Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Island of Flores

We spent three days at Flores and then we sailed to the main stopping point in the Azores for yachties, Horta on the island of Faial. While we were on Flores we took a half day tour.  It was foggy out so we did not get the true grandeur of the island but the guide knew his stuff and took us to the spots where we could see quite a bit. 
The hydrengas line the roads and the fields, they are everywhere.  They are the beautiful lavender colour because of the volcanic soil of the island. 
This is the most westerly anchorage in Europe and the rock out at sea is the most westerly point of land in Europe. We did not stop here as there is no protection from winds from the west or north.
Flores was a volcanic island so there are calderas everywhere, with high steep hills surrounding plains where centuries of farmers have toiled.  Flores was settled in the early 1500's. Thus there are waterfalls    with cool fresh water coursing off the hillsides. 
These two lakes were side by side up at the top of the islands.  The difference in the colours was quite astonishing.  
There are only 3,500 people on the whole island. This is the main town with the airport.
Traditional homes are made out of stones. Someone bought up a bunch of houses that were no longer lived in and fixed them up as rental cottages.  Hiking is a big tourist attraction in Flores and lots of Germans and Scandanavians holiday here and go hiking.  There is a network of trails throughout the island that used to be the traditional way to get around. They are well maintained as are most of the homes and public places.  There are lovely picnic areas with clean washrooms available.