Best hiking experience in Capelas

Best hiking experience in Capelas

The Azores are a charming land: as all islands, they have a life of their own, but unlike some of them, they have a dual identity (autonomous, islander, but also Portuguese, since the archipelago belongs to the country, even though it is located far into the endless Atlantic Ocean, away from the continental Portugal). Among the many places to visit in the Azores, we suggest bearing in mind that you can enjoy the best hiking experience in Capelas, one of the top Azores destinations.

Capelas has no more than 4000 inhabitants, so visiting will be a very personal experience. The first settlers came here in the 16th century, so there is quite a bit of European heritage to admire here.

Capelas means “chapels” and there are quite a few stories regarding the history of the origin of the place’s name. In his book, Father Gaspar Frutuoso explains that the locals would build small wodd chapels and hang them from a tree. But a more likely version is that of the Bullar brothers, seasoned travelers, who explain that the locals called the rocks found along the seashore “capelas”, because they resembled little grottos and chapels.

The geography of the town and its surroundings is truly amazing. Farmlands with lush pastures dominate the east and the north of the Capelas Parish, while the inner roads are flanked by majestic mountains, winding hills and valleys with fine slopes and scenic cones of dormant volcanos. Capelas has a history as a whaling center, and that’s mainly because for centuries it has benefited from two ports, opening it to seafaring and trade.

Capelas is a wonderful hiking spot. A path we’d recommend starts in Capelas towards Ribeira Grande, stretching along almost 8 miles of dramatic paths.

But if you are the less adventurous sort, no problem: you can book an Azores airport transfer to Capelas and travel there comfortably and carefree.