Horta is a beautiful charming town, and the main one in the gorgeous Faial Island, located on the eastern coast of the Island, right in front of the neighbour Pico Island, with a permanent lovely view over the highest point in Portugal: Pico Mountain, at 2.351 meters high above sea level.
It was probably in the year 1467 that the Flemish Joss Van Hurtere disembarked in the Faial Island, next to the place where was held the first Mess and afterwards built the Santa Cruz Church (nowadays the Nossa Senhora das Angústias Church), developing the locality around it. In fact the toponym “Horta” derivates from the navigator’s surname “Hurtere”.
With a mostly rural development, it is with the construction of the Commercial Maritime Port in 1876 that the strong commercial, urban and social development takes place in Horta.
Located on a charming Bay with great natural beauty, this is an active town, with a very important international maritime port, a stopping point for the many Atlantic maritime trips, which originated since its construction, a very cosmopolite and international ambiance to the town, as it is visible in one of the most famous highlights in the Island: the Peter’s Sport Café, as well as in the colourful Marina, where thousands of yachts and sailing ships dock.
Horta is nowadays an historical cosmopolitan town, with much to see and admire, and a very own ambiance, conjugating astonishing landscapes with tradition, progress, monuments and a very rich heritage.
With lots to see and know, in Horta one can find monuments such as the São Salvador Mother Church, the São Francisco Church, the Clock Tower, the Porto Pim and São Sebastião Forts, among many others.
The town offers as well pleasant green areas, perfect for leisure moments, such as in the Henry the Navigator Square, the Eduardo Bulcão Garden, the Largo Duque de Ávila e Bolama, the República Square, the wonderful Alagoa Park, next to the pleasant Conceição Beach, or even the amazing Guia Mount Protected Landscape, from where one has gorgeous panoramas over the town and its surroundings.
It is worth knowing the interesting Horta Museum, with much about the Island’s ethnography, as well as history and the cosmopolitism that marks this town. Also the Scrimshaw Museum, dedicated to this very Azorean Art, denoting the strong Whale tradition of the Island, is one of the highlights of Horta, in Peter Sport Café.
The Sea Week, that takes place every year in the first week of August, marks the lifestyle of the population so dedicated to the vast Atlantic Ocean, its activities and arts. This is actually the greatest nautical festival in the Country, presenting several cultural, ethnographic, artistic and entertainments activities during all week, attracting many visitors.