The Azores island cluster lies in the Atlantic a little less than halfway between Lisbon, Portugal and Rhode Island in the U.S. In that cluster is Faial Island, or Ilha do Faial in Portuguese. Measuring only 13 miles long and 10 miles wide, this tiny volcanic island was discovered in 1451 and has since grown to be home to almost 15,000 and, as part of Portugal, is known to be the westernmost point of Europe.
But despite its diminutive size and small population, Faial Island is a treasure trove of protected lands and astonishing natural beauty – from the tip of Cabeço Gordo, its highest mountain, to the coral reefs under the sea. Its capital, Horta, holds almost half of the island's citizens and is a popular port for those traveling from the other islands of the Azores.