Why choose a cruise to Horta?

Horta is a dreamy town of buildings with distinctive black-and-white facades and quiet cobbled squares. It has a fascinating maritime past, and even today sailors from around the world turn up on its shores, spending time in the old-fashioned bars and cafés near the marina.

The town occupies a gentle slope among a backdrop of rolling hills, and the rural roads leading away from the city froth with blue-hydrangea hedges. It faces out onto the blue waters of the Atlantic, and the dramatic silhouette of the volcano on the neighbouring island of Pico looms large on the horizon.

Volcano on Pico, Horta Faial

A guide to Horta’s hotspots

Take time to explore Horta’s intriguing marina. The walls and floor are decorated with brightly coloured murals painted by sailors who have disembarked here. It has become an open-air art gallery, and it’s a fabulous place for people-watching, too.

If you take a Horta cruise you must take time out to visit Peter’s Café Sport, which is a Horta institution. This atmospheric bar is bedecked in sailing memorabilia, and is a popular sailor’s haunt. Upstairs you’ll find a scrimshaw museum, where you’ll discover whalebone artefacts adorned with paintings and carvings.

One of the best experiences in Horta is a whale-watching trip. The waters of the Azorean archipelago are rich in marine life, especially around Faial island. Take a boat trip into open seas, and keep your eyes peeled for pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins and even humpback whales.

Travel to the centre of the island for a scenic hike along the Caldeira do Faial, a huge ancient volcanic crater. It’s carpeted with greenery, and surrounded by laurel forest. Inside you’ll find a smaller submerged volcano, and the views from the top are amazing, too.

Volcano Horta Faial

Cruise lines that sail to the port of Horta

Marella Cruises

Holland America Line

Azamara Club Cruises

The best time to visit Horta

If you want to enjoy a Horta cruise during the summer holidays, we recommend visiting in July, when the weather averages 25°C, and there’s less rainfall than August.

But with temperatures rarely dipping below 15°C, there’s no bad time to visit Horta. A trip during April or May is highly recommended, as this is the best season for whale watching. During this period, temperatures range from 16°C-18°C.

Did you know?

  • Horta has one of the most visited marinas in the world
  • Faial is known as the ‘blue island’ due to its profusion of blue hydrangeas
  • Try a traditional dessert, fofas do Faial, aromatic pastries stuffed with custard