2020 November 1st
Faial Island, Azores
34.9km +2620 -2680m
The Volcanoes Trail starts in the youngest piece of land of Portugal, the Capelinhos volcano, were you have the sensation that you are on another planet. Here it´s possible to walk on a terrain formed by ashes, tuff and volcanic bombs with 58 years old. The start line is at the sea level in the “Comprido´s” port, the most important and biggest whaling station of the Azores between 1940 and 1957, the year that the volcano started his eruption.
The trail rises up through the peninsula of Capelo and crosses 10 sleeping volcanoes entering in the “Levada”, considered the biggest work of hydraulic engineering of the 1960´s decade in Azores. After 9 Km passing through bridges and tunnels of this artificial and spectacular water channel, there´s the arrival to the Caldeira of Faial, one of the most spectacular volcanic caldera´s on the planet. After making it´s perimeter, it starts the descent through old roads to the city of Horta placed in one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Faial Island is located in the Middle of the North Atlantic, in the central group of the Azores archipelago, and is part of the so called "triangle islands", together with São Jorge and the neighbouring Island of Pico, separated by the Faial Channel, a narrow sea inlet about 8 km wide.
The Island covers an area of about 172km2, and is 21km long, with a maximum width of 14km.
Faial underwent considerable development from the 17th century on, making it an important trading post due to its geographical position as a safe haven between Europe and the Americas. More recently it was the communications hub between the continents and today is a mandatory point of reference for international yachting.
The highest point is Cabeço Gordo, in the centre of the island, at 1,043m above sea level. It is a magnificent natural viewpoint which in fine weather enables you to see all the islands of the triangle and as far as Graciosa.
Close by lies a huge crater called Caldeira, about 2km in diameter and 400m deep. It is surrounded by blue hydrangeas and lush vegetation, amongst which cedars, junipers, beeches, ferns and mosses stand out, and some of which are important examples of the original vegetation of the island. This area, the Faial Natural Park, was the first Portuguese tourist destination awarded the EDEN prize (European Destination of Excellence).
In your journey trough the Faial trails, you will be amazed by the expansive view to the ocean, by the majestic volcanic crater that formed, by the natural blue of the sea to the vastness of green from its forests and fields, by the black sands of the last volcanic eruption that grew this island, to the pallet of colours man reflected on their homes.
For those who want to deepen their experience in the Azores, we recommend a 30-minute boat trip to the neighboring island, Pico Island, for a climb to Portugal's highest mountain (2351m), a whale and dolphin watching boat trip, a day of diving, a tour of the historic town of Horta and birdwatching, among many other activities that Faial Island offers.
Wecolme to Volcanoes Trail!
Welcome to Faial Island!
Welcome to Azores!