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Faial

Faial is the Atlantic parlour. It is ostentatious with natural riches where pauses between climbs and descents are made on beds of hydrangeas. It is a point of reference for sailors, architects, and travellers searching for a cathedral of silence and beauty

Places to Visit

Monte da Guia Belvedere

Photo by Associação Regional de Turismo

The Guia Mountain is an ancient volcano originating from the sea which became attached to Faial Island. It is classified as a Special Protection Zone due to its endemic fauna. The square at Nossa Senhora da Guia Chapel, patron saint of fisherman and sailors, provides a dual panoramic view of the hot springs which form a figure 8, as well as the coastal area of Porto Pim and the city of Horta.

Espalamaca Belvedere
Promontory over the City and Beach of Almoxarife. Excellent observation point of the hustle and bustle of the Horta Marina which is of international repute, being frequented by yachtmen who cruise the Atlantic. From this point, one can get the true sensation of being in an archipelago, as it is possible to simultaneously view Faial Island as well as the Islands of Pico, S. Jorge and Graciosa. The 30-metre high statue of Our Lady of Conception lends an air of grandeur of the scene.

Pilar Belvedere
From the north bank of Horta, one can admire the slopes and the hustle and bustle of the city. It has a panoramic telescope which helps to observe details.

Ribeira das Cabras Belvedere
From the top of the cliff over Cabras Bay and Fajã Beach, there is a magnificent view of the scenery of the northwest coast up to Capelinhos Volcano.

Capelinhos Vulcano

Photo by Oficina do Lazer

Volcano originating from a submarine eruption with a final airborne phase. It was active from 27 September 1957 to 24 OCtober 1958 (13 months). It is one of the most classical volcanoes in the world of volcanology, with an inhospitable and almost lunar scenery. Natural Reserve of high geological, biological and scenic interest, classified as a Site of Community Importance under the Natura 2000 Network. Inaugurated in August 2008, the Centro Interpretativo is a recommended place to visit. “The Interpretative Centre of the Capelinhos Volcano is placed in the Azores Archipelago, on the most western side of Faial Island, near to the Lighthouse and the Capelinhos Volcano witch last activity was in 1957/58. The Centre has different areas of visitation; an Temporary Exhibitions Room, collections of samples of rocks and minerals, films about the Azores and the Capelinhos Volcano and an Interpretative Volcano and other volcanic activities and the formation of the Azores Archipelago. You will climb the lighthouse and enjoy this recent volcanic landscape.”

“Caldeira do Faial”
Crater of the largest volcano in the Faial Island, about 400m deep and with a diameter of 2km. Since it lodges rare populations of endemic flora from the Azores, which form exuberant natural communities here, it was classified as a Place of Community Interest from the Natura 2000 Network. Descent to this area is prohibited, as an alternative one can take a 2 ½ hour hike on the Pedestrian Trail which surrounds the hot spring and provides fascinating scenic views.

Faial Botanical Garden
Its aim is to conserve the biological diversity and hence all the natural flora of the Azores. Its mission is both the environmental education and awareness. It also provides information on exotic and medicinal plants.

Florêncio Terra Garden
Old Public Garden with a wooden bandstand in its centre, surrounded by a small artificial lake and decorated with four statues which represent the Four Seasons. There are several plant species, with special attention to the 5 secular dragon trees (Dracaena draco), a species considered to be endemic of Macaronesia, and a Norfolk Island pine (Araucária heterophylla). Because of its beauty, spaciousness and view, concerts and other cultural events are held here during the summer.

Praça da República
Praça da República Garden dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. In this garden one will be able to find an artificial lake with a small bridge over it and paved walks in the spaces. The vegetation is diverse, in particular the Norfolk Island Pines (classified by Regional Legislative Decree) and the Ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba). Adding to the beauty of the centre of the garden, there is an octagonal-shaped bandstand with cast iron rails and a wooden roof. Adjacent to the municipal market it is one of the most popular gardens in the city of Horta.

Praça Infante D. Henrique
In this garden at the Horta Marina, there are four types of palm tree from the Canary islands (Phoenix canariensis) planted in the transition from the 19th to 20th Centuries, which are eye-catching due to their size. This space considered a meeting and leisure point of he city par excellence, is filled with the red colour by the time the Metrosiderus trees (Metrosiderus Robusta) start blooming during the month of June.

Santíssimo Salvador Mother-Church
Integrated in the Colégio dos Jesuítas, the Santíssimo Salvador Church is one of the largest temples in the Azores. With a baroque style, this church is a good example of the Portuguese religious art of the 18th century.

Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church
Built in the 17th/18th centuries, in baroque style, it belomged to the Order of Terceira Convent. In its interior, one can still admire the baroque décor in carved gold, the figurative Joanino tiles, as well as the group of pictures from the 18th century. The church is a striking feature of the cityscape of Horta, due to its size and high location.

Nossa Senhora das Angústias Church
The construction of the Angústias Church began in 1800, on the site of Santa Cruz Chapel, founded by the first captain, Joss Van Hurtere and his wife D. Brites de Macedo, who were buried there. Built in neo-classic style, with the weapons from the first noble families of the island stored in the caissons of the high altar in the ceiling.

Horta Regional Museum

Photo by Associação Regional de Turismo

Built in the old Jesuit College, the museum exhibits pieces related to the history of the Island and its port. It has several pieces of an ethnographical and popular nature, as well as furniture. It exhibits a grand collection of pictures of Arte Sacra from the 16th century to the 19th century. Of note is the collection of unique works in fig tree wood done and donated by the Faialan artist, Euclides Rosa, who died in 1979.

Algar Windmill
Windmill with a two-storeyed masonry fized body and a bulb-shaped red turning dome. The dome is rotated by a system of three wooden beams which unite in a single point close to the floor. This system allows rotating and holding the vanes in the best position to catch the wind.

Windmills at Espalamaca

Photo by Associação Regional de Turismo

Classified as Buildings of Public Interest, their construction dates back to the end of the 19th/20th centuries. Rotational two-floor mills, with a lower level in brickwood and an upper level in red painted wood, make an impact on the scenery with their striking presence. They present lattice-style sails of Flemish influence and triangular sails of Portuguese continental influence.

Scrimshaw Museum

Photo by Associação Regional de Turismo

Located in the top floor of Peter café Sport, the Scrimshaw Museum was inaugurated in 1986 and has the biggest and most beautiful private collection of Scrimshaw Art in the world. This whale art, which originated in the 19th century among whaling fleets, consists of sculpting or engraving and painting of scenery, religious and whaling scenes or portraits on the teeth and bones of sperm whales. This Museum also has got a vast collection of useful and decorative pieces done in whale ivory and whale bone, as well as a splendid collection of photographs, manuscripts, maps, books and other documents related to Whale Hunting and to Navigation.

Sea Centre – Old Whale Factory
At the Old Whale Factory, today known as the Sea Centre which is situated in the Bay of Porto Pim, it is possible to learn about the whole process of manufacture and use of cetaceans, from the cutting of the carcass to the collection of ambergris and oil as well as packing of bone meal. Here the machinery used throughout the process is exhibited: boilers, machines for grinding, cooking, pressing and drying of whale meat. The photographic exhibition helps to understand this now obsolete activity. A scale replica of a sperm whale can be seen.


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