Faial and Horta
|Faial is the smallest of the three "Triangle Islands" and an easy
island to visit and get around. It has one the main airports in the Azores and
there are several ferries every day to Pico from Horta. Ferries to Sao Jorge
run daily in summer and three times a week in winter.|
The town of Horta has several beautiful old buildings and it was of great importance on account of its sheltered harbour. When the first transatlantic cables were laid, Horta was the central communication station and many cable company offices were located here.
There is one main volcanic caldera on the island. The walk around the rim follows rough paths and takes about 2 hours. Lower level walks abound in the event of misty weather and one particulary interesting area to visit is Capelinhos where in 1957 and 1958 several major eruptions occurred creating a volcanic peninsula and half burying a lighthouse.
Horta is a pleasant town to explore with many old shops, cafes and good restaurants. Peter's bar is renowned as a meeting place for travellers and locals alike. Foto Jovial is a small photographic shop in the centre of the town where it is possible to purchase copies or just browse many old photographs of the Azores and their history.
The eruption at Capelinhos - courtesy of Foto Jovial, Horta, Faial.
The best way to the three islands is to fly in directly to Horta on Faial. There are daily flights in the morning from Lisbon to Horta. Convenient ferries connect the islands and crossing times are never more than an hour. It is possible to see whales and dolphins on the boat crossings as an added attraction. If you fly in to Terceira or Sao Miguel there are connecting flights every day to one of the three islands but this is a more expensive alternative.
Although some early flights from London to Lisbon connect with the Horta flight, this is not always the case, and sometimes it is necessary to overnight in Lisbon.