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A Guide to Pico Airport

By: James | Last updated: November 2019* | 4 Comments

Pico Airport is the airport for the island of Pico, one of the most popular islands in The Azores. It’s approximately the 9th busiest airport in Portugal and the 4th busiest on The Azores, according to 2017 stats from ANA.

Most people tend to fly to and from Horta Airport as it normally has a better selection of flights. As such, Pico Airport, like most of the airports on The Azores, doesn’t have a huge selection of facilities. It’s so small that the Arrivals and Departures sections are literally metres apart.

What it does have, however, is one of the nicest views of any airport that I’ve seen. As you land, you’ll fly over Pico’s famous wine fields and touchdown on the runaway that’s right next to the ocean and parallel to São Jorge island.

Vineyards Pico Airport

As you drive out of the airport, take the scenic route and drive past Paisagem da Cultura da Vinha da Ilha do Pico (map). Here, you’ll see the unique vineyards that Pico is famous for. It’s not the only place on the island where you’ll see them, but it’s one of the larger areas and, as Pico Airport is right next to it, it’s definitely worth making a small detour.

Car Rental at Pico Airport

Perhaps it was the time of year that I was visiting Pico (July) or perhaps it was that I was very unprepared, but I found it hard to find an available car on Pico. I did find one in the end, but I’d recommend you book your car rental in advance if you can.

Rentalcars.com is usually the best place to start. If you don’t find anything there, try Skyscanner.net and then Kayak.com. If you don’t find anything on those three comparison websites, you’ll probably need to manually go through all the car rental companies on Pico.

The following companies all had desks at Pico Airport:

There are also a few companies that operate out of nearby Madalena or São Roque do Pico who may be willing to bring the car to the airport.

I rented with a tour company (pico-island-adventures.com) based in Madalena who also rented out some cars.

  • Tip: There’s a Galp petrol station about 4 minutes’ drive from Pico Airport (map) for when you’re bringing the car back.
  • Tip 2: Some people rent a car on one island in the triangle (Pico, Faial, and São Jorge) and take it on the ferry to each of the islands rather than renting a car on each. This can mean better car rental rates but, more importantly, it means you’ll definitely have a car for each island.
  • Tip 3: Some car rental companies allow you to rent a car at Pico Airport and then return the car to one of the ports (Madalena or São Roque do Pico) for free or very little. 

Hotels & Accommodation near Pico Airport

If you want to stay close to Pico Airport, there are a handful of accommodation options close by.

  • AL – Adega do Terra – Vacation home that’s just 7 minutes’ walk from Pico Airport. 
  • O Farrobo – Apartments and vacation homes that are around 2.3 km from Pico Airport, or 30 minutes by foot. 
  • Cancela Do Porco Casas De Campo – 1-bedroom holiday home with outdoor swimming pool and mini golf that’s around 2.3 km from Pico Airport, or 30 minutes by foot. 

Buses & Taxis at Pico Airport

If you aren’t renting a car at Pico Airport, you can easily get a taxi at the airport. A bus service is also available, but it’s very infrequent so it’s more likely that you’ll take a taxi.

Taxis

There’s a taxi rank outside of arrivals at Pico Airport. As of July 2019, a taxi trip between the airport and Madalena costs around 13€, and a taxi to São Roque costs around 15€ (2019 prices). 

If you’d prefer to book a taxi in advance, contact one of the following taxi drivers:

Based in Madalena

  • António Garcia (Speaks English) +351 962 408 419 | [email protected] | 4-person vehicle
  • Carlos Costa (Speaks English) +351 962 525 517 | [email protected]gmail.com | 8-person vehicle

Based in São Roque

  • Claudia Teixeira (Speaks English) +351 910 450 755 | [email protected] |4-person vehicle
  • Manuel Salazares (Speaks English)  +351 917 255 956 / 963 314 891 | 8-person vehicle

A full list of taxi drivers that work on Pico can be found on TaxisPico.pt

Uber and other taxi apps are not available on São Jorge and the other islands in The Azores. 

Buses

There is a bus that stops at the airport, but it’s very infrequent and so it’s unlikely it’ll be there when your flight arrives. The following timetable is from July 2019. 

pico bus schedule

Other Facilities at Pico Airport

  • ATM: There was a Santander ATM, but it was out of service while I was there. Presumably it normally works.
  • Café: There is a café and bar in the building that sells coffee, sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks, and alcoholic drinks.
  • Tourism Office: There’s a small tourism information office where you can get information about Pico.
  • Travel Shop: There’s a small travel shop, called Flight LK 777, that sells some souvenirs, sweets, and magazines.
  • Parking: Parking is free.

Updates: Some updates are as small as a spelling correction. If you spot a mistake or want to suggest a contribution, leave a comment below.

I lived in Portugal as a child and, after many years in Ireland, the UK, and other parts of the world, I moved back as an adult. Over the past decade or so, I've been lucky to live in several parts of Portugal, including Lisbon and the Algarve, and to travel to just about every corner of it.

While in Portugal, I've always found it a struggle to get accurate, up-to-date and insightful information about Portugal. I decided to create a hub for expats and travellers that was not only informative and accurate but that helped others really get to know Portuguese life and culture. So, I started Portugalist and (amazingly) it quickly grew to be the #1 resource about Portugal.

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