Montanha do Pico
Pico Mountain is a stratovolcano with a height of 2351 metres above the sea level (the highest point of Portugal) and about 3500 metres above the oceanic platform of the Azores, therefore it is the third biggest volcano of the Atlantic North Ocean.
During the mountain’s edification process, occurred several eruptions on its flanks, mainly effusive. Also occurred, although in smaller number, secondary eruptions mainly strombolian that originated several levels of pyroclasts.
It is the only place in the Azores that has alpine and sub-alpine habitats, which are subject to prolonged snow deposits. Several flora species adapted to the harsh conditions of the mountain, namely in the zone above 1800 metres, where the main species are the Thymus caespititius, the Calluna vulgaris and the Daboecia azorica.
At 2200 metres of altitude, one can find Silene uniflora cratericola, an endemic subspecies of this Nature Reserve.
Due to its geological, biological and heritage richness, Pico Mountain was classified as Integral Reserve in 1972, becoming one of the oldest protected areas of Portugal, and was reclassified as Nature Reserve in 1982.
This protected area, with about 1341 hectares, belongs to a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Natura 2000 network and it is a priority geosite of international importance of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark. The Pico volcanic landscape (that includes Pico Mountain) was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, in 2010.
For more information about climbing the Mountain, click here.