The island of Faial is located at the western end of the Central Group of the Azores archipelago, separated from the island of Pico by a narrow sea arm of 8.3 km (or 4.5 nautical miles) wide, known as the Faial. The island has the approximate shape of an irregular pentagon, 21 km long in the east-west direction and a maximum width of 14 km, which corresponds to an area of 172.43 km². The resident population is 15 063 inhabitants (2001), most of them in Horta, where the Azorean parliament is located and the seat of the only county in the island. The climate is ocean temperate, with average annual air temperatures ranging from 13 ° C in winter to 22 ° C in summer, with frequent windings and relative air humidity averaging above 79%. The island is served by Horta Airport, with regular air links to the remaining islands and to the outside of the archipelago.
Horta Port was an important warehouse on the sea and air links (seaplanes) and by submarine cable in the North Atlantic, maintaining a relevant activity as a commercial port and yacht stopover at the crossings between the American continent and Europe. The island is locally known as Blue Island, a designation that was popularized from the description of Raul Brandão in Unknown Islands. The Capelinhos Volcano, the extreme west of the island, can also be considered the extreme west of Europe if the Islet of Monchique, in Flores, is considered part of insular America since it is based on the North American Plate.