The Pico vineyards inscribed on the World Heritage List, Pico island, Azores,; Shutterstock ID 131557715; Your name (First / Last): James Kay; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Azores destination page highlights

Shutterstock / Rafal Gadomski

Vineyards of Pico

The Azores

The island of Pico has produced wine since the 15th century, but don’t expect neat rows of vines amid picturesque fields. The vintners here adapted to a landscape of volcanic soil littered with lumps of black basalt.

They used the basalt to create dry stone-walled plots called ‘currais’, which expose the vines to the sun but protect them from the wind. A vast grid of currais covers more than 2,000 acres of land on Pico’s western coast.

This area – known as Criação Velha – became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004 and you can learn more about its unique history of viniculture at the Pico Island Vineyard Culture Interpretation Centre in Lajido Santa Luzia.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Azores attractions

1. Mt Pico

7.56 MILES

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…

2. Capelinhos Volcano

17.54 MILES

The underwater volcano that erupted in spectacular fashion off the island of Faial in 1957 afforded scientists a unique opportunity to study a rare…