What can be more beautiful than a peaceful sea breeze, pastoral green mountains, and an island covered with baby blue hydrangeas? The small island of Faial, known as the ‘blue island,’ overlooks Pico’s beautiful mountainous island, which is the highest point in all of Portugal. On this small island with just under 20,000 residents, you can experience one of the Azores islands most visited, yet least spoiled islands in the Atlantic.
This enchanting island’s history dates back to the early days of European exploration back in the 15th century. The island had gained its reputation as an international stopover point for transatlantic crossings. The tradition, culture, and eco-friendly lifestyle that has always existed here on the island for centuries has maintained a delicate balance with its environmental obligations and the steady flow of tourists who come to this enchanting island.
The mosaic cobblestone streets, friendly local population, and the impressive agricultural sector have allowed this small island to stay relatively self resilient. The island is famous as a stopover destination for sailors, yachters, and hydrangea lovers. This is one of the best spots in the world to see hydrangeas, which blanket the island during the months of May until early September.
Peter’s cafe & sports bar is one of the Atlantic’s most popular watering holes, with its rich history and excellent drinks. It is worth visiting this popular landmark destination which has existed on the island for decades. There is a couple of interesting 17th-century lighthouses that are still in use on the island as well. The lighthouses on the island are excellent to go and explore. They are significant cultural icons that you can experience firsthand while imagining the 15th-century townsmen watching out for pirate ships and possible invaders who often attempted to capture this beautiful island. Nowadays they are popular with couples who want an excellent sunset view along the island’s coast.
This section of the Azores archipelago is a popular spot for whale watching and dolphin encounters. It is here in the safe waters surrounding the Azores that dozens of varieties of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles call home. The island of Pico, which is visible from Faial, is one of the main islands that offer this tour since they are just a short boat ride away. An island with a unique rhythm to it, Faial is an island that is relaxed yet dignified. An island of appreciation and thankfulness. Being located in the mid-Atlantic ocean, it is a spot that when boaters after sometimes thousands of miles of travel arrive here and can’t wait to relax and enjoy the local hospitality.
However, the island is dependant on its ability to have ease of access to the other islands in the Azores. Faial has benefited from both ferry access to the island and regional air travel. The main islands that fly into Faial are the two larger islands, “Sao Miguel” and “Terceira” which offer direct flights to all 9 Azorean islands through the island’s regional carrier ‘Azores Airlines.’
- Capital City: Horta
- Population: 20,000
- 1 km of land was added in 1957 when the volcano erupted on the island
- Currency: Euro
- Ferry: Atlanticoline which runs seasonally
- Air: Regional airport with flights from Sao Miguel and Terceira islands daily
- Accommodation: Local guest houses for an authentic island experience.
- Economy: Great restaurants and a small downtown with a lively town square. Buying locally grown foods and authentic “Azorean made” goods are important to the lifeblood of the economy. Here it is an island of exports not imports.