Gruta das Torres

Cave of the Towers

Useful Information

Location: Pico Island, outside of Criação Velha, Madalena. The cave is about 2.4 km off the coast road either at Monte de Cima or Criação Velha towards east.
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: visitors provided with helmet and headlamp.
Dimension: L=5,150 m, H=15 m, VR=200 m.
Guided tours: L=450 m, D=45 min.
Address: Os Montanheiros, Núcleo da Ilha do Pico, Apartado 33, Ec Lajes do Pico, 9931-909 Lajes do Pico, Cell: +351-913-459081. E-mail: contact
Os Montanheiros, Rua da Rocha 8, 9700-169 Angra do Heroísmo, Tel: +351-295-212992, Cell: +351-961-362215, Fax: +351-295-216465. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1990 discovered by Albino Garcia from Os Montanheiros.
1994 explored by C. Thomas.
18-MAR-2004 declared a Monumento Natural Regional in DLR N.° 6/2004/A.
2005 opened to the public.


Gruta das Torres (Cave of the Towers) is the longest cave on the Azores, and is listed on the Worlds Longest Lava Tubes list on position 17 [2010]. The cave is equipped with a rough path and steps made of pahoehoe lava slabs. There is no light and will never be in order to preserve the natural state of the cave and protect the troglobionts living in the cave. All visitors to Torres Cave receive helmets with headlamps. Warm clothes and sturdy walking shoes are much recommended. The cave is visited in groups of 12.

At the entrance, an unconventional Visitors Center welcomes the visitors. Shape, material, and color suggest lava and fit in with the environment around the mouth of the cave. A similar wall protects the cave entrance from intruders while still leaving it open to the sky.

This cave is formed in pahoehoe lava which flowed from the Cabeço Bravo area, at Criaçãp Velha. It is the longest cave in the Azores with a length of 5,150 m. It consists of a single tunnel which is over 15 m high in places. There are also smaller side passages where crawling is necessary. The cave displays many geological formations including boulder piles, lateral benches, flow marks and ropy lavas together with the usual lava stalactites and stalagmites.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.