Faial, the little “blue” island

City of Horta [Azoresphotos.visitazores.com by José António]

Faial is one of the central islands of the Azores and forms together with the islands of São Jorge and Pico the “Ilhas do Triângulo” (Azores triangle). Faial is a small island with a length of only 21 km and a width of maximum 14 km.

It got its name because of the many beech trees (in Portuguese faias) that you find here. Everywhere you go on the island of Faial, you can see fields of hydrangeas in different blue colors. Therefore, Faial is also called the “blue” island.

Faial Portugal.jpg


The beauty of Horta

From the 17th century onwards, Faial developed itself significantly. Thanks to its favorable geographical location it became a safe haven between Europe and America and an important trading post. In more recent times the harbor in Horta was an important stopover for transatlantic ships.

Today you find in Horta’s harbor many international yachts. You should definitely take a look at the fascinating harbor wall full of paintings of countless sailors. It is a tradition in Horta, that sailors leave a piece of art before they continue their journey. This would bring luck on their trip.

Who looks over from the quayside over the city of Horta, will be surprised by the romantic atmosphere and the impressive architecture of the town. Imposing baroque church facades largely determine the view. Like the 18th and 19th century houses with their generously decorated balconies.

They are all within walking distance of each other and are therefore easy to visit. They are absolutely worth it to admire them. For example, the Sao Salvador (1680), Sao Francisco (1696) and the Nossa Senhora do Carmo from the 18th century with their beautiful “azulejos” (ceramic tiles), golden carvings and silver and ivory-covered furniture.

The rough coastline of the North

The North coast offers a range of fantastic panoramic views. This side of the island can be accessed from Horta via the road that runs around the island. Go first along the beautiful beach Praia do Almoxarife and then to the village of Pedro Miguel. If you follow the road further anti-clockwise, you arrive in Praia do Norte. You can admire the wonderful contrasts between the black lava fields and lush green vegetation in Fajã da Praia and Norte Pequeno.

Horse rides by Victor Hucke new

Go Horse back riding [Azoresphotos.visitazores.com by Victor Hucke]

The impressive crater

The mountain Cabeço Gordo in the center of Faial, with its 1043 meters is the highest point of the island. It is a beautiful natural lookout point, from where you can see on a sunny day all the islands of the triangle.

Not far away you find the huge crater with name Caldeira. The crater has an imposing diameter of 2 kilometer and a depth of 500 meters. The crater is surrounded by blue hydrangeas and many other lush shrubs, including cedars, beech, ferns and mosses.

Capelinhos vulcano

The relaxing spas in the South

The coast in the South is breathtaking. The town Varadouro -at the beautiful southern coast- is a major seaside resort and has several natural pools that have been formed in the basaltic rocks of volcanic origin. In the immediate surrounding you find the hill Morro do Castelo Branco with his black pinnacles, vines and flowers, that offers one of the best views of Faial.

Despite its small size, you can find in Faial numerous highlights. From the high mountains in the center, the panoramic views to the North coast to the vibrant city of Horta in the South.

Faial by Floreesha kl

The coastline of Faila [Azoresphotos.visitazores.com by Floreesha]

Travel to Faial

From São Miguel you can reach Faial throughout the year by a small plane. During the summer months, the islands are also connected with a ferry. From Lisbon it is also possible to fly directly to Faial. TUIfly is the first European charter who flies at Pico Island. This is great because now you can take the boat from Pico and within 30 minutes you are at Faial. This is a nice way to explore the island by plane and by boat. 

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