Morro de Castelo Branco
The Morro de Castelo Branco Nature Reserve is one of the most visited sites in Faial not just for its beauty and its geological characteristics but also for its fauna and flora.
The Morro de Castelo Branco Nature Reserve is a volcanic formation located in the parish with the same name and classified as a special conservation area and listed in the Natura 2000 Network. The reserve has a total area of 138 ha and is a geological formation that resulted from a coastal volcanic eruption that occurred approximately 30 thousand years ago.
Due to its characteristics and isolation, it is very sought after by the seabirds that come here to nest. Among them is the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) that come to the Azores to breed between March and October, the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) and the Barolo’s Shearwater (Puffinus assimilis baroli) (Find out more at birdwatching). You will also find endemic vegetation such as heather and the rarer Azorina Vidalii.
This is a great place for a short nature walk, for birdwatching, for a picnic or just for reflection. It is accessible by car (there is a parking area at the edge of the reserve which connects to the hiking trail) or by the circular trail PRC5FAI.