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Ponta Delgada ,  June 14, 2010

New features at the Faial Island Natural Park

The Government of the Azores, through the Regional Secretary for the Environment and the Sea, has created a set of new infrastructures at the Faial Island Natural Park that will fully operational from June 18.

These structures include the recovery of the Levada trail and the creation of a new one – the 10 volcanoes trail.

The route of the Levada trail was recovered by a partnership with the Azores Electricity and Gas Company in a 40,000 Euro investment, which allows visitors to cover a section of the trail that had been damaged by 1998 earthquake.

With this intervention, it is now possible to benefit from a trail with high environmental and heritage value, with a 3 km extension and a low difficulty level. The route takes two hours to be covered and includes nine interpretative “stations”.

This concept, which is new in the Azores, allows to interpret not only the surrounding environment, but also the general context of the “station” as well as a vast range of related information, including cultural information. The concept will soon be available in all hiking trails of the Faial Island Natural Park.

The 10 volcanoes trail is being jointly prepared with the Regional Directorate for Tourism.  On June 24, this trail will become the largest pedestrian route of the Azores with a total extension of 27 km of adventure and good environmental quality. 

The route between the Caldeira Natural Park and the Protect Area for the Management of Habitats and Species from Capelinhos, Costa Noroeste and Varadouro is covered in nine hours. This trail is an attempt to meet the demands of nature tourism in the Azores which pointed out the need to increase the extension and difficulty level of these trails.

In addition to being an asset, this trail also includes another four trails, which may be covered autonomously: Caldeira, Levadas, Capelo-Capelinhos and Capelinhos Volcano. The last one is integrated in the most recent portion of the Portuguese territory and can be covered with a Park Guide, available upon previous request.

The Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre will switch to the summer timetable on June 15, which will be in force until September 15; the Centre will open at 10 AM and close at 6 PM every day of the week.

Since 2008, this centre has made the interpretation of volcanic phenomena, focusing on the Capelinhos volcano with a variety of activities and exhibition structures. The satisfaction of visitors was estimated at 93%, which, by itself, would justify a visit.

The new timetable will also be in force at the Whaling Factory (Sea Centre) and at the Botanical Garden and the admission tickets to these two structures will be sold for 2.5 Euros, starting on June 15. 

In addition to visiting the Azorean endemic flora and medicinal species collections, visitors may also have a tea at the Botanical Garden (included in the price). This Garden also hosts the permanent orchid exhibition which was transferred by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Faial and collected by the notorious Faial islander Henrique “Peixoto” Ávila.

With these steps, the Faial Island Natural Park follows a new path towards an innovative approach in the environment of the Azores that combines the intervention and restoration of the natural world with social and economic benefits.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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