Azores Adventures – Futurismo

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Faial island

This pristine island is that destination that reeks of Azorean vibes and spirits. Here, everything is possible: even to swim with blue sharks in the Condor seamount!

The main character in its own story, its beauty revolves around the central volcano, Capelinhos. Enjoy the exuberant vegetation and sceneries capable of taking your breath away.

About Faial island

The island of Faial is also known as the Blue Island, name given by the Portuguese poet Raul Brandão due to the large amount of hydrangeas that bloom in the summer. Imagine roaming in those streets full of flowers during a nice and warm summertime. There is no other place you will want to be. 

Faial has so much to offer. Unique landscapes, breathtaking views, pure and authentic nature, special geological formations and delicious flavors. 

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Geography

Faial is part of the central group of the Azores archipelago, formed by five islands – Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial, but also of the “triangle islands” (Pico, São Jorge and Faial, forming a triangle). It is the third most populous island after São Miguel and Terceira, with about 15,000 inhabitants.

Faial is a pentagonal island that is 21 km long and 13 km wide, with a total surface area of 173 km2. It is located about 120 km away from the summit of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The closest island is Pico, only 6km away, and the highest point of the island is Cabeço Gordo, in Caldeira area at about 1,043m of altitude.

Economy

The soil fertility of Faial is what made the first settlers want to populate the island. There was a fast economic growth due to the cultivation of wheat and woad, the main sources of wealth for Faial during two centuries. 

The 18th century’s wealth is based on the production and exportation of oranges, in the whole archipelago including Faial. This is until the mid 19th century, when a disease infected the fruit. The harbor of Horta is also important for stopovers of steamboats and the whaling boats from the United States. The whaling industry will know two phases in Faial: the manufacturing production from 1860 to 1942, and the factory production until 1981.

Nowadays, just like in the other islands, tourism and the service sector are important in Faial, in addition to agriculture, as it occupies about 28% of the total area of the island. Cattle breeding and tuna fishing are significant, as well as dairy products. 

History

The discovery of Faial island happened after the mapping of Terceira, and the first people, 15 Flemish, officially arrived around 1465 in Praia do Almoxarife. The name comes from the abundance of Myrica Faya (Faia-da-terra), a plant native to Macaronesia.

Horta became an official city (the third city to be recognized in the archipelago) in 1833. Now, since the inauguration of the marina in Horta in 1986, Faial has one of the most famous harbors in the world.

In the early 20th century, Faial had a part in the first steps of aviation. Indeed, the first seaplanes will have a stopover there during their North Atlantic journey. The first one was in 1919. In the 1930s and 1940s, the biggest airlines from Europe and America choose the island to moor their planes.

Nature & Geology

In terms of geology, Faial island has so much to offer! The oldest part of the island is its Northeast region, formed about 800,000 years ago.

The current Caldeira was formed about 16,000 years ago during a big eruption that covers 40% of the island’s territory with its pyroclastic flow. Most of the vegetation was then destroyed. Nowadays, the crater with a diameter of 7km is filled with vegetation.

In Faial, there are two major recent eruptions that marked the landscape of the island. Those are The eruption of Cabeço do Fogo, in 1672-1673 and the eruption in Ponta dos Capelinhos, in 1957-1958. Today, ash, sand and the tower of an old lighthouse stand in this place. It is a place of relevance for the international scientific community.

  • Witness Volcanic Activity

    Relive geological phenomena interactively at Capelinhos Volcano Interpretive Center. You will be impressed!

  • Swimming with Sharks

    Being side by side with blue sharks is not fiction. It is on the Condor seamount, an international reference for scientific research, that magic happens.

  • Trailrunning Paradise

    The Azores are at the epicenter of Trail Running worldwide, and Faial is the gateway to the sport’s elite.

  • Tours Faial island in Azores

    Top Sights in Faial island

    Things you must see in Faial island

    Reviews What people think about

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