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The island of Faial is located at the western end of the Central Group of the Azores archipelago, separated from the island of Pico by a narrow sea arm of 8.3 km (or 4.5 nautical miles) wide, known as the Faial. The island has the approximate shape of an irregular pentagon, 21 km long in the east-west direction and a maximum width of 14 km, which corresponds to an area of 172.43 km². The resident population is 15 063 inhabitants (2001), most of them in Horta, where the Azorean parliament is located and the seat of the only county in the island.
The island is served by Horta Airport, with regular air links to the remaining islands and to the outside of the archipelago. Horta Port was an important warehouse on the sea and air links (seaplanes) and by submarine cable in the North Atlantic, maintaining a relevant activity as a commercial port and yacht stopover at the crossings between the American continent and Europe. The island is locally known as Blue Island, a designation that was popularized from the description of Raul Brandão in Unknown Islands. The Capelinhos Volcano, the extreme west of the island, can also be considered the extreme west of Europe if the Islet of Monchique, in Flores, is considered part of insular America since it is based on the North American Plate.
Like the other islands of the archipelago, the climate of Faial is temperate oceanic. The Atlantic and the Gulf Stream function as temperature moderators - maritime - giving the island and the archipelago in general a small thermal amplitude. Rainfall is distributed regularly throughout the year, although it is more abundant in the cool season.
In winter, as well as the other islands of the archipelago, it is ravaged by strong winds that blow predominantly from the southwest, while in the summer they move to the North quadrant. The sky is generally cloudy, which causes variable sunshine.
The island of Faial is the most frequently associated with the mythical island paradisiac of the trips of St. Brandão as reported in the several Navigatio Sancti Brendani of legendary character attributed to this, derived from his biography.
Feast of Mr. Santo Cristo of Praia do Almoxarife (1st of February); Feast of Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of the nobility of the island (June 24), Festivity of the Divine Holy Spirit; Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Sea Week; Feast of Our Lady of Grace, at Almoxarife Beach; Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Feteira, Feast of St. Cecilia, Mother, patron saint of musicians (November 25), Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria of Castelo Branco (), Feast of Our Lady of the Conception (December 8).
At the handicraft level, the miniatures in fig kernels that depict scenes from everyday life, buildings, flowers, animals and small ships stand out, being Euclides Silveira da Rosa, the best known master of this art. Folk art also includes sperm whale carvings, wicker objects, sieve embroidery, cross stitch embroidery, wheat straw embroidery on tulle; the fish scale flowers, the cut paper towels and hats and straw bags. Do not forget to visit Capelo, the School of Handicrafts, for the work developed in the dissemination of local and regional crafts, as well as in the training of new craftsmen.