do Pico waterfront.
Mass in Slabs
Believers gathered at a mass in the church of Lajes do Pico.
Moorish Mill
One of the many traditional mills on the island of Pico.
The Whaling Industry Museum
The current Whaling Industry Museum, in the former processing factory.
Captain's Lagoon Trail
Hikers follow a trail in the vicinity of Lagoa do Capitão.
Balaieiro Statue
Statue of a Balaieiro in front of the Whaling Industry Museum.
Sao Roque do Pico
The houses of São Roque do Pico at the bottom of the northwestern slope of Pico Island.
San Roque Sea
Wave breaks against a pier in São Roque do Pico.
Livestock & Fog
Traffic sign next to the detour to Lagoa do Capitão.
cattle in the fog
Cow in a meadow in the west of Pico island.
cows in fog
Cows bar the way to traffic in the fog from the top of the island.
Steep Pasture
Grazing cattle balanced on a steep slope of the island.
Calheta Vineyard and Bananal
Walls, vineyards and banana plantations near Calheta de Nesquim.
Lajes do Pico and the volcano
Casario de Lajes do Pico, with the mountain in the background.
As a rule, whoever arrives at Pico disembarks on its western side, with the volcano (2351m) blocking the view on the opposite side. Behind Pico Mountain, there is a whole long and dazzling “east” of the island that takes time to unravel.

It was the second time we were dedicated to Pico Island. As in the first one, we made the ferry crossing from the Horta city, across the channel.

The first time, subject to just two days, we focused our efforts on priorities: conquering the summit of the volcano peak.

With the time and energy to spare, we would unravel the island's peculiar vineyards, the ones spread between the western foothills of the mountain and the channel.

We sacrificed a few hours of sleep and recovery from the effort of climbing the roof of Portugal. We still managed to descend into the lava depths of the Tower Cave and take another quick jump or two to places absent from the initial plans.

Two days was not enough. We left with a frustrating sense of how much we left undiscovered that we embarked back to Faial.

Four years later, we return. With the priorities of conquering the volcano and the vineyards on the western tip of the island already resolved, favored by a well-situated stay, we took the opportunity to explore the “over there” side of Portugal's supreme mountain.

Slope of Pico Mountain Above, in Search of the Captain's Lagoon

According to the new itinerary, as soon as we found our rental car resolved, we pointed to Lagoa do Capitão, a natural stronghold as emblematic as it is unavoidable in Pico.

The road makes us ascend a good part of the western slope of the volcano and then go around it to the north.

At a certain height, with the top of the mountain on the right, the EN 3 flattens out. It undergoes a long straight, spaced, semi-sunken in meadows that the rain and the humidity brought by the north-east soak and make them lush.

Summer had left the Azores almost a month ago. In the even more unpredictable autumn of the archipelago, meteorology fulfilled its precepts. We were wet in a light rain.

A thick gray mist that made the path a mystery gave us goosebumps.

We traverse it, like this, in slow motion.

Sometimes held back by a couple of cows, too lazy or arrogant to let us pass.

After almost five minutes, in a section where the side of the road lowered, their bovine excellencies finally deign to deviate.

A few hundred meters ahead, we detect the exit to the lagoon.

The narrow perpendicular way. It furrows a vast meadow filled with humps, a bed of streams, corgas, puddles and sponge moss.

From a thousand forms of water that quench thirst, to the resident forest of twisted cedars and cattle that mottle the endless green.

The road ends at the edge of the lake. Confront us with a flock of black ducks in obvious bathing delight.

From there, with an intense breeze eradicating any chance of a water mirror and the peak of Pico covered, we examined the clouds that surrounded it, in the hope that, soon, the caravan they were flowing in would catch us with an open one.

In the meantime, we entered a path of reddish earth.

We set off on the heels of a grassy ridge where we thought we'd get a good view of the lagoon with Pico above us.

When we got there, among the trunks and branches of the prolific cedar trees, we confirmed the desired view.

And another one, on the north of the island, the strait below and the long-lined neighbor São Jorge to shorten the horizon.

On that top threshold, punished by a much stronger wind, we unveil the itinerary of the clouds in a different range. We concluded, in three stages, that only by a miracle the summit of Pico would reveal itself.

Accordingly, we turn to São Jorge.

We follow the navigation of the ferry that connects the two islands. We appreciate the white houses of São Roque, standing out at the far end of the slope at our feet.

The former Baleeira village of São Roque

Forty minutes later, we enter the village.

The settlers who populated it after its foundation in the early XNUMXth century took advantage of the agricultural potential of São Roque as much as they could.

In such a way that, after a few decades, the county already exported wheat and pastel to the Metropolis.

Over time, whaling conquered the Azorean archipelago. In São Roque, in particular, it became central.

It marked the municipality in such a way that its people dedicated an entire Museum of the Whaling Industry to it, installed in the former Factory of Vitamins, Oils, Flour and Fertilizers.

All these products were generated from the raw material of cetaceans, processed in the large boilers and furnaces that we see on display, which make São Roque one of the most renowned whaling museums in the world.

São Roque has room for two prominent statues. One of them, offered by the Municipality of Lisbon, pays homage to D. Dinis.

The other, in brown bronze, is found in front of the museum, almost on the sea.

It shows a whaler in the bow of a small boat, holding a harpoon at the ready, in the direction of the Atlantic waters where men harpooned the main sustenance of the village.


From North to South of the Island, to the Discovery of Lajes do Pico

That's what those of the island's antipodean village, Lajes do Pico, did, with equal preponderance.

Lajes owns its own Whaling Museum and a Center for Arts and Sciences of the Sea, both located in the former local Whale Factory.

Coincidence or not, that's where we moved, on a monumental trip up and down.

Through a patchwork of walled minifundia, green and increasingly steep, where the Frisian cows devour grass in a kind of acrobatic traction.

Over Silveira, beyond one of these walls and a hedge of juvenile Cedros do Mato, we finally see Lajes.

As the name suggests, its houses appear organized on an unobscured surface of almost amphibious lava, part of a bay that ends at Ponta do Castelete.

Somewhere between that point and the last slope to the village, we regain the view of Pico Mountain. sharp and detached as we had never seen it, above the rounded outline that the island assumes there.

Like what happened at Lagoa do Capitão, we are once again tired of waiting for Pico to reveal its peak to us.

We noticed that, at intervals, the sun fell on the white facades and ocher roofs of the village, as dictated by Catholic precepts, crowned by the symmetrical towers of the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade, the town's parish church.

When we pass there, a mass takes place.

The concentration of worshipers in the temple contributes to the feeling that, after the summer high season, there are few outsiders visiting, just a few circling the grid of streets between the Clube Náutico and the natural swimming pool.

Over there, the cream of the Lajes businesses was installed, from whale watching companies to the most humble restaurant.

Sunlight fell on the forward terrace of one of them.

Resplendent despite the lunch hour long past.

The stimulus of this thermal comfort prevents us from getting lost in hesitations. We sat down determined to enjoy the proper meal.

“Hello, good morning, how are you? I already bring you a menu.” greets and reassures us, with a strong French accent, a young expatriate, due to the correctness of grammar in Portuguese, we would say that she has been rooted for some time.

We took the time it took to savor the soups, the grilled fish and the heat that, little by little, was toasting our skin.

Aware of how Pico was always too long for the days we dedicated to it, we wandered just a little through the streets and alleys of the town.

The one from Saco, the one from the Xavier family. In search of a car, Rua dos Baleeiros, once again with the port, the cove and the Pico volcano ahead.

From Lajes do Pico to Ponta Oriental da Ilha

We return to the road, then, pointing to the kind of geological arrow that encloses the island to the east.

We go around Ponta da Queimada, the southernmost point of Pico, with an emblematic whale watchtower.

We pass through Ribeiras. A few kilometers later, on the verge of Cascalheira, we cut towards the Atlantic. Always going downhill, of course, we enter the parish of Calheta de Nesquim.

Calheta de Nesquim, a village that imposed itself on gravity and lava

This village had already been praised to us as one of the most peculiar on the island.

When we admire the harmony with which its “Flemish” mills, the fearless houses on the slope and the vineyards and other plantations had adapted to the harsh lava scenario, we felt compelled to agree.

This consent reached a plenum at the entrance of the tiny port of Calheta, when we appreciated how the semi-baroque church of São Sebastião was superimposed on the dock.

How he assured a constant divine blessing to the fishermen of the village who set sail from there at the risk of their lives.

Pico Island, west of the mountain, Azores, Calheta de Nesqui,

The Church of Calheta de Nesquim blessing the boats that use the town's small port.

With the sunny day, it soon ends, we continue our journey. We pass Feteira. We progress along the south of Pico, just above the bays of Domingos Pereira and Fonte.

The Lighthouse that Signals and Illuminates the Far East of Pico

At the entrance to the latter, we take the Caminho do Farol.

A few minutes later, we detected the Ponta da Ilha Lighthouse.

It turned out to be the only building worthy of the name.

A wasteland in a sea of ​​shrubby green that emerged from the volcanic soil, until the density of the lava and the waves and salt on the seafront sabotaged its expansion, in a surrounding landscape that, due to its high “Regional Interest”, conquered the status of Protected .

Despite its emblematic location, the Manheda lighthouse was one of the last to appear on the island, only in 1946.

It was given a U-shape, with the white and red tower at the bottom-center of the letter. And, as usual in the Azores, the remaining area is granted to lighthouse families who have a home there.

We examined it. We surrender to the strangeness and photogeny of the scenery, also amazed by the abundance of rabbits hopping among the bushes.

In a flash, dusk seizes the eastern tip of Pico. While a resident retrieved clothes laid out from the sea, the lantern at the top of the tower presented itself at the service of navigation.


Aldeia da Fonte Hotel


Tel: +351 292 679 500

Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
São Jorge, Azores

From Fajã to Fajã

In the Azores, strips of habitable land at the foot of large cliffs abound. No other island has as many fajãs as the more than 70 in the slender and elevated São Jorge. It was in them that the jorgenses settled. Their busy Atlantic lives rest on them.
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

An immaculate biosphere that the Earth's entrails mold and soften is displayed, in São Miguel, in a panoramic format. São Miguel is the largest of the Portuguese islands. And it is a work of art of Nature and Man in the middle of the North Atlantic planted.
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

It was the first in the archipelago to emerge from the bottom of the sea, the first to be discovered, the first and only to receive Cristovão Colombo and a Concorde. These are some of the attributes that make Santa Maria special. When we visit it, we find many more.
Terceira Island, Azores

Terceira Island: Journey through a Unique Archipelago of the Azores

It was called the Island of Jesus Christ and has radiated, for a long time, the cult of the Holy Spirit. It houses Angra do Heroísmo, the oldest and most splendid city in the archipelago. These are just two examples. The attributes that make Terceira island unique are endless.
Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Horta, Azores

The City that Gives the North to the Atlantic

The world community of sailors is well aware of the relief and happiness of seeing the Pico Mountain, and then Faial and the welcoming of Horta Bay and Peter Café Sport. The rejoicing does not stop there. In and around the city, there are white houses and a green and volcanic outpouring that dazzles those who have come so far.
Capelinhos Volcano, Faial, Azores

On the trail of the Capelinhos Mistery

From one coast of the island to the opposite one, through the mists, patches of pasture and forests typical of the Azores, we discover Faial and the Mystery of its most unpredictable volcano.
Graciosa, Azores

Her Grace the Graciosa

Finally, we will disembark in Graciosa, our ninth island in the Azores. Even if less dramatic and verdant than its neighbors, Graciosa preserves an Atlantic charm that is its own. Those who have the privilege of living it, take from this island of the central group an esteem that remains forever.
Corvo, Azores

The Improbable Atlantic Shelter of Corvo Island

17 km2 of a volcano sunk in a verdant caldera. A solitary village based on a fajã. Four hundred and thirty souls snuggled by the smallness of their land and the glimpse of their neighbor Flores. Welcome to the most fearless of the Azorean islands.
Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

We were surprised, on the biggest island of the Azores, with a caldera cut by small farms, massive and deep to the point of sheltering two volcanoes, a huge lagoon and almost two thousand people from São Miguel. Few places in the archipelago are, at the same time, as grand and welcoming as the green and steaming Vale das Furnas.
Pico do Arieiro - Pico Ruivo, Madeira, Portugal

Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, Above a Sea of ​​Clouds

The journey begins with a resplendent dawn at 1818 m, high above the sea of ​​clouds that snuggles the Atlantic. This is followed by a winding, ups and downs walk that ends on the lush insular summit of Pico Ruivo, 1861 meters away.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
A Lost and Found City
Architecture & Design
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Dragon Dance, Moon Festival, Chinatown-San Francisco-United States of America
Ceremonies and Festivities
San Francisco, USA

with the head on the moon

September comes and Chinese people around the world celebrate harvests, abundance and unity. San Francisco's enormous Sino-Community gives itself body and soul to California's biggest Moon Festival.
fortress wall of Novgorod and the Orthodox Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Russia.
Novgorod, Russia

Mother Russia's Viking Grandmother

For most of the past century, the USSR authorities have omitted part of the origins of the Russian people. But history leaves no room for doubt. Long before the rise and supremacy of the tsars and the soviets, the first Scandinavian settlers founded their mighty nation in Novgorod.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Hungduan, Philippines

Country Style Philippines

The GI's left with the end of World War II, but the music from the interior of the USA that they heard still enlivens the Cordillera de Luzon. It's by tricycle and at your own pace that we visit the Hungduan rice terraces.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Devils Marbles, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Palace of Knossos, Crete, Greece
Iraklio, CreteGreece

From Minos to Minus

We arrived in Iraklio and, as far as big cities are concerned, Greece stops there. As for history and mythology, the capital of Crete branches without end. Minos, son of Europa, had both his palace and the labyrinth in which the minotaur closed. The Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Ottomans passed through Iraklio. The Greeks who inhabit it fail to appreciate it.
Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Basotho Cowboys, Malealea, Lesotho
Malealea, Lesotho

Life in the African Kingdom of Heaven

Lesotho is the only independent state located entirely above XNUMX meters. It is also one of the countries at the bottom of the world ranking of human development. Its haughty people resist modernity and all the adversities on the magnificent but inhospitable top of the Earth that befell them.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Natural Parks

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
shadow vs light
UNESCO World Heritage
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde, Tarrafal Bay
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde

The Tarrafal of Freedom and Slow Life

The village of Tarrafal delimits a privileged corner of the island of Santiago, with its few white sand beaches. Those who are enchanted there find it even more difficult to understand the colonial atrocity of the neighboring prison camp.
Lhasa, Tibet

When Buddhism Tires of Meditation

It is not only with silence and spiritual retreat that one seeks Nirvana. At the Sera Monastery, the young monks perfect their Buddhist knowledge with lively dialectical confrontations and crackling clapping of hands.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

A Bingo so playful that you play with puppets

On Friday nights, a group of ladies occupy tables at Independencia Park and bet on trifles. The tiniest prizes come out to them in combinations of cats, hearts, comets, maracas and other icons.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica, public boat
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.