Once there was a whaling station here; now there are only the remains of a lighthouse and another rock pool at the seaside.


We are at Capelinhos — the westernmost tip of Faial and also the place on the Azores closest to the tectonic divide between Europe and North America. There was an eruption here in 1957 and it lasted for over a year. It added  about 2,4 square km of landmass to the island, some of which later crumbled into the ocean. Since 1957, some natural growth has started to appear, but the place is still pretty bare.

New and old land: watch the level of green!

In the process, the whaling station and parts of the lighthouse tower were buried in volcanic ash. The ground floor of the lighthouse is completely gone but you can get in through a window of the original second floor (now functioning as a door). This is what used to be the edge of the island, but now it gives a view to a raw and rocky landscape.

Remains of a lighthouse

The site near the old whaling station is popular for snorkling — and, I would imagine, diving too — though we saw no divers there. The waves and currents, however, were strong. Oh, and there is nothing left there, except for a memorial plate and a shrine to St. John to let you know that something once happened here.

There used to be a whaling station here


Diving and snorkeling at an eruption site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *