Visit Faial when the flowers are in bloom and the large cetaceans are in migration
Mild temperatures, little rainfall and more frequent sunny days reveal the intensity of spring’s awakening. This is a magical time in the Azores.
The Azores are one of the best places in the world for whale and dolphin (cetacean) watching and spring is the time of year when you can see the largest number of these migratory species.
In addition to sperm whales, which reside year round in the Azores, it is in springtime that the great baleen whales cross the seas of the archipelago in their migratory journey, moving with their young to the colder waters of the North Atlantic.
Thus, year after year, enthusiasts from all over the world travel to Faial to spot these extraordinary creatures. Come along and be amazed by the particularities of each species, from the acrobatic leaps of the humpback whales to the large groups of sociable pilot whales. And get ready for an unforgettable encounter with the largest animal on the planet, the majestic blue whale.
Faial is one of the Azores Islands where whale watching is most deeply rooted, having started more than 30 years ago and benefiting from the knowledge of the previous whaling industry. Here you will find specialized companies that provide fantastic trips and experiences. These professionals combine respect for
the acquired wisdom of the old whalers with the most recent scientific knowledge about species and marine ecosystems.
We also suggest that you take the time to walk around the island. Time to observe the flowers and the migratory birds that begin to arrive in the archipelago and time to breathe and relax.
It’s also in springtime that 2 important events take place in Faial: MUMA – May Music Festival, an event that brings together Portuguese musicians on several stages around the city of Horta; and the Whalers’ Great Route Ultra-Trail® by Azores Trail Run®, a trail running and ultra-trail event that is part of the UTWT international circuit and attracts runners from all over the world.
During spring, weather conditions may vary considerably throughout the day and the sea water is still cold (17/18ºC on average).
We recommend you bring light, practical clothes for the hottest days and warmer protective layers for the cooler days and nights, or if visiting the higher areas of the island. Waterproof clothing and a windbreaker should always be in your backpack, but a bathing suit can also be useful if you opt for an invigorating swim at the end of a hike.
It should also be noted that the beginning of spring is still considered low season. Entertainment, accommodation, and rent-a-car companies offer more affordable prices at this time. Airline tickets also tend to be much lower before summer hits.
Get ready to spot the largest living animals on the planet. In spring, great baleen whales visit the Azores Sea on their migratory voyages. As an activity that depends on adequate weather conditions, we recommend a longer visit to the island, flexibility in your schedule and contacting the whale watching companies in advance. Not to be missed!
For bird lovers, spring in Faial is an excellent time to spot migratory species. This is the time when the mysterious Cory’s shearwater arrives in the Azores, surprising people with its unique night song, as well as the playful tern, which ends its long annual migration here from the south.
Hiking, trail walking and trail running
ake advantage of the trails and roads, surrounded by greenery and filled with flowers, for walking. You can choose to do a leisurely hike, something more demanding and adventurous or even run on official trails or beautifully scenic paths and roads.
Visit the forest parks
Take advantage of the drier days to visit one of Faial’s 3 forest parks. You can have picnics and barbecues, play with the kids, take a romantic walk, read a book under the trees, relax or play sports.
Try Pitch&Putt golf
There’s nothing like a bit of sport (taken seriously or just for fun) with a view of the Atlantic, Pico and the pastures that run down to the sea. At the end of the game, enjoy the restaurant and its panoramic terrace for a meal, coffee or tea.
Spring is an excellent time to cast off and explore the channel between Faial and Pico Islands, sail to São Jorge or even venture to a more distant island. The sunny days with mild temperatures, the moments of breeze interspersed with stronger wind and the possibility of spotting whales, dolphins and turtles on the high seas are an invitation to embark and set off on a journey of discovery.
Visit Horta Marina
It’s in the springtime that the sailboats that cross the Atlantic from the Americas to Europe dock at Horta, one of the most mythical marinas in the world. This historical port, with centuries of tradition in navigation and transatlantic commerce, is an almost mandatory stop for all those who cross the Atlantic. The port of Horta is full of life and colors, seafaring stories and the sound of halyards beating on the masts.
Explore Caldeira, Vulcão dos Capelinhos and other volcanoes
Discover the volcanoes of Faial. On clear days, walk around the rim of the Caldeira crater or take a guided tour of its interior. Venture around the Capelinhos Volcano, discover the interior of Cabeço dos Trinta or visit Cabeço Gordo.
Visit the Faial Botanical Garden
The garden is open year round, but it is in spring that it fills with flowers and colors. The Faial Botanical Garden’s main aim is to preserve and spread the indigenous species of the Azores. It is also home to the Azores Seed Bank and an extraordinary orchid collection.