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Faial Nature Park - Winner 2011

Winner in the Regeneration of Physical Sites category

Faial is an island in the Azores archipelago, located about 1,500 km west of Lisbon. It is one of nine islands that make up the archipelago, situated to the far west of the Central Group of the islands.

Travelling around the island, you will find a fantastic diversity of flora, fauna, geological structures, culture and local traditions. Also on this beautiful island is Faial Nature Park, a truly unique spot with distinctive surroundings. The park is home to endangered species and rare plants.

Regeneration and Revival

The creation of the Faial Nature Park was a major step towards ensuring that the island’s treasures are managed responsibly and in a sustainable way.

The park includes 13 protected areas that extend through 30km 2 of land and 189km 2 of sea. Recent measures to improve the park and make it more accessible to tourists include the opening of new cultural institutions and improved information points. The park's council also revised specific tour programs and excursions to ensure they met the needs and interest of the visitors.

The old groundskeeper’s house is now the main house of Faial Nature Park. Here, visitors can learn about the park, choose trails and learn about the local biodiversity. Similarly, the old whaling station (Fabrica da Baleia) was restored and converted into cultural and educational centre.

The areas surrounding the park are also worth exploring. Pico, the neighbouring island offers stunning views across its vineyards. The dark basalt terrain is a wonderful contrast to the white summit of the 2,350 meter high, snow covered volcano.

Sightseeing tips

  • Take a walk in Faial’s Botanical Garden, an area of 8,000km 2, and a place of extraordinary beauty.
  • Visit the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre, which offers an insight into the lifespan of volcanoes.
  • Climb up the Cabouco’s viewing point, one of the best viewing points of the island.

More information