Faial, the Blue Island of the Azores Incredible heritage, wow-amazing natural settings & gastronomy
There’s an island in central group of the Azores nicknamed Blue Island, as it has an incredible amount of hydrangeas in different shades of blue. Theses tones also frame the houses, separate the fields and border the roads. Faial was discovered in 1427, but only colonized in 1432 by Flemish settlers and underwent considerable development in the 17th century, making it an important trading post, due to its geographical position as a safe haven between Europe and Americas.
Nowadays, Faial is a cosmopolitan island with direct flights from Lisbon, fulfilled with scenic and unimaginable sceneries, like Capelinhos Volcano formed by the lava flows from a line of volcanoes along a fault and today counts with interpretation center that was appointed as the Best European Museum in 2012. The Island offers incredible trails in nature, the most fascinating one is going to a huge crater called Caldeira with nearly 2km in diameter and 400m deep that was formed through several eruptions, intertwined with periods of calm along the last 400 thousand years… surrounded by blue hydrangeas and lush vegetation. From the sea, there’s an incredible museum about sperm whales, the museum is in a former factory, still featuring the old and original machinery, used for the several stages of sperm whale processing, from grease extraction to blood milling – these products had relevant role until second half of 20th century.
Faial also has one of the most busiest and famous marina in the world, being constantly linked with international regattas and the distinct Peter’s Café that gathers sailors from every corner of the world. An intriguing feature about the marina is a painted mural on the breakwater, there’s an ancient superstition for sailors to pain it to attain divine protection during the rest of their trip. Departing from the marina it’s possible to do whale watching on board of speedboats and for the brave ones it’s even possible to swim with sharks.
You can visit all these locations with wow-amazing views to the tallest mountain in Portugal situated on Pico Island. Even from your hotel room, located in Horta main town, you can have astonishing panoramic views of Pico Mountain and bay. The most emblematic restaurant from the island is “Genuíno” name after its owner, from whom you’ll hear in person his adventures of sailing the world alone whilst eating the freshest fish and shellfish.