The 5 best things to do in Faial, Azores

This page has been translated automatically.

Faial, one of the enchanting islands of the Azores archipelago, is a must-see destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you're exploring the breathtaking volcanic landscapes of the Caldera, diving in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island or admiring the marine life, reconnect with nature...

Covering an area of 173 km2, the island of Faial in the Azores is just a few kilometres from Pico, just 1? hours away by ferry!

Born around 800,000 years ago as the result of a tectonic fracture over 350 km long (which also contributed to the formation of the island of Pico) and then rising from the waters hundreds of thousands of years later, this natural formation is a veritable paradise offering a host of activities to do. Nicknamed the "blue island" because of the abundance of hydrangeas that line its roads and paths, Faial offers a multitude of activities for visitors.

map of Faial
Google Maps

Whether on land or at sea, you'll have unforgettable adventures on your doorstep on this island in the middle of the Atlantic.

Whale watching

whale watching on Faial
Azores Experiences

Whale watching on Faial is clearly a must in the Azores! Indeed, the biodiversity speaks volumes... From whales to dolphins, sperm whales to roqual whales, Faial is a rich and varied habitat for the marine species of the Atlantic.

Faial's unspoilt environment makes it a destination not to be missed. Its clean, protected waters offer perfect conditions for observing this fauna. The excursions will be led by experts in marine biology, and you'll learn all about the culture and history. As well as learning some chilling anecdotes, you'll feel like a sailor five centuries back in time. What's more, did you know that this archipelago is a famous crossing point for many species? That makes the marine experience all the more rewarding! Marvel at these giant creatures with their breathtaking panorama, surrounded by volcanoes and impressive cliffs.

Scuba diving

Scuba diving in Faial, Azores
Haliotis Faia

Stay at sea! Here's an activity you won't want to miss if you're interested in the previous activity! This time, dive underwater to marvel even closer...

With adventure scuba diving in Faial, you can choose from eight popular dive sites, which can also be visited by boat. At Princesa Alice, for example, you can admire mobula rays, tuna, sharks and turtles in visibility of up to 40 metres. Another famous diving spot on Faial is Baixa da Feiteira, which starts at a depth of 12 metres and ends at 32 metres. Here you can spot barracudas, red mullets and serrans.

Take your PADI course in Faial

PADI courses in Faial
Haliotis Faial

Want to dive for yourself? You can take a PADI course in Faial, a renowned centre! You have a choice of training: discovery, scuba diving, Open-Water (5 online theory lessons followed by a test and exam on the online learning platform, five pool lessons and four open water dives) or advanced level.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world's most renowned diver training organisation, with a total of 29 million certifications. The rigorous training of PADI dive instructors ensures that your dive certification course is both fun and safely supervised.

Faial is one of the best destinations for this type of training, thanks to its marine biodiversity and numerous magnificent dive sites. PADI training programmes are designed to be accessible to beginners, while offering advanced levels for experienced divers. Courses include theory sessions, pool practice and open water dives, allowing for safe and structured progression.

Snorkelling underwater

Snorkelling trip to Faial
Haliotis Faial

Why not try snorkelling in Faial? Continue discovering the underwater diversity while adding to your excursion like holding your breath! During your session, you can snorkel and dive at the same time. Freediving allows you to reconnect with nature and become aware of the present moment, as well as rediscovering true harmony with the underwater world.

You'll explore the crystal-clear waters and rich marine ecosystems that surround the island, where you'll marvel at colourful coral reefs, exotic fish, and perhaps even stingrays and octopus. You'll visit popular sites such as Porto Pim, with its calm, clear waters ideal for surface diving. Swimming along the rocky coastline, you'll see impressive underwater volcanic formations and a diversity of marine life that's hard to match. Snorkelling in Faial will be a rewarding and accessible adventure, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Azores in a safe and enjoyable way.

Volcanic hikes

Faial crater
Azores Getaway

The island, shaped by intense volcanic activity, boasts dramatic and varied landscapes that bear witness to its tumultuous past. One of the most iconic walks on Faial is around Caldeira, a huge volcanic crater in the centre of the island. This circular trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of the interior of the caldera, covered in lush vegetation, as well as of the other islands of the Azores archipelago on a clear day.

Another must-do hike leads to the Capelinhos volcano, at the western tip of Faial, where visitors can explore the desolate, lunar-like wasteland resulting from the 1957-1958 eruption. This unique landscape, marked by volcanic ash and spectacular rock formations, is complemented by a modern interpretation centre that tells the story of this dramatic eruption. These walks not only showcase Faial's natural beauty, but also provide an insight into the geological forces that have sculpted this fascinating island.


canyoning in faial
Visit Azores

Canyoning in Faial is an exhilarating adventure that allows thrill-seekers to discover the island's natural landscapes in a unique and immersive way. Travelling along rivers and waterfalls, participants can explore spectacular canyons sculpted by water over the centuries. The activity combines abseiling, swimming, jumping into crystal-clear natural pools and traversing narrow passages between impressive rock faces. You'll need to be prepared to walk and be in good physical condition for moderate to low-intensity efforts lasting around 3 hours.

Faial, with its rugged terrain and dynamic rivers, offers canyoning sites suited to different levels of ability, from beginners to experts. The experience is supervised by professional guides who ensure safety while sharing their in-depth knowledge of the island's geology and ecosystem. Canyoning in Faial offers a thrilling adventure in direct contact with the wild, unspoilt nature of the Azores. The Ribeira dos Cedros canyon, for example, located in a verdant region of the island, offers a pleasant descent with several waterfalls and natural pools. It's an ideal place for beginners, thanks to its accessible jumps and slides.

Horse riding

hiking in faial

Horse riding in Faial offers a tranquil and immersive way to discover the island's picturesque landscapes. Horse riding is not only a relaxing adventure, but also a unique opportunity to connect with Faial's geological history and natural beauty. The bridle paths take visitors through lush green meadows, lush forests and spectacular coastlines, while enjoying the soothing rhythm of horseback riding.

One popular route is to the Caldera, where riders can admire the vast volcanic crater surrounded by dense and diverse vegetation. Another popular route runs along the Capelinhos cliffs, offering breathtaking views of the volcanic rock formations and the Atlantic Ocean. Local stables, such as those in Cedros and Horta, offer excursions to suit all levels, from beginners to experienced riders, giving everyone the chance to enjoy an unforgettable experience in harmony with nature.

Towards other adventures in the Azores

Other adventures await you on this Portuguese archipelago. The neighbouring island of Pico offers other activities such as sea kayaking, where you can paddle through beautiful scenery. If you want to discover scuba diving orwildlife watching, find your next destination!

And if you want to continue discovering the natural treasures of the Azores, read thearticle on which Azores island to visit...