Faial

Faial Travel Blog

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View over the town. The islands only white sandy beach is visible. All the other beaches are made of black sand.

After arriving at the airport on Faial and collecting our luggage (which thankfully had not ventured to another airport) we were taken by Taxi to our hotel.  That evening we had time for a quick walk down the main street and a meal at Peters Bar, apparently a famous restaurant.

Breakfast was provided for us at the hotel and there was a huge selection including bacon and egg, cereal, fruit, bread and yoghurt.

View from the local 'mountain'.
  I opted for my standard bowl of cereal with plenty of milk most days.

On the first full day we went for a walk up to the local 'mountain', Monte da Guia, which took a few hours and provided us with magnificent views of Horta, the main town on the island.  We had lunch at a cafe that overlooked the harbour and it was amazing how cheap the food was.  €1.75 (£1.20, $2.35) for a chicken baguette and not much more (€2.50 I think) for burger and chips.  It was really nice food too.

Later in the week, after reading the guide book we discovered that there was a natural phenomenon to be seen from halfway up the Monte da Guia (water shooting out of a hole as the waves hit the coast) and also an interesting walk over the other side of the mountain.  So, we decided to do the walk again.  On getting to the top we found that the extra walk was no longer an option - it had been closed, and for all our looking we saw no sign of water shooting out of a hole.

The Azores are the last stop between Europe and America. When a ship stops here it is tradition to paint on the harbour walls.
  Still, we got some nice views, even if we had already seen them before.

For me the highlights of the holiday were the whale and dolphin watching trips.  Actually we enjoyed them so much that we went on three.  Three times we headed out into the Atlantic ocean in a small inflatable boat.  After a couple of backbreaking waves you realise that when you are about to hit a big wave if you support your weight with your legs, they kind of act as shock absorbers thus preventing your vertebrae from crashing together.  The first trip was the best for seeing dolphins and we saw a number of different species.  The bottle nose dolphins were perhaps the most enjoyable as they leapt into the air, performing the kind of acrobatic manoeuvres that would most likely end my active life if I were to attempt them.  We saw whales in the distance but did not see them deep dive so we went in search of more dolphins on our return journey to Faial, in which we got soaked.

Bottle nose dolphins.

The second trip was not so good and it was cold and wet but the company that we went with told us that we could go on another for half price, which we did.  On this final trip we saw plenty of dolphins again and also saw a couple of Sperm whales deep diving, so we saw their tails.  One of the Sperm whales even surfaced only about 25 meters in front of us, almost under another boat!  Usually you are not allowed to get that close but if they come up right next to you, well, what can you do about it.

Other days were spent driving around the island (with a hired car).  We went to the Caldera, a volcanic crater, although it was cloudy so we did not see anything.  It was still a nice drive to the top.  We also spent some time on a black sand beach, which was something that I had never seen before and it was a great sight.

Devika1985 says:
wow amazing trip! I love animals so i think its great u got to see those beautifull animals!
Posted on: Aug 29, 2007
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View over the town.  The islands o…
View over the town. The islands …
View from the local mountain.
View from the local 'mountain'.
The Azores are the last stop betwe…
The Azores are the last stop betw…
Bottle nose dolphins.
Bottle nose dolphins.
Bottle nose dolphins
Bottle nose dolphins
Bottle Nose dolphins
Bottle Nose dolphins
Bottle Nose dolphin
Bottle Nose dolphin
The tail of a Sperm Whale as it be…
The tail of a Sperm Whale as it b…
View of Pico (Portugals highest mo…
View of Pico (Portugals highest m…
A Lizzard sunning himself on the e…
A Lizzard sunning himself on the …
Norburtos (our whale watching cap…
Norburto's (our whale watching ca…
A black sand beach
A black sand beach
A view down the coast.  The stone …
A view down the coast. The stone…
A lighthouse
A lighthouse
Tree against a pink building - I j…
Tree against a pink building - I …
A flower.  It didnt quite turn ou…
A flower. It didn't quite turn o…
A flower
A flower
Water Lettuce (thanks Scott for pu…
Water Lettuce (thanks Scott for p…
Iron balls
Iron balls
Cooking my own meal at a restarante
Cooking my own meal at a restarante
Faial Sights & Attractions review
Dive Azores - Dolphin Watching
We were taken out on a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) that carried 12 passengers, meaning you always get a good view. The boat was fast and we skipped al… read entire review
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photo by: tridantri