Faial Island: what to see and points of interest

The island of Faial is located in the Azores archipelago and is part of the Central Group, being the westernmost point of the Triângulo Islands.

Its formation has volcanic nature and marked relief, becoming the third most inhabited island of the Azores. The highest point is Cabeço Gordo, in the area of ​​Caldeira, 1,043 meters high.

Learn more in this article about Faial Island, the places and points of interest to visit.

Fotografia de Rui Simas

Faial Island

In this island occurred the most impressive phenomenon of the whole archipelago in the last hundred years: the eruption of the Capelinhos Volcano, between the years of 1957 to 1958. This phenomenon transformed the landscape of the island and increased its total area.

It is believed that the discovery of Faial Island was in 1427 and its colonization in 1432 by Flanders. The name Faial arose because of the high number of these trees in the region, but it is called “Blue Island” by many.

Historically, it was from the 17th century that Faial underwent an enormous development, of significant commercial value, exporter of wine and other agricultural products, besides the growth of the whaling industry, strengthening its economy even in the face of several natural catastrophes that were part of its history.

Fotografia de Rui Simas

The city ​​of Horta is the capital and the heart of Faial Island, with a stunning architecture that differs from all the others in the archipelago, mainly because it is a city near the sea. The various boats that arrive in the Marina of Horta contribute strongly to give life and color to the city.

Other popular activities in Faial Island are the sports practiced at sea, such as sailing, windsurfing, rowing, diving, snorkeling, among others.

The flora and fauna of the island are lush, rich in rock formations and volcanic eruptions. For those who enjoy diving or snorkeling, the seabed is another wonder to explore.

See below the main attractions of this beautiful Azorean island and that certainly deserve your visit.

Places to visit on Ilha do Faial

Horta City

Fotografia de Rui Simas

Historic city of Faial Island, Horta is a charm for all who visit it. It is located on the east coast of the island, facing the neighboring island of Pico, and you can see the Pico Mountain, which is 2,351 meters high.

The city has many attractions and for those interested in learning more about the island’s ethnography, as well as its history and cosmopolitanism, do not miss the Horta Museum and the Scrimshaw Museum.

Another great highlight is the Peter Café Sport, considered a must visit place, historical and cultural landmark of the Azores, already voted among the best bars in the world. They say the place serves the best tonic gin in the world. And to get this doubt, nothing better than experiment!

Marina da Horta

Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

Is deceived who thinks that the one that catches more attention in the Marina of Horta are the bulky types of boats. On the contrary, the great highlight of the place are the grafitis throughout the beautiful Marina.

The paintings and stories from all over the world, the moored boats, all this makes the surrounding place a must stop for all visitors.

Considered the most important Marina in the Azores and the fourth most visited Marina in the world, it holds up to 300 boats.

Caldeira do Cabeço Gordo

Fotografia de Renata Monteiro

Located in the parish of Capelo, Caldeira do Cabeço Gordo is the most remarkable and elevated point of Faial Island, with 1,043 meters of altitude. In the place is the famous viewpoint, which offers breathtaking landscapes of Faial, dominated by the greenery of the vegetation and the blue of the sea.

A sense of peace and tranquility. Fascinating!

Capelinhos Volcano

Vulcão dos Capelinhos
Vulcão dos Capelinhos
Fotografia de Carla Dias

In this year of 2018, it will be 60 years since the Capelinhos Volcano emerged from the bottom of the sea.

The phenomenon became a milestone in the history of world volcanology and everything happened in the sea itself, next to the Capelinhos Islands, where the violent and frightening explosions happened, with the destruction of the lighthouse and some houses near the place.

There was an increase of the total area of ​​the Island of Faial, that today it adds approximately 173,1 km ².

Centro de Interpretação do Vulcão dos Capelinhos

It is the main place to get information about the history of the Capelinhos Volcano, offering a series of exhibitions that show visitors the eruption of the volcano, the formation of the Azores archipelago and other stories about volcanism around the world.

In 2012, the European Museum Forum named the Interpretation Center as the best museum in Europe, highlighting the historical importance of this place.

There is also an auditorium, a temporary exhibition of samples of rocks and mines and the Lighthouse, where you have a magnificent view of the place. No doubt the Interpretation Center can not be left out of your route.

Monte da Guia & Miradouro do Monte da Guia

Monte da Guia, Ilha do Faial - Açores
Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta

Originated from the eruption of a volcano in the sea and thus attached to the Island of Faial, Monte da Guia is another place of the Azores that leaves anyone so impressed with such beauty, with a great view of the Monte da Guia Natural Reserve , classified as Area Protected Landscape, due to its geological formation, fauna and endemic flora.

To appreciate even more, the site has a viewpoint, which offers a panoramic double view, on the Caldeira do Inferno (or “caldeirinhas”) and on the coast of the Bay of Porto Pim and the city of Horta. Great place for great pictures!

Forte de Porto Pim

Forte de Porto Pim - Ilha do Faial, AçoresFotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

Located in the parish of Angústias, in the Bay of Porto Pim, the Fort had as main characteristic to maintain the defense of the city of Horta, in the Island of Faial.

The Porto Pim Fort was also called the Patrol or Bomber Redoubt, and its construction took place around the 17th century. Historians believe that at the end of the 19th century the Fort served as warehouse and warehouse of ship support materials. It has relevant historical value for Faial Island and Azores.

Praia de Porto Pim

Fotografia de Rui Simas

Located in the Bay of Porto Pim, within the city of Horta, Porto Pim Beach has volcanic origin, and such origin can be easily identified by the elevations added to the place, Monte da Guia and Monte Queimado.

Fábrica da Baleia - Ilha do Faial, AçoresFotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) SIARAM

In the place is the Factory of the Whale of Porto Pim , whose importance is returned to the past of the Island of Faial. Currently the factory is an interpretive center of the old whaling activity of the Azores. The beach is very beautiful, with calm, safe waters and spectacular scenery all around.

Praia de Almoxarife

Praia do Almoxarife - Ilha do Faial, AçoresFotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

One of the most frequented beaches of Faial Island, Praia do Almoxarife, offers its visitors a beautiful panoramic view of Pico Island and is very close to the city center.

The beach offers all support for disabled guests, as well as toilets, showers, bar and restaurant. For lovers of camping, there is a park next to the place suitable for the activity.

Praia do Norte

Considered one of the most beautiful parishes of the Island of Faial, Praia do Norte draws attention for its extensive green mantles, fresh air and traditions, leaving all the visitors that pass there fascinated by the natural beauties.

And it is worth mentioning that this parish was marked by catastrophes, which caused great destruction throughout its territory, but was recovered thanks to the efforts of its population. The place has the only Faial fajã and unique beauty. It deserves your visit!

Piscinas do Varadouro

Piscinas do Varadouro - Ilha do Faial - Açores
Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Paulo H. Silva / SIARAM

The Swimming Pools of the Varadouro were formed by volcanic rocks and is a very pleasant place, which allows a fantastic view of the horizon over the blue sea. The waters are clear and transparent, good for diving and taking great pictures.

The place has support structures, such as toilets and showers, as well as a bar and accessibility for people with reduced mobility, bringing comfort and safety for everyone.

Igreja São Salvador (Igreja Matriz)

Igreja São Salvador - Matriz - Ilha do Faial, Açores
Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

It is the Church of the Island of Faial, having been builded  in 1680, next to the College of the Jesuits. The most outstanding feature is the profusion of golden carvings, the Chapels of Senhora da Boa Morte, São Paulo, Nossa Senhora and the Santíssimo, housing a variety of relics, works of glazing, rich wooden images, among others, making it a church luxurious and with important historical heritage.

Currently, in the dependencies of the College of the Jesuits, there is the Museum of Horta, with an exquisite estate belonging to the history of Faial Island.

Torre do Relógio

Torre do Relógio - Ilha do Faial, AçoresFotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

Built in the early 18th century, the Torre do Relógio was added to the whole of the Matriz Church. It is situated in the historical center of the city of Horta and is considered one of the most emblematic architectural elements.

Next to the Florêncio da Terra Garden, the tower offers visitors a panoramic view of the city of Horta and also the islands of the triangle.

Botanical Garden of Faial

Jardim Botânico do Faial - Açores
Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

Opened to the public since 1986, the Botanical Garden of Faial is the ideal place for all lovers of flora, whose mission is to maintain conservation, study and promote environmental education.

The visitor will know the most rare plants of the Azores, as well as historical agricultural crops, an orchid garden, a collection of medicinal and aromatic plants.

Jardim Botânico do Faial - Açores
Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Néri Goulart

There is a permanent exhibition related to the Natural History of the Vegetation of the Azores , quite interesting and worth the visit.

Location, Hours and Prices, see page .

Ponta da Espalamaca

Ponta da Espalamanca - Ilha do Faial, Açores
Fotografia retirada de Turismo da Horta (C) Paulo H. Silva / SIARAM

The Ponta da Espalamaca is the highest part of Horta and Almoxarife Beach and has one of the best viewpoints on the island, where you can see the movement of the port and Marina, as well as the possibility to see the other islands that make up the archipelago of the Azores, such as Pico Island, São Jorge Island and Graciosa Island.

Another highlight of the place is the image of Our Lady of the Conception, which enchants all the faithful who pass through there, 30 meters high.

Other places to visit and activities in Ilha do Faial

These are just a few highlights of places to visit on Faial Island, explore the island and enjoy every minute of your stay.

Learn and see more about Faial Island:

> Horta Tourism
> Photos of Faial
> Videos of Faial
> Restaurants at Faial
> Services at Faial
> Accomcodation at Faial

If you are planning to travel to the Azores , be sure to visit Faial Island, a place full of natural beauties and points of interest to visit. Worth it!

> See also: 10 activities to do during your stay.

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