The islands of Pico, Faial and São Jorge belong to the central group of the azorean archipelago and they're known as the "islands of the triangle" since they form a triangular shape when connected.
Although located close to each other, they're three very distinct islands with a lot to see and do and together they perfectly sum up some of the best reasons to visit Açores: nature, biodiversity, hiking, beaches, great meat, fresh fish and seafood, wine and welcoming people.
Pico is known as the “grey island” because the landscape is quite dark due to the volcanic rocks. These can be found everywhere... on the ground, on the coastline, on the buildings and even on the walls that separate the parcels of land where the famous vineyards grow.
Pico’s mountain is the island’s highlight and Portugal’s highest peak, with 2351 meters. Hiking to the top is the steepest hike in the archipelago and it's a lifetime experience that shouldn't be missed. To keep the spirits up, the trick is thinking about the natural swimming pools and the fantastic wine that has been produced in the island since the 15th century.
Another big tradition is whale hunting, which started in the 18th century and was forbidden in 1986. Since then the island of Pico has been a pioneer in studying and protecting these giant creatures and in the promotion of whale watching.
Faial is also part of the central group and is the westernmost edge of the so-called triangle. Even though it has less than 20 km in length, it offers spectacular landscapes. Picture trekking a sleepy vulcano, walking through luxurious forests, sunbathing in volcanic beaches, swimming in clear waters and getting immersed in the nautical vibe of Horta with a gin mare in hand.
One of the musts when visiting Faial is going to Capelinhos, a dormant volcano surrounded by a barren territory that almost seems like a movie set. Then, right at the heart of the island, lies the incredible caldeira, which is a giant depression filled with luxurious vegetation and rare endemic species. It's astonishing how the landscape changes so abruptly in such a short distance... Then, to finish a day of exploration, there's nothing better than soaking up the sun at the beach and going for a dip in the ocean. At night, everyone heads to Horta, the island's capital city. It's a very interesting place to wander since it has a valuable history and at the same time a cool atmosphere, a lot thanks to the busy marina where sailors stop when crossing the Atlantic.
The island of São Jorge, another apex of the triangle, is also known as the “island of the fajãs”, which are flat lands located between the sea and tall cliffs. These are absolutely fascinating places and São Jorge counts with more than 80, some easily accessible and others almost impossible to get to. This wilderness is part of the island's charm and what attracts fans of nature and the big outdoors. There are many active ways to explore the island, from 4x4 tours to canyoning adventures and spectacular hiking trails.
Apart from the natural heritage, São Jorge is well known for the cheese production, which is responsible for about 80% of the local economy revenue. There are other special treats, but in all honesty you got to see them (and taste them) to believe them...
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