Faial is a picturesque island in the Azores, located in the central group of islands. Known for its stunning landscape, world-class boating scene, and rich history, Faial offers a unique blend of cultures from across the world. The island was initially populated by Flemish and throughout its history, it has been influenced by multiple distant cultures. One of its most distinctive features is the cosmopolitan vibe that can be felt in its capital city of Horta. Faial also boasts an abundance of local products, including honey, cheese, and fresh produce, making it a food lover’s paradise.
We start with a fascinating tour of the picturesque city of Horta, guided by our good friend Raphael from Hungry Whales Food Tours. We dove into the history of this remarkable place, exploring its Flemish roots and the city’s crucial role in transatlantic communication during the 19th century. We even had a chance to try our hands at beekeeping, and let me tell you, it was a buzz! We ended our time in Horta at a quaint local farmers market, where we savored some exquisite cheese and honey, both locally produced and truly representative of the Azorean flavor.
We had quite an exciting day out on the water and then with some buzz-worthy friends. First, we set sail on the beautiful Azorean waters, with the skilled Captain Sarah at the helm. There’s something incredibly humbling and invigorating about navigating the same waters that countless sailors, immigrants, and adventurers have crossed for centuries. My heart was pounding, but the breathtaking views and the sense of connection with history were worth every moment of apprehension.
And speaking of heart-pounding, we then had an up-close encounter with the island’s hardworking bees! With the help of Sonya and Sarah, two local beekeepers, we got a hands-on education in honey production. There we were, right in the middle of a buzzing hive, marveling at the tireless bees and their sweet, golden nectar. The honey was not only sticky and delicious but also a reminder of the intricate balance of nature that is so beautifully maintained here in the Azores. From sailing to beekeeping, it was another day of unforgettable experiences on our Azorean adventure.
My unforgettable journey in the Azores culminated at the charming Fazenda farm, where I had the pleasure of meeting the warm and welcoming owners, Manny and Margo. This delightful couple shared their passion for sustainable farming and preserving the Azorean heritage with me. As we explored the lush, green surroundings together, they generously offered their expertise on traditional farming techniques, providing me with an authentic, hands-on experience. Manny and Margo’s dedication to their land and its rich history, as well as their love for the island, left me with a profound appreciation for the captivating Azores and its people. Fazenda farm, with its enchanting atmosphere and the inspiring couple at its heart, was the perfect way to wrap up my incredible Azorean adventure.