A walk along the Pico shore

Today’s adventure consisted of a walk along the shore of Pico. From Madalena we took a cab to Porto do Calhau, from where the idea was to follow a marked trail all the way back to town. We got started a little late in the day: we got into the taxi a bit after 10:00 AM, and — due to the July heat and sun, I would recommend other hikers to start about an hour earlier as midday becomes very hot and sunny.

The trail follows the shore and dips in and out of the Pico wine lands — with Ponta do Pico, the always-present volcano, in the background. Along the shore there are black volcanic rocks along the seaside, every now and again there are also natural swimming pools where you can cool down and relax — with changing facilities attached.

Natural pool along the Pico coast

In the wine lands, the paths takes us through the Pico vineyards: normally fairly small, and fenced in by black volcanic rocks, creating a nice contrast of black and green. The roads alter between paved roads, red dusty volcanic sand, or black volcanic rocks.

Pico vineyards with Ponta do Pico in the background

It is a quite nice walk, but towards the end it becomes quite hot: the vineyard fences are nearly as tall as I am — as they are meant to shelter the vines from wind, it means that there isn’t much wind around to relieve us from the heat. Also, there is no shade. Occasionally there is a bit, but we find out that the shade nicely falls on the spots where animals tend to go to relive themselves, so unless you fancy stepping in unspecified dung…

Pico walking trail


Walking through the wine lands of Pico

The trail is about 8 Km. You should bring water! And be aware that at the end of the trail, there is about another 2 Km walk to take you back to Madalena town centre. (There may be a faster route, but as we aren’t locals we couldn’t tell you).

For others who may not have the stamina to climb Pico, this may be a soft alternative. We got back to Madalena in time for lunch, and then went to the rock pools to dip our feet.

Refreshing after a good walk


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