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Pico is the second biggest of the nine islands that form the Azores archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the central group of the Azores. Pico island is named after Mount Pico, the volcano that dominates the landscape of this island. Pico means peak in Portuguese. It is the highest mountain of the Azores and Portugal. The island is divided into three municipalities: Lajes do Pico, São Roque do Pico, and Madalena.
Hitchhiking is fairly easy on the coastal main roads that connect almost all of the settlements on Pico island. As there is only a very irregular bus service, many people will understand why you are trying to hitchhike and pick you up. As always, you might also find some who will try to make you take a taxi. Hitchhiking to Mount Pico is comparably difficult. The main roads going there don't connect the bigger settlements, hence only a few farmers and tourists pass by. Hitchhiking down might prove easier, especially in the evening.
How to get there
If not hitchhiking sailing boats, then ferries are your only choice. It is not possible to travel for free, as tickets are charged per person. Coming from Horta on Faial you can take a Transmaçor ferry to Madalena, while ferries to the other islands (e.g. atlânticoline) leave at São Roque. If you missed your ferry and have to get somewhere urgently, there is also an airport with flights connecting Pico to other islands of the Azores and to mainland Portugal. In summer, ferries are sometimes completely booked out, so buy your ticket ahead at RIAC offices. See useful information for tips on saving money.
As Pico island is not densely populated, finding spots for camping is not too difficult, especially in the interior of the island. You can also have free showers at some "public swimming pools" in the Atlantic Ocean. Go to the tourist information in São Roque for free internet access. If you want to climb Mount Pico, be prepared to pay 10€ per person at the entrance or 2,50€ when going with a guide. A guide is not necessary to find your way, but when going with several people, it might turn out to be cheaper taking one with you. Going up and down takes about 6-8 hours. It is also possible to stay for the night in the crater and to enjoy sunrise on top of Mount Pico. You should also take in mind that climbing Mount Pico is not always possible due to unstable weather conditions and strong winds.
Central Group: Faial • Pico • São Jorge • Graciosa • Terceira
Eastern Group: São Miguel • Santa Maria