Highest Elevation in Portugal

The highest elevation in Portugal is not on mainland Europe, rather in an unexpected twist of Strange Geography it’s on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, some 1,500 kilometers (950 miles) from the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon. The island of Pico (literally “peak”) with its dominant stratovolcano of the same name rises 2,351 meters (7,713 feet) above the Atlantic plain in the Azores archipelago.

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Portugal’s Azores Autonomous Region rides atop the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where two massive tectonic plates, the North American and Eurasian Plates, pull slowly apart. Magma forced its way to the surface to form the island chain.  The process continues and active volcanoes can still be found. Pico, which fits the stereotype of what a volcano “should look like” erupted as recently as 1720.


This is a photograph I took of the amazing Pico volcano.

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