On one side of Vila Holanda, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panorama view of the Atlantic Ocean and the neighbouring island of Sao Jorge. (On www.azores.nl you will find a nice holiday home on Sao Jorge).
On the other side, one is almost at the foot of the impressive Pico volcano with its sprawling forests, fields and meadows. This volcano is what the island was named for: it, with its 2351 m height, is the highest mountain of Portugal. Accompanied by a guide, he summit of Pico can be reached by foot when the weather is clear.
Not far from here lies the Zona des Adegas (wine area), which has been added to the UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. Walls of black lava stone protect the vast wine fields and ancient wine cellars. They radiate warmth to the vines from which are then turned into delicious volcanic wines. These can be tasted at special wine tasting facilities.
The breathtakingly beautiful and fertile volcanic landscape makes the island a paradise for any lover of nature. Several hiking trails will lead you through the gorgeous nature with spectacular panoramic views.
Because of the subtropical climate and isolated location of the Azores, a very special flora and fauna can be found on Pico. The climate is agreeably mild: An average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius in summer, while in the winter it rarely gets colder than 14 degrees Celsius.
There are many things to do on the island with Vila Holanda as your starting point. Some villages worth visiting are the ancient Sao Roque, Lajes do Pico (known for its whale museums), Sao Joao, Rebeirinha, Lajido and the small capital city of Madalena. Looking for the traces of whale hunters and boat builders is highly advisable. Lajes do Pico is the main whale watching address of Pico. More than twenty different species of whales and dolphins can be found near Pico’s coastline. Bringing binoculars is highly recommended.
On the rocky volcanic island, no sandy beaches can be found. It is therefore recommended to go for a swim in the ‘natural swimming pools’ that have been specifically designed for this purpose.
By taking a ferry from Madalena, it is possible to reach the neighbouring island of Faial within half an hour. Once there, you will find the interesting port of Horta and the ‘Café Peter Sport’ where you can take a pause to have some traditional gin tonic. Also by ferry, you can travel from Sao Roque to Sao Jorge, which is known for its cheese production.
The regional cuisine of the manifold restaurants is characterized by fish and juicy steaks accompanied by specialties from all islands.
The nearest supermarket, cafe and restaurants are 5 km away from Vila Holanda.