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Pico Island seen from the harbor of Horta, Faial
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 38°29′4.1″N 28°21′20.3″W / 38.484472°N 28.355639°W / 38.484472; -28.355639Coordinates: 38°29′4.1″N 28°21′20.3″W / 38.484472°N 28.355639°W / 38.484472; -28.355639
Archipelago Azores Islands
Area 447 km²
Highest point Mount Pico (2,351 m)
Autonomous Region Azores Islands
Largest city Madalena (pop. 6,297)
Population 15761 (as of 2007)

Pico Island (Ilha do Pico, Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈiʎɐ du ˈpiku]) is an island of the Azores noted for its eponymous volcano, Ponta do Pico (Pico Alto), which is the highest mountain of Portugal and also the highest elevation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The island is 17.5 km south of São Jorge (Ilha de São Jorge) and just 7 km east of Faial (Ilha do Faial). It is 42 km long and has a maximum width of 15 km and an area of 447 km², making it the second largest of the Azores islands. The main settlements are the capital Madalena, São Roque do Pico and Lajes do Pico, the total population is 15761 inhabitants (as of 2007).

The volcano is in the south-west of the island, at 38.47 N, 28.40 W. It is a basaltic stratovolcano 2,351 m high with steep sides. The last eruption on the island was in 1963, with a small submarine eruption off the northwest coast. Prior major eruptions were in 1562-64, 1718 and 1720. The paths of the lava flows are still visible, those of the 16th century and 1718 were particularly substantial, extending for over 10 km.

The island supported a substantial whaling industry until 1980. The position of the island on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge means that deep water is very close. Active industries include tourism, shipbuilding and wine production. Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. It has a notable wine, the Pico Wine (Vinho do Pico).

See also


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