Faraway islands, volcanoes, forests, beaches, whales, boats, and sailors from around the world… Faial has all the elements to fill the imagination of children and awaken the memories and emotions of adults. It is a fantastic place to spend time together and do family activities.
10 Experiences to be enjoyed as a family
Whale and dolphin watching
This is a remarkable experience at any age. To brave the Atlantic Ocean in search of dolphins, whales, turtles and sea birds is without a doubt an unforgettable adventure. We recommend that you bring water, sunscreen, and a light snack, especially for children.
Visit the Capelinhos Volcano and its Interpretation Center
We are sure that an eager smile will appear on any child’s face when you tell them they are going to visit a volcano. In a unique landscape that resembles another planet, you will find the most recent addition to Portugal’s territory, formed by a volcanic eruption a little more than 60 years ago. Schedule time to visit the Visitor Center (the most visited in the Azores) and to climb to the top of the lighthouse where you can observe the incredible landscape.
Visit the Porto Pim Whaling Station
This museum awakens the imagination and spirit of adventure with multiple levels of interest for each member of the family. The Porto Pim Whaling Station remains one of the best reminders of the extinct Azorean whaling industry, providing an essential understanding of the historical, economic, and social aspects of this activity in the region. Furthermore, it is an important place for environmental awareness, showing the richness and importance of ocean conservation. It is guaranteed to be fun and filled with history and information for everyone.
Explore the Forest Parks
There are 3 forest parks in Faial. They are perfect places for the whole family to have fun and relax with picnics and barbecues, a children’s playground with swings and slides, trails, and lots of space filled with trees to unleash your creative play.
Faial has several safe places to discover the sea bottom and the coastal marine life. You can do this activity independently or, for a more complete experience, we recommend a snorkeling tour with a dedicated company. In addition to the equipment and access to beautiful and lesser-known places, you can discover more about our seas and the species that inhabit them. A dazzling and enriching experience for the whole family.
Bathing in Natural Pools
During summer many families seek out natural pools for swimming. Places like the Varadouro pools or Poça da Rainha are fun and safe places for everyone with good facilities.
Play in a Playground
All children need to play! There are numerous playgrounds on Faial where you can have fun with the little ones. If you are near the city, take the opportunity to visit the Vitorino Nemésio Park (Parque da Alagoa). Here the children will have the opportunity to explore the Giant Boat while the adults lie under the shade of a tree. The family can also walk the park paths and enjoy a panoramic view of Horta’s bay.
Visit other islands
Crossing the channel to visit the other islands in the Triangle is a fun activity that guarantees entertainment for the whole family. Visit the island of Pico or São Jorge by ferry. We recommend renting a car or bicycle or booking a guided tour with a specialized company. Enjoy every minute and feel the identity and contrast of each of the three islands in the Azores Triangle.
Enjoy family picnics and barbecues
Set aside a day to play, walk, play ball, read and tell stories, and discover the local flora and fauna. Faial has many beautiful and quiet places with facilities for picnics and barbecues. Enjoy and discover the richness and flavor of the local products.
Take a walk around Horta Marina
See the boats and the sailors preparing for a trip and find someone with stories to tell… The walls and the floor of the marina are full of paintings that illustrate the adventure of each one of the boats that pass through here. There are thousands of paintings with drawings of boats, names, and distant routes, many around the world. It is a place of stories and dreams!
Cultural activities for children and family
The museums and environmental visitor centers offer fun educational and cultural activities for children and families. Check the schedules on the relevant websites and social media.
Horta Museum and Manuel de Arriaga’s House
Tips for family travel
- During high season, many restaurants can be fully booked. To ensure space for the whole family and at times suitable for children, we recommend that you make a reservation in advance.
- Sea activities can be long, so we recommend taking a light snack and plenty of water for the children.
- Even on the cloudiest days, the sun can suddenly appear. Often, it may be raining on one side of the island and the sun can be shining on the other. Always carry sunscreen with you.
- Before entering the sea or the natural pools, pay attention to the beach warning flags. At some times of the year, especially in spring, there may be Portuguese man-of-war and jellyfish in the sea.
- We always hope all goes well, but children are children and accidents do happen. If you run into any problems, the city of Horta has a hospital with a 24-hour emergency service. If an emergency occurs, dial 112
- There are no poisonous or dangerous animals in the fields and forests of the island. Children can have a great time. However, we advise you not to pester cows, dogs, or other animals in the fields.
- Many of our sidewalks and paths are narrow and bumpy. If you are traveling with small children, please opt for all-terrain strollers.