Horta

This eco experience is designed for active people in good health who are able to swim, have a spirit of adventure and wish to get close to nature. A 10-minute drive takes guests to the Whale Watching Base, whose staff will be pleased to answer questions and share their knowledge of marine life and the fascinating history of whaling in and around the Azores. After an introductory briefing jump into a RIB with your skipper and marine biologist and head out to sea. The northeast mid-Atlantic location of the islands attracts 24 species of cetaceans, of which sperm whales are the most common. Other whales encountered include the humpback, minke, blue, sei, northern bottlenose and Sowerby's beaked whale. The dolphin species most commonly seen are pilot whales, orcas, false killer whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins and Risso's dolphins. This tour ensures sighting of at least one of these amazing creatures.

tour 1 Dolphin & Whale Watching

This eco experience is designed for active people in good health who are able to swim, have a spirit of adventure and wish to get close to nature. A 10-minute drive takes guests to the Whale Watching Base, whose staff will be pleased to answer questions and share their knowledge of marine life and the fascinating history of whaling in and around the Azores. After an introductory briefing jump into a RIB with your skipper and marine biologist and head out to sea. The northeast mid-Atlantic location of the islands attracts 24 species of cetaceans, of which sperm whales are the most common. Other whales encountered include the humpback, minke, blue, sei, northern bottlenose and Sowerby's beaked whale. The dolphin species most commonly seen are pilot whales, orcas, false killer whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins and Risso's dolphins. This tour ensures sighting of at least one of these amazing creatures.

tour 2 Caldeira Hike

   
   

Experience a half-day (four-hour) adventure hiking the huge central volcano of Faial Island. Embark from the pier and board your coach for the short drive past the main street of Horta up to the Espalamaca viewpoint where you can see the other Central Group islands (Pico, São Jorge, and Graciosa). Continue the drive until you arrive near the highest point of the Caldeira, the most iconic feature of Faial. Look into the crater that is 400 meters deep to spot nice examples of plants endemic to the island. Begin your two-and half-hour hike along the small and quite steep path to Cabeço Gordo, the highest point of the crater. Hike for another mile on a small, paved road until once again the path becomes narrow and a bit more difficult. Walk the circumference of the crater until your lollipop route brings you back to the beginning. On a pleasant and clear day, look to the beautiful view deep in the crater, then shift your gaze across the island with its contrasting green pastures and woodlands. On a day that is foggy and wet, move through the atmosphere that has been described as mystical and moody. Once you have completed your hike, reboard your coach for the 30-minute drive back to the pier.

tour 3 Afternoon Town Stroll

Embark from the pier on foot for an afternoon town walk in Horta, founded in 1467. Take a twenty-minute stroll to the local market followed by a relaxed walk to the main town center where cobblestone streets slope toward the harbor, flanked by genteel houses and the imposing facades of churches that look out over the ocean. Get the occasional glimpse in breaks between buildings of the volcanic peaks that rise behind the town, or Pico Island to the east. Next, stop at the Peter Café Sport, world famous amongst sailors. Opened in 1918, this is a cosmopolitan meeting point for people from all walks of life. Rub elbows with transatlantic sailors from all over the world and raise a glass of their famous gin and tonic before leaving. Amble over to Peter's Scrimshaw Museum, a Horta must. This art-form was introduced to Horta in the 1800s, in the days when American whaling boats would moor at the harbor. See the exacting detailed artistry of the best scrimshaw artists who worked on the islands and are represented in these collections. It is considered one of the most beautiful scrimshaw collections in the world. Walk to the marina of Horta, the main recreational harbor of the Azores and one of the busiest and most famous in the world. In fact, it is a port of call or final destination for a number of international races like Les Sables-Les Açores-Les Sables and ARC Europe. Look at the jetties and seawall plastered with colorful messages left by the international yachtsmen over the years.

tour 4 Capelinhos Interpretation Center

Depart the pier for a 50-minute coach ride to the Capelinhos volcano via the island's southern route through the towns of Feteira and Castelo Branco offering glorious views of Pico Island and its soaring mountain. The Capelinhos submarine eruption occurred in 1957, with the volcano rising from the sea and remaining active for 13 months. This natural phenomenon created one of the most remarkable volcanoes in the world and became a significant part of Faial island's history. Today the site houses a wonderful underground Visitors' Centre, which illustrates the story of the eruption as well as the geological history of the Azores. Round off your tour with a stop at a leading hotel or near Horta's Fort of Santa Cruz, sit back and relax with refreshments of tea, coffee and pastries and marvel at the breathtaking views over the bay.

On to Ilha da Corva, Azores

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