Visit Faial in winter and discover all the intensity of the Azorean landscape
The Azores reveals a different face each season with new things to discover. Visiting the Azores in winter is an opportunity to observe how the landscape and the elements merge into grandiose and expressive pictures. The pace is slower and more paused. There is more time to listen, to feel, to encounter nature.
Although rain and wind are inevitable, there are plenty of sunny days. The average temperatures range between 12ºC and 18ºC which makes it one of the warmest winters in Europe.
With the right clothing, it is possible to do many outdoor activities and enjoy the places of historical and cultural interest.
More affordable prices and lower demand are some of the advantages of visiting Faial at this time. This obviously allows you to enjoy the island’s emblematic places with fewer people around, giving you a more intimate and breathtaking perspective of the splendor of the landscapes. While still being able to enjoy the warmth and comfort of the picturesque city of Horta
and the Azorean hospitality.
This is also a time when the streams run heavier and waterfalls appear amid the forests and on the hillsides and the exuberance of the green pastures stands out. The trails are more challenging and it is easier to have closer contact with nature. With luck, you may see snow on Pico Mountain.
For those visiting the Azores at this time of year, we suggest that you be flexible and adjust your schedule to suit the conditions. After all, the day may start with rain but the sun may be shining a few hours later. There may be heavy wind on one side of the island but only a gentle breeze on the other; the Caldeira may be covered by clouds one moment and clear the next – inviting you to take a walk along the rim of the crater.
Rain or shine, we recommend sports shoes, preferably waterproof ones. If you are going to venture out on trails and hikes, we suggest you carry extra footwear in your car or backpack. Always carry a waterproof jacket and a layer of warm clothing with you if you intend to visit places at higher altitude. Make sure to bring sunglasses and sunscreen.
Hiking, trail walking and trail running
Whether on sunny or cloudy days with a drizzle, nature invites you to walk, hike or run through a landscape colored by the shades of green, brown and orange of winter. Be prepared for some mud and maybe a little wind and rain. Check the weather forecast before hitting the trails.
Riding a horse is an amazing sensation. In Faial, regardless of the season, you can enjoy horseback riding across beautiful scenery. With the help of certified and very experienced guides, you can take these nature outings in complete safety, on routes adapted to your profile and experience level.
And if it starts to drizzle, don’t worry! You will be provided with suitable equipment.
Get ready to visit places and landscapes you couldn’t get to with a conventional car. This activity is especially recommended and fun during winter.
Visit the most emblematic places on the island with a touch of adventure, even those that are less accessible and can only be reached by off-road vehicle.
Birdwatching at Charcos de Pedro Miguel
During winter, take advantage of your stay here to discover the birds that inhabit and visit our island at Charcos de Pedro Miguel.
Visit museums and cultural spaces
Museums, visitor centers and cultural spaces are open during the winter. Take advantage of the colder or rainy days to learn more about the natural wealth of the Azorean flora and fauna or discover the history of the island of Faial and the cosmopolitan city of Horta, a place of encounters and conflicts, where the history of many nations has intersected over the centuries.
Discover the culture, history, gastronomy and the city’s relaxed and informal lifestyle. Do a little shopping, try the local cuisine, taste the noble regional wines, visit the colorful marina, walk around the city and enjoy the views and the friendly welcome reserved for foreigners.
Explore the island without limits: Volcanoes, parks, gardens and viewpoints, by car, jeep or on foot – everything can be visited during winter.
Due to the volume of water in the streams and waterfalls, winter is the best time of the year for canyoning. With the help of specialized guides, anyone can have an unforgettable experience when traversing the island’s waterways.
Climb the snow covered summit of Pico
It takes a bit of luck, spirit of adventure and preparation, but this is certainly an unforgettable activity: climbing the highest mountain in Portugal, on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, when it is covered in snow. It is not possible to predict exactly when it will snow, but the most likely time is in January and February, but it may happen between December and April. This is an activity that requires some physical preparation and adequate clothing. We recommend that it be done with specialized guides, who will provide specific technical equipment, such as crampons, and will offer other support for the ascent.