Mt Pico

Mountain in The Azores
Image by Benjamin van der Spek / Shutterstock
Image by Benjamin van der Spek / Shutterstock

The highest mountain in Portugal rears out of the Atlantic Ocean to a height of 2,351m. A near-perfect cone, Mt Pico is more than postcard material: an ascent of this slumbering stratovolcano is the Azores’ ultimate hiking experience.

Climbers should register with the visitors centre at the trailhead at Cabeço das Cabras. From there, it’s a signposted slog to the crater, followed by a short, steep climb to the summit itself, which offers staggering views of neighbouring islands.

The climb to the top takes between two to four hours, depending on your level of fitness and experience. You can conquer Mt Pico unaccompanied, but hiring a guide is recommended – particularly if you want to start in darkness to catch the sunrise.