Faial

Faial Island formerly spelled Fayal on ancient maps,  is a Portuguese island of the Central Group (Portuguese: Grupo Central) of the Azores.    It has had a number of other names throughout history ie.  Isla da Ventura, Isla  da Sao Luis

Along with its nearest neighbouring islands, Pico (east across the channel) and São Jorge (northeast across the channel), it forms an area commonly known as the Trianglo (English: Triangle).

The island is also referred to as the Ilha Azul (English: Blue Island), derived from the writings of Portuguese poet Raul Brandão, due to the large quantity of hydrangeas that bloom during the summer months:

“The man that had the idea to border the road with these plants should have a statue on the island. In no other place, do they prosper better: they need a covering of light, humidity and heat…they are in their place. Their blue, is the blue that adorns the Azores on lipid days…this is a blue that is even more blue, the bunches of flowers of a colour more intense and more fresh. They are in every direction: rising along the roads and the fields forming hedges; they serve to divide the parcels and to cover the peaceful animals.”

Faial is a tourist’s island with a rich collection of historical, protected natural areas, as well as other natural and modern attractions that annually attract yachts, cruise ships, tourist groups and the naturalists to the hills and streets of the island.

There are hotels, bed & breakfasts as well as room rentals scattered throughout the parishes at decent prices.  The visitor looking for a beach and sun will most likely travel to the black sand beaches of Praia de Almoxarife, Conceição and Porto Pim, as well as the rock pools scattered along the coast.

Faial is not the best “hiking” island or “walking holiday island” of the triangle but there is easy access from there to Sao Jorge Island where you have hiking trails that go on and on, not to mention Mount Pico on Pico island that provides spectacular views on clear days.    Each of the islands have their own distinct appeal and beauty regardless of their proximity.

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