Faial Island, also known in English as Fayal, is a Portuguese island of the Central group (Grupo Central) of the Azores. Its area is 173 km² and it is located 28.7° W longitude and 38.6° N latitude. The nearest island is Pico Island to the east. The island is also referred to as Ilha Azul (the “Blue Island”), by poet Raul Brandão, due to the large quantity of Hydrangeas that bloom during the summer months.

During a period of medieval legends and unsubstantiated stories of mystical lands, the island of Faial first appeared on the 1375-1377 Atlas Catalão, as Ilha da Ventura or Insula de La Ventura (Venture Island). By 1427 they had discovered what most had suspected: islands in the middle of the Atlantic (specifically the islands of Santa Maria and São Miguel). Subsequent years would occur new discoveries, until during his first voyage of exploration (in 1451) the navigator Diogo de Teive explored the coast of Faial.

It was the humanist friar Gaspar Frutuoso who recounted that the first explorers did not find a uninhabited island: a hermit, who had a small flock and lived in a cave in the interior, had occupied the land.

Source: Wikipedia (under GNU Free Documentation License)


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