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Horta



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Stretching around a large bay, Horta, the capital of the island of Faial, has been for long a popular stopover port for boats crossing the Atlantic.

The island's first settlers were Flemish who arrived here in the 15th century and the name of Horta comes from the Flemish explorer Josse van Huerter.

With its mild climate and turquoise waters, Faial is a fertile island with an animated and international atmosphere, as the number of transatlantic yatchs that can be seen moored at the marina confirm.

Their crews always stop at a bar which became famous, Peter's Café Sport, where it is also possible to arrange for dolphin and whale-watching excursions.

The curious Horta Museum exhibits antique furniture, portraits and interesting photographs documenting the history of the island's port. But perhaps the most surprising objects are the miniature sculptures made from the white pith of fig trees, a traditional island craft remarkable for its delicacy and virtuosity.

Like other islands of the Azores, Faial has spectacular natural sites, such as the volcanic peak of Monte da Guia, the large crater of Caldeira do Cabeço Gordo or the strange landscape around Vulcão dos Capelinhos, a volcano that erupted and formed a new island in the fall of 1957.

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