Faial is probably the most cosmopolitan of the central islands and also one of the most beautiful, rising gently through pastureland to the main crater which dominates the island.

Crossing the 4 mile channel which separates the islands of Faial and Pico, you arrive in Horta, the island’s capital and the liveliest and most eye-catching town of the Azores. It is a haven for yachtsmen and whale watchers, filled with colourful yachts which stop here during their voyage across the North Atlantic. The bustling international atmosphere is characteristic to Horta, where yachtsmen, visitors and locals swap dreams and adventures over a beer or coffee.

Faial was the last location of major volcanic activity in the Azores, when Capelinhos erupted (1957-58), adding 1km of land to the island. Today, you can visit the site, it’s interactive museum and marvel at the power of the eruption which engulfed a whole village in 5m of volcanic ash. This area, resembling the surface of the moon, is in stark contrast to the hydrangea-lined lanes of the rest of the island.

A visit to the crater of Monte da Guia above Horta and a climb to the Whaler’s Chapel offer a spectacular view of Faial and Pico. descending from here to the bay of Porto Pim, a sandy beach and safe blue sea awaits you.

Island figures
Length 21km
Breadth 14km
Surface area 173km²
Population 15,000


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