The diversity of the Faial Natural Park is object of admiration and contemplation of all visitors. Considered by the European Commission as a European Destination of Excellence (EDEN), the Natural Park is filled with sweeping landscapes, unique birds and plants and iconic geological formations, all of them surrounded by a magnificent blue, pure and alive sea.
Created in 2008, the mission of the Natural Park is the preservation of this magnificent natural heritage and of the cultural heritage received from a long history of coexistence between man and nature, based on a sustainable and lasting development.
In order to provide a quality visit to each visitor, the Natural Park includes four environmental centers (Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre, Faial Botanical Garden, Porto Pim Aquarium - Live Fish Station and Dabney’s House) and a support house (Roadman’s House), nine walking trails, two walking circuits and one mountain bike circuit. There is also a wide range of activities and products offered by the Park partners.
The biodiversity of Faial is evident through the 855 vascular plant species that can be found throughout the island, 57 of which are endemic, i.e. that exist only in the Azores. The ecosystems, specially the Laurel Forest are precious habitats - associated with species of fauna and flora found nowhere else in the world, such as birds, bats, arthropods, etc. The sea of Faial is an extraordinary mosaic of colors, shadows, smells, sounds, silences and emotions, and is emblematic in the life forms it holds, such as cetaceans, seabirds, sharks and all other inhabitants.
Faial still has six geosites of remarkable geodiversity: Caldeira, Graben of Pedro Miguel, Monte da Guia, Morro de Castelo Branco, Capelo Peninsula and Capelinhos - Costado da Nau.
All and each of these elements are good reasons to enjoy and fall in love. Adventure yourself!
Top things to do
Faial Botanic Garden
Faial Botanical Garden enchants visitors since 1986 thanks to its exceptional beauty thus being considered a mandatory visit. With a main garden in the district of Flamengos and an altitude garden in Pedro Miguel, it aims for the conservation and study of the Azorean natural flora, science dissemination and environmental education. The Garden houses Azores rarest plants, historical agricultural crops, a beautiful orchid greenhouse, a collection of medicinal and aromatic plants, as well samples of the main invasive species in the archipelago.
The rehabilitation works of the Garden received an honorable mention in the awards of Portugal Tourism.
Located in the middle of the island, it is a two km wide and 400 metre deep volcanic cone. It is classified as a nature reserve and showcases rare endemic flora species.
Ponta dos capelinhos Lighthouse
Due to the volcanic eruption, this lighthouse ceased to function in 1957. It was built using plastered stone masonry.
Marina of Horta
The main recreational harbour of the Azores, this marina is one of the most busy and famous in the world. It is a linking point for international regattas, and superstition tells sailors to paint a mural on the breakwater in order to attain divine protection during the rest of their trip.
Peter Café Sport
World famous amongst sailors, it opened in 1918 and is a cosmopolitan meeting point for people from all walks of life, including whalers, telephone technicians, seamen and even secret agents.