The Caldeira do Cabeço Gordo is one of the main landmarks of Faial. Situated in the center of the island it is with its 2 kilometre diameter and 400 meter depth probably the most impressive crater of the Azores. Before heading to the Caldeira, look out of the window, if the top of the island is covered in clouds, rather choose another time to go. In case of stormy weather, be aware that there can be very high winds.
How to get to the Caldeira
Most easily the Caldeira can be reached by car from Horta in about 20 minutes. If you are fit enough you can do the climb by bicycle, the road is all the way up paved, but keep in mind that the Azorean road are steeper than the ones on the continent.
What to do at the Caldeira
First and foremost, enjoy the view, you have a beautiful view across the canal on Pico and Sãio Jorge, a bit further in the north you can see at clear days Graciosa.
Walk through the small tunnel into the perimeter of the crater, you might think that you just were teleported to Hawaii.
Take the trail around the Caldeira, it is 6,8 kilometres long and can be done easily in about 2h 30m. The Caldeira is also the starting point for 10 Volcano trail to Capelinhos, and the Coast to Coast trail passes at the Caldeira.
With a specially licensed guide you can hike down to the bottom of the Caldeira, which is a protected area giving home to numerous endemic plants.