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The Azores

Faial - The Azores

Faial like the other Azores islands has its own uniqueness. Part of the central island group, Faial is dominated by its central volcanic mountain peak, from where views of Faial island and its immediate island neighbours (Pico and Sao Jorge) are gained.

Faial is home to the most recent (1957) and dramatic volcanic activity that has affected the islands in recent times. This has formed a landscape of great contrast to its older surroundings, and on walking upon displays the ultimate power of the planet within.

Faial is also famed for its harbour and marina in Horta, which has to be the most unique and colourful in the world. From the harbour, whale-watching, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, trips to the neighboring islands of Pico and Sao Jorge can all be booked. If you are lucky you might even be able to sail on an old whaling boat.

For the active adventurer, Faial should be explored by bicycle/scooter and by foot. One of our favorite days in Faial was a grand tour of the island by scooter, which included the Caldeira, walking on land only 50 years old, and swimming/snorkeling in the sea. Read more about our Azores - Faial adventure.

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left button SAO MIGUEL - Adventure abounds left button FAIAL - Island tour by Scooter
left button FLORES - Walking holiday a must left button CORVO - The good old days
left button PICO - Mountain climb left button SAO JORGE - Beautiful walking
left button TERCEIRA - World Heritage site left button GRACIOSA - Remoter than you think
left button SANTA MARIA - A weekend getaway


Fast Facts

  • Faial was discovered in the first half of the 15th century.
  • Faial is the most western island of the central group; it is 21 km long, 14 km at its widest, with a total land area of 173,30 sq. km.
  • It is dominated by its central mountainous Caldeira.
  • Overlooking the Caldeira, the highest point (Cabeco Gordo) reaches 1043m/3421ft.
  • With just over 15,000 inhabitants, Faial accounts for approximately 6% of the population of the archipelago.
  • The Archipelago's volcanic origins are clearly seen on the western side of the island, with the newest 2.4km2 of land (1957.)
  • Faial's main town is Horta where the famous harbour is a resting place for thousands of transatlantic sailors.
  • Faial's harbour is the most colourful in the world with a tapestry of sailors artwork, painted on every spare piece of wall and path.
  • Peter's Cafe Sport, is a small pub/cafe overlooking the harbour, where the sailors gather to relax and chat while in harbour.
  • The island's main economies are fishing, agriculture and farming.

  • The Caldeira
  • Ponta dos Capelinhos - the youngest land in the Azores, Nature reserve, lighthouse and museum.
  • Horta - with its harbour, art work, Peter's Cafe Sport, Cinema
  • Ponta do Varadouro, excellent place for a swim in good weather, even better place to watch the full forces of nature in bad weather.
  • Praia do Almoxarife - excellent beach and camping facilities
  • Ponta do Salao - the second less used campsite on a hill overlooking the sea.
  • Baia do Ribeira dos Cubras - One of the best beaches on Faial
  • The inland town of Flamengos
  • Capelo - Forest reserve, with BBQ facilities. Nice place to spend an afternoon.
  • Sea Week - a week long festival of the sea

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