São Roque do Pico: Travel and tourism

Porto do Pico
Porto do Pico
Located on the northern coast of the island exhibiting the highest mountain of Portugal, a volcanic peak rising to 2350 metres after which it is named, the county of São Roque do Pico is also characterized by dark volcanic rocks in contrast with a lush vegetation.

Its main natural attractions include the so-called «mysteries» of Prainha and of Santa Luzia, a landscape with mole-hills of black lava resulting from eruptions in previous centuries, the first in the 16th century and the second in 1718, when lava travelled about nine kilometres until reaching the sea.

The seat of the county displays several interesting monuments, namely the 18th-century Mother Church with altars in gilded woodwork and the Baroque Church and Convent of Saint Peter of Alcântara, from the same period and sheltering valuable treasures.

Another of the town's attractions is the museum lodged at the former whaling factory, displaying utensils and equipments used in the industrial transformation of the cetaceans, when whale hunting was one of the island's main activities.

In terms of religious patrimony, the county also boasts of a beautiful church at the parish of Santo António, exhibiting an ornate altarpiece, and of the Parish Church (1732) and several chapels at the village of Santa Luzia.

São Roque do Pico also offers visitors the choice of several outdoor activities, from walks and excursions to the lagoons of Peixinho and Caiado to fishing and swimming in natural pools formed by volcanic rocks (such as the one at Prainha), or picnics at the forest parks of Santa Luzia and Prainha.

It is also possible to arrange for trips out to the sea for whale and dolphin watching.

The county's gastronomy is naturally characterized by delicious specialities with fresh fish and seafood which may be accompanied by local white wines of good quality, and for dessert visitors will find typical sweets and cakes and verdelho, similar to Madeira wine.

The county's popular festival, known as Cais de Agosto (August dock), is held between the 31st of July and the 3rd of August and offers music and dancing, street festivities, sports competitions and exhibitions.
Vau Hotel Vau Hotel
$$$$ (100 to 150 euros)

The Vau Hotel, located just 300 metres from the beach, features apartments, junior, senior and family suites for two to six pax, equipped with satellite TV, telephone, individual safe and hairdryer.

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