The island of Faial offers a number of activities that you will find hard to refuse! The landscapes, the culture, the biodiversity of the natural vegetation, the geological formations and the grand sea of the Azores provide unique and unrepeatable moments.
Here are our suggestions for 6 days of visit:
1st DAY – We suggest that you start by visiting the Botanical Garden of Faial, one of the interpretation centres of the Natural Park of Faial. Here you can get to know the native and endemic plants of the archipelago. Then head to the Caldeira of Faial, one of the obligatory places to visit. Take a hike on the pedestrian trail around the crater and if you want to experience the unique feeling of being inside the crater of a volcano, schedule one more day to descend the Caldeira. Since this trail is a part of the protected area of the Natural Park, the descent has to be accompanied by an accredited guide. You will need to reserve in advance.
2nd DAY – Start by visiting another iconic landmark of the island, the Capelinhos Volcano. This volcano erupted in 1957/58 giving rise to a lunar and inhospitable landscape, Portugal’s youngest piece of land. Afterwards, visit the Interpretation Centre of the Capelinhos Volcano where you can find a lot of information about the geology and volcanology. Finish the day in Porto do Comprido, a port that reminds us of the whaling heritage of the island and which is a great natural spot to bathe in the sea.
3rd DAY – Start the day early in the morning with an unforgettable experience at sea: your diving baptism or a whale-watching tour. In the afternoon, take a walk around the city, visit the yachting marina and let yourself be dazzled by the largest exhibition of public art in the world. Climb to the top of Monte da Guia and end your day watching the sunset at the beautiful and quiet beach of Porto Pim.
4th DAY – We have reserved and entire day for the more daring. Get to know the island on foot trekking along one of the longest pedestrian trails. The Trail of the 10 Volcanos runs across an alignment of 10 volcanic cones and has an extension of 27 km. It begins at Caldeira and ends at Porto do Comprido, in Capelo. The Trail of the Old Paths (Trilho dos Caminhos Velhos) runs along the ancient paths used by the inhabitants of the north-east of the island and has an extension of 16 km. It begins at Caldeira and ends near the Porto da Boca da Ribeira, in Ribeirinha.
5th DAY – Our suggestion is that you explore the north side of the island, Praia do Norte and its vineyards, the small ports of Cedros and Salão, the Ribeirinha lighthouse. Finish your day at Praia do Almoxarife with a fabulous view of Pico Island and its mountain. There are some fantastic horse rides available.
6th DAY – Visit the island of Pico. Taking a 30-minute boat ride, you can visit the Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture, classified since 2004 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many other places of interest.
These are some of the reasons why you will find it so hard to go back home!