Castelo Branco, Capelo and Ribeirinha
Full day (8 hours)
Ever since their settlement, the Azoreans have managed to coexist with the volcanic origin of these islands, in an audacious and wise way. Experiencing and understanding how this coexistence unfolded, takes more than letting yourself feel dazzled by the magnificent landscapes of Faial: visiting its built heritage is also required. Marked by successive volcanic and seismic phenomena, this built heritage testifies its unique history, which can be characterized by human resilience facing the power of nature.
We start by visiting the coastal area known as Ponta Furada, marked by cliffs with several arches and caves formed by marine erosion. From the Lajinha Viewpoint, we can enjoy a great panoramic view of this coastal area, one of the most beautiful of the island.
We head to Morro de Castelo Branco, a well-known, panoramic location of great geological interest on the island. Being such a unique area, it also gave the name to the parish of Castelo Branco. After enjoying the view from this hill, or wandering through one of the walking trails that lead to the dome, perhaps we can take the opportunity to taste the famous cured cheese Queijo Curado Morro, inspired by Morro de Castelo Branco.
The next point of visit is the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre, winner of several national and international awards, highlighting its architecture, perfectly adapted to the particular landscape where it is located. In this informative, educational and scientific space, you will be able to learn about the main volcanic phenomena, and the historical eruptions that took place in this archipelago, as well as in other parts of the world. It features several exhibitions, mainly focusing on the eruption of the Capelinhos Volcano, and the formation of the Archipelago of the Azores .
After lunch, we head to Caldeira Volcano, a large volcanic structure that occupies most of the island's area. It was formed by numerous eruptions over the last 400,000 years, and possesses a large depression at the top, with about 2 km in diameter, the Caldeira. In Cabeço Gordo, on the southern edge of the Caldeira, is reaches the highest altitude in Faial (1043 meters), from where we are able to enjoy a unique landscape of Faial as well as of neighboring islands.
Although the Capelinhos Volcano eruption can be considered one of the most destructive and emblematic historical eruptions in Faial, other volcanic phenomena have marked its history, experiences and, of course, its built heritage, as evidenced by the ruins of the Ribeirinha Lighthouse, destroyed by the earthquake of July 9, 1998. These catastrophes can be viewed as an eloquent testimony of the forces of Nature and Planet Earth's dynamics, taking place in this particular area of the Atlantic, standing on a triple junction of tectonic plates.
We end the visit at the Morro da Espalamaca, one of the geosites of the island you definitely cannot miss for a late afternoon, panoramic view over the Horta bay!
Terça-feira a domingo, com marcação prévia
Guided, self-guided or self-guided with support
Recommended means of transportation
Don't leave out:
• Império dos Nobres
• Horta Marina
• Monte Queimado and Monte da Guia - hiking trail
• Taste the cured Morro Cheese, a product produced by the "Queijaria o Morro", inspired by the morphology of the Morro de Castelo Branco