Horta, Azores

The City that Gives the North to the Atlantic


holy savior
The Igreja Matriz do Santíssimo Salvador, highlighted above the houses of Horta.
Vegetable garden. View of Monte da Guia
View of the city of Horta beyond the inlet of Porto Pim. From Monte da Guia.
Mural paintings of the port
Mural paintings section of the Marina da Horta.
Storekeeper's Beach
Bathers enjoy the gentle sea and the view over Pico, at Praia do Almoxarife.
Interior of Peter Café Sport
Clients socialize in the cozy interior of Café Sport da Horta.
Holy Conception
Statue of the Holy Virgin of Conception in a homonymous viewpoint on the outskirts of the city of Horta.
Nautical Paintings Expo
Mural paintings on a jetty at Marina da Horta, with Pico in the background.
Back to Faial
Ferry that fulfills the Faial connection - Pico is approaching Faial.
Anchorage
Fishing boats anchored in the port of Horta, capital of Faial.
Peter Café Sport
Horta visitors pass in front of Café Sport, better known as Peters
Horta House
Picturesque section of the mostly targeted houses in the city of Horta.
Port Pim
Sand exposed by low tide in front of Travessa do Porto Pim.
windmill
Windmill of probable Flemish inspiration, on the slope of Espalamaca.
Porto Pim Sun
Bather sunbathes on the volcanic sand beach of Porto Pim.
Flags & Banners
Perspective of Café Sport that reveals the panoply of nautical items that decorate it.
Cow. And the Faial Channel
Cow highlighted in the panorama of Monte da Conceição, with the Faial Channel and Pico Mountain in the background.
House of Horta
Angústias area in the foreground in the houses of the city of Horta.
"Peter"
José Henrique Azevedo, the current owner of Café Sport, also on the date of the first 100 years of Peters.
Almost night in Horta
Horta coves and houses colored by artificial lighting and twilight.
Thousand Sailboats
Sailboats moored in the port and marina of Horta, one of the most popular among sailboats crossing the Atlantic.
The world community of sailors is well aware of the relief and happiness of seeing the Pico Mountain, and then Faial and the welcoming of Horta Bay and Peter Café Sport. The rejoicing does not stop there. In and around the city, there are white houses and a green and volcanic outpouring that dazzles those who have come so far.

The weather is great on the channel. How it stands over the entire awkward triangle of the Atlantic that Faial makes the western vertex.

When we reached the top of Monte da Guia, we realized, in all its shapes and colors, that the young geology of the Azores had given Horta to double.

Spreading out in front of us, from a gradient of an almost dark navy blue, to the emerald green of the seashore, the water of the bay caressed the homes of Horta and refreshed the gray sand of Porto Pim beach.

Horta, Faial, City that faces the North to the Atlantic

View of the city of Horta beyond the inlet of Porto Pim. From Monte da Guia.

Filipino Fascination and Faial's Whaling History

The fascination for the smooth chute and the desire to anchor in it comes from a long time ago. The settlement of Faial began in the XNUMXth century. Two centuries later, D. Filipe II, son of Empress Isabel, grandson of D. Manuel I, the Spanish Filipe who loved Portugal more than Spain, dictated that a port be built there, so that he could disembark there.

Later, fishermen seized on the royal initiative. So did whaling fishing, which, in the meantime, reached the archipelago and which justified the operation of a local Whale Factory, today occupied by the Azores Sea Observatory.

Horta, Faial, City that faces the North to the Atlantic

Sand exposed by low tide in front of Travessa do Porto Pim.

No matter how much conditions were given to Faial, fishing, whatever it might be, in the heart of the endless Atlantic, proved to be anything but a bed of roses. For some reason, the parish where this old whaling factory is located bears its name: Angústias.

As if the charm and tranquility of Porto Pim inlet were not enough, from the high isthmus that served as a screen, another gully bathed Horta. We saw it cut out as if claiming a connection to the west end of the neighbor Pico island, the tip of the Old Creation and the Magdalene.

We appreciate it, rounded and polished for millennia. Stretched out in the natural amphitheater where the city played a first row at the height of the mountain-volcano it projects from beyond the channel to the heavens.

The Atlantic Refuge of Horta (and its Marina)

Half an hour of contemplation later, we return to the alleys of Horta. To the seafront where the island celebrates Liberdade and to the open marina that it imposed on the canal.

Marina da Horta is the oldest recreational port in the Azores, the fourth busiest marina on the seven seas. There they anchor, every year, around twelve hundred vessels.

Sailboats in the Marina da Horta, Faial, a city that faces the North of the Atlantic

Sailboats moored in the port and marina of Horta, one of the most popular among sailboats crossing the Atlantic.

Because of this antiquity and the providential position in the wild ocean and in the archipelago – a position that protects boats from the winds, wherever they come from – the navigators see it almost as mythical.

What other explanation could there be for the gaudy profusion of mural paintings with which the helmsmen and crew of yachts and sailboats continue to humanize the walls and concrete corridors in which they find themselves in safety, in the arms of an already longing for well-being.

Mural paintings, Horta, Faial, City that gives the North to the Atlantic

Mural paintings on a jetty at Marina da Horta, with Pico in the background.

Only the navigators will know the fullness of this feeling, but, as a result of modernity and globalization that have long gone hand in hand, those, like us, are limited to landing in Faial, benefiting in a somewhat parasitic way from the nautical sensuality of these confines.

It dictated the history and sensitivity of the founding family that the magnetism of Faial and Horta revolve around a café-restaurant. A café-restaurant so famous that repeating its name sounds like a waste.

Satisfied with the long photographic study of the murals and with a sudden thirst affecting our judgment, we reversed the course of the journey.

Casario, Horta, Faial, City that overlooks the North Atlantic

Picturesque section of the mostly targeted houses in the city of Horta.

We point to Praça Infante Dom Henrique where, as a rule, welcomes navigators.

A mere dozen steps later, we come across the simple but elegant entrance to the Café Sport, forced onto the façade of the houses like a small whaler on land.

Not just on land.

Peter Café Sport: a Monument to the Atlantic Meeting of Navigators

On a Portuguese, Azorean and sea sidewalk. There, a varnished wooden sign appears between two white whales that seemed to us to smile.

Peter Café Sport, Horta, Faial, City that faces the North of the Atlantic

Horta visitors pass in front of Café Sport, better known as Peters

From the sun-dappled exterior, the core of Peter's was little more than an intriguing pitch. When we entered, we unveiled the playful-nautical, organic and harmonious world that confirmed the establishment's planetary reputation.

All around, the walls and ceiling were lined with flags, standards, historical photographs, letters, maps, stickers and many other international navigational paraphernalia.

Two wooden balconies, subsumed in this colorful paraphernalia and that confronted the auras of light molded by the doors and windows, served as a bridge of command for all the maneuvers.

Peters, Horta, Faial, City that faces the North of the Atlantic

Clients socialize in the cozy interior of Café Sport da Horta.

In the background, to the left as you enter, a gentleman with white hair and mustache operated a small shop on the way to the Scrimshaw museum above, a museum filled with artwork carved from whale bone and tooth in such a way that it is considered the best equipped museum of this kind.

In the background, on the right, the bar and the exit of the restaurant, an inexhaustible source of pleasure in the form of cold and trendy beers Gin tonics from the house that the best customers of pioneer times, the British, have retained. Also source of a prodigious menu of Faial specialties.

Whale Soup, Boca Grande and Peter's Famous Gin

We sat at a wooden table in the corner that gave us a privileged view of the others. From there, we frolic in the young, almost adolescent and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the room.

We taste the gin as if we were born connoisseurs of the drink. Until we are served whale soup and we are forced to reorient our senses from the refreshing effervescence of the G&T to the gastronomic consistency that steamed up our noses.

It might not be the pure, righteous version, suffered in the aged skins of disembarked navigators. Even so, we were fulfilling the ritual and living the dream of Faial, Horta and Peter's.

In addition, Café Sport had recently celebrated a century and four generations of life in a party to which it invited the entire island of Faial.

Peters, Horta, Faial, City that faces the North of the Atlantic

Perspective of Café Sport that reveals the panoply of nautical items that decorate it.

The Already Secular History of Peter Café Sport

The story goes that Henrique Azevedo opened its doors to him on Christmas Day in 1918 and occupied a business space previously occupied by a craft shop and bar called Casa dos Açores.

Henrique Azevedo was an ardent supporter of the sport, practicing football, rowing and billiards, among others. Thus, it emerged as something logical to rename the establishment as Café Sport. Some time later, this still official name was supplanted by another, the popularized Peter's.

It happened that way because the chief officer of the ship's ammunition and maintenance service “Lusitania II” of the British Royal Navy found the young José Azevedo (son of Henrique Azevedo) similar to his own son, Peter.

Peters, Horta, Faial, City that faces the North of the Atlantic

José Henrique Azevedo, the current owner of Café Sport, also on the date of the first 100 years of Peters.

As he continued to call José Azevedo Peter as a joke, he also consolidated the most popular name today for the bar in which we were re-establishing energy.

We finished the whale soups. Two grilled black-mouthed fish arrive, accompanied by a dish of the best Azorean sausages. After dessert and new gin, we were ready to roll.

In conversation with José Henrique Azevedo, the current owner, we realized how close we had come to what is now expected of any visitor to the city: “If you sail to Horta and don't visit Peter Café Sport, you won't see Horta in reality."

The Evening Discovery of the City of Horta

Satisfied by the near-fulfillment of the plan, we say goodbye and give ourselves, in a renewed spirit, to the sunny city around us.

We drive to Ponta da Espalamaca. We go up to the viewpoint of Nª Srª da Conceição. We found a three meter high Santa Conceição, at the foot of a cross with almost thirty.

Virgen Santa da Conceição, Horta, Faial, City that faces the North of the Atlantic

Statue of the Holy Virgin of Conception in a homonymous viewpoint on the outskirts of the city of Horta.

From that blessed height, we have an earthly view of Portugal's supreme mountain with the villages of Pico Island at its base. But not only.

The atmosphere over the canal was so crystal clear that it gave us a diffused glimpse of the more distant neighbors of São Jorge and Graciosa.

Almoxarife Beach, Canal a Meias with Grande Pico

We descend to the seafront at Almoxarife beach, the sand that contains the kind of pie slice in which the parish of the same name extends, green land, inhabited from 1465 on by a group of fifteen Flemings.

Windmill, Horta, Faial, City that gives the North to the Atlantic

Windmill of probable Flemish inspiration, on the slope of Espalamaca.

As such, equipped with windmills inspired by the Países Baixos.

Today, the descendants of these remote settlers are fervent believers in the Divine Holy Spirit. This is the reason why, in addition to the red-stoned mill at Lomba da Conceição, we can also see the prolific buildings-empires in the area. Terceira island.

Black, covered with rounded basalt stones, submissive to the gigantic Pico, the sands of Almoxarife once again underline the volcanic essence of Faial that the urban facet of Horta sometimes made us forget.

Praia do Almoxarife, Horta, Faial, a city that faces the North of the Atlantic

Bathers enjoy the gentle sea and the view over Pico, at Praia do Almoxarife.

We and the bathers who enjoyed themselves in the channel's merciful spaces had Pico ahead.

At the opposite end of Faial, reigned the Mystery volcano of Capelinhos. With a quarter the altitude of Pico and a somewhat endearing name, this volcano proved far more destructive to Faial than Pico ever dared to threaten.

Dive after dive, wave after wave, the sun quickly dropped to the west hidden there.

Disillusioned with the shadow in which it has abandoned us, we anticipate returning to Horta.

Church of the Most Holy Savior. Horta, Faial, City that faces the North to the Atlantic

The Igreja Matriz do Santíssimo Salvador, highlighted above the houses of Horta.

Genuíno Madruga and His Prodigious Circum-Navegações

We went through Angústias again. In Angústias, we find Genuíno Madruga, another of the unavoidable enterprising Azorean personalities, born in Lajes do Pico but living in Horta since childhood.

Genuine welcomes us in his restaurant, with kindness and inexhaustible patience for the more than counted time in which we walked.

On January 24, 2008, Genuíno Madruga became the first Portuguese – and the tenth sailor at international level who, alone, managed to cross the stormy Cape Horn from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific. In addition to the feat, he completed the crossing during the second of his round-the-world sailings.

Horta, Faial, City that faces the North to the Atlantic

Fishing boats anchored in the port of Horta, capital of Faial.

Always humble, Genuine as only baptism does him justice, Genuine tells us how his experiences as a fisherman and, above all, his later interactions with Marcel Bardieux – the first navigator to make the crossing alone – inspired him to also pursue the triumph of the intrepid friend.

These experiences proved to be so rewarding that Genuíno barely disguised the pleasure of sharing them with us, in a convenient but abbreviated verbalization of the testimonies that he perpetuated in “The World that I Saw”, the book of his life.

A work for the history of Horta, Faial and the Azores.

Garden at twilight, Faial, a city that faces the North to the Atlantic

Horta coves and houses colored by artificial lighting and twilight.

Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

An immaculate biosphere that the Earth's entrails mold and soften is displayed, in São Miguel, in a panoramic format. São Miguel is the largest of the Portuguese islands. And it is a work of art of Nature and Man in the middle of the North Atlantic planted.
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

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Terceira Island, Azores

Terceira Island: Journey through a Unique Archipelago of the Azores

It was called the Island of Jesus Christ and has radiated, for a long time, the cult of the Holy Spirit. It houses Angra do Heroísmo, the oldest and most splendid city in the archipelago. These are just two examples. The attributes that make Terceira island unique are endless.

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

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Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Capelinhos Volcano, Faial, Azores

On the trail of the Capelinhos Mistery

From one coast of the island to the opposite one, through the mists, patches of pasture and forests typical of the Azores, we discover Faial and the Mystery of its most unpredictable volcano.
Graciosa, Azores

Her Grace the Graciosa

Finally, we will disembark in Graciosa, our ninth island in the Azores. Even if less dramatic and verdant than its neighbors, Graciosa preserves an Atlantic charm that is its own. Those who have the privilege of living it, take from this island of the central group an esteem that remains forever.
Corvo, Azores

The Improbable Atlantic Shelter of Corvo Island

17 km2 of a volcano sunk in a verdant caldera. A solitary village based on a fajã. Four hundred and thirty souls snuggled by the smallness of their land and the glimpse of their neighbor Flores. Welcome to the most fearless of the Azorean islands.
São Jorge, Azores

From Fajã to Fajã

In the Azores, strips of habitable land at the foot of large cliffs abound. No other island has as many fajãs as the more than 70 in the slender and elevated São Jorge. It was in them that the jorgenses settled. Their busy Atlantic lives rest on them.
Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

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Pico Island, Azores

The Island East of the Pico Mountain

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Angra do Heroismo, Terceira (Azores), Azores

Heroina do Mar, from Noble People, Brave and Immortal City

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Ponta Delgada, São Miguel (Azores), Azores

The Great Azorean City

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Aldeia da Cuada, Flores Island, Azores

The Azorean Eden Betrayed by the Other Side of the Sea

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Annapurna (circuit)
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The Ancient Nepal of Braga

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A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

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Meeting the Meeting of the Waters

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Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

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Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
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José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
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José Saramago's Basalt Raft

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Bather, The Baths, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Nature
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine “Caribbaths”

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Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
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Principe Island, São Tomé and Principe
UNESCO World Heritage
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

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Stevenson's Treasure Island

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Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
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Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

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Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Religion
Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

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Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

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Kogi, PN Tayrona, Guardians of the World, Colombia
Society
PN Tayrona, Colombia

Who Protects the Guardians of the World?

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Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

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savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Wildlife
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

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Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
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In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.