Azores: Day 6 (Faial)

So the next morning we were heading to Faial. It turned out that in addition to our car, there was only one other car in line for the ferry. Also I wasn’t allowed to ride in the car onboard the ferry because for some reason only the driver could be in the car. I had to go via gate with everybody else, who were traveling without a vehicle. The trip itself took about half an hour as promised. There was good wifi on board the ferry, so it was easy to spend the time. Of course we enjoyed the scenery as well. 🙂

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Madalena

On the ferry I jotted down some of the places we would like to see on Faial, so when we got off the ship we just started driving around the island and stopping at basically every viewing point we saw.

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Miradouro do Ribeiro Seco
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Miradouro do Ribeiro Seco
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Road on Faial

Our first real destination was Ponta dos Capelinhos, which was a really cool rugged beach with a lighthouse. It was really really windy and we got sand everywhere, but the view was impeccable.

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Ponta dos Capelinhos lighthouse
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Ponta dos Capelinhos
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Ponta dos Capelinhos
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Ponta dos Capelinhos

Right next to the lighthouse there was a remaining of a pier of Porto do Comprido, which was the largest whaling station in the Azores until September 1957, when the eruption of Capelinhos began. The only thing that is left is part of the pier, but it still feels unbelievable that this location was once a working harbor.

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Porto do Comprido
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Porto do Comprido

Our next destination was Morro de Castelo Branco, which is a natural reserve and an important nesting site for seabirds. We didn’t really see any birds, but the location was beautiful.

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Morro de Castelo Branco
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Morro de Castelo Branco
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Morro de Castelo Branco
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Morro de Castelo Branco
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Morro de Castelo Branco

You could also glimpse a really nice view of Mount Pico.

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Mount Pico

Our final must see -destination was Caldeira de Faial. Our GPS chose the most obscure route for it, but we saw some more cows on the way. 🙂

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The viewing point of the caldera was again quite high, so the temperature dropped significantly when we drove up there. The view was amazing! There was a lot of fog, so we figured that it is unlikely that we would manage to see anything, but the fog dissipated just as it hit the edges of caldera. And you needed to go through this tunnel! 🙂

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Caldeira de Faial

The caldera has a diameter of 2km and an average depth of 400m.

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Caldeira de Faial
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Caldeira de Faial

At caldera we met a French couple, who were on the same ferry with us. They asked whether we had a car and if it would be possible for them to catch a ride with us. So we got an opportunity to ask them about their hike. They took a cab there and hiked for about 8km around the caldera. Apparently it was really cold and you couldn’t see much because of the fog. The temperature difference was something like 8-10 degrees, so it got much warmer when we drove back down.

Our final stop was at Monte da Guia, which I had no idea what it was, be we still had time. Turned out that Monte da Guia is a part of the Natural Park de Faial and has these water-filled calderinhas.

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Monte da Guia

You get also a nice view of Horta.

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Horta

Then we tried to find something to eat, but with very sad results. We ended up back at the ferry terminal and bough a couple of pastries and drinks. Our way back was uneventful and once again there were just a couple of cars on the ferry. I’m not sure if the situation is much different in summer, but at least we didn’t have to worry that we won’t fit on the last ferry. 🙂

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Back in Madalena

We wanted to get something good to eat and after finding out that Atmosfera was also closed, we decided to drive to Casa Ancora. I virtually never do this when I travel, because I want to try as many new places as possible, but the food at Casa Ancora was so good that it was worth the half an hour drive there.

And the food was gooooood… I had chicken and only then I realized that you can get beef and fish anywhere, but chicken is not served. And compared to other dishes the chicken was more expensive than beef, which is strange. But it was divine! The waiter recommended desserts and we had to try them as well. A perfect last evening on Pico. The only downside was that we couldn’t try all the wine because we had a car, so we had to settle for just one glass. Warmly recommended.

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Casa Ancora

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