Faróis e Farolins dos Açores


This site is a brief summary of an unpublished book entitled Azores Islands’ lighthouses and small beacons with pictures of all region lighthouses.
In an unforgettable journey I travelled through out all lighthouses, from Santa Maria Island till Corvo Island, and also by the “paradise” which are the Formigas Islets. None of the 17 lighthouses and 94 small beacons was forgotten, not even those that have been deactivated or destroyed by natural catastrophes such as the Capelinhos volcanic eruption, the 1980 and 1998 earthquakes. The outcome is 270 pages, 172 pictures, 10 maps, poems and lots of information in Portuguese and English.

Lighthouses since antiquity is the first part subject. The simple fires till the fully automatic recent structures. Within the same subject this book tells us about the most ancient lighthouse in mankind history, that became the model to build lots of others, namely in the Greek and roman times. You’ll also get to know about other lighthouses that were built around the world. Apart from stories about them, you’ll learn about the purpose of a lighthouse, its structure and mission, the optical apparatus and the invention of the lens system, which brought a revolution to the lighthouse’s world. There’s also a reference to the lighthouse keeper – a profession that many take as to be in extinction.

On the second part we have the geographical description of the archipelago and its islands, followed by the listing of lighthouses and small beacons that exist in each one of the nine islands, as well as their history and features along with pictures that were taken from land, sea and even aerial.
There’s a special reference to the Formigas Islets’ small beacon, which interior it’s know only by the navy maintenance crew.

The third, and last part, gathers several information and old curiosities that end up completing the approach to this subject. All technical aspects might be read and enjoyed, allowing the reader to know how lighthouses were in the past. Ancient fire extinguishers, the machinery, ancient clock mechanisms, tolls that were handmade by the lighthouse’s keepers, lamps, chimneys and lighthouse miniatures are also represented in this book.
My main goal is present to the world all the lighthouses of the Azores archipelago. However it’s not possible to unveil some mysteries that involve these “silent witnesses”.

In case someone shows interest in sponsor, buy or consult the book, please contact the author through the following e-mail:


Geografia das Ilhas
  Geographic Limits
North 39º 43, 23´ N Ponta do Norte (Corvo Island)
South 36º 55, 43´ N Farol de Gonçalo Velho (Santa Maria Island)
East 24º 46, 15´ N Limite Oriental dos Ilheús das Formigas
West 31º 16, 24´ N Ilheú de Monchique (Flores Island)

                           Gonçalo Velho Lighthouse (Santa Maria)

Farol de Gonçalo Velho
photo: Max Brix Elisabeth

                                                The "Formigas"

The "Ants" (Formigas) is the name given to a group os islets, some of them simple rocks. The highest and also the smallest of them is only 5 metres above de sea level, it is called "Formigão". The two biggest rocks, very short and separated by a narrow canal, are altogether 180 metres long, N-S direction and 40 metres wide. It is on one these islets, the southerner, that we find the lighthouse settled in a tower with the shape of a ship's mast with 19 metres tall, whose light is 22 metres above the sea level. The formigas crown a sandbank of about 7 miles long and 3 miles wide placed 23 miles to NE of Santa Maria Island.


ilheús das Formigas Lighthouse

Ponta do Arnel Lighthouse
São Miguel

Photo: Simão Rego
Ponta da Garça Lighthouse
São Miguel

Ponta da Ferraria Lighthouse
São Miguel

Ponta do Cintrão Lighthouse
São Miguel

Ponta das Contendas Lighthouse

Ponta da Serreta Lighthouse

Ponta do Topo Lighthouse
São Jorge

Ponta dos Rosais Lighthouse
São Jorge

Ponta do Carapacho Lighthouse

Ponta da Barca Lighthouse

Ponta da Ilha Lighthouse

Ponta dos Capelinhos Lighthouse

Ponta da Ribeirinha Lighthouse

Ponta das Lajes Lighthouse

Ponta do Albarnaz Lighthouse


Links. We invite you to also visit...

  TerraAzul Azores
Whale watching, Produtos Regionais, Actividades Culturais, Passeios Interpretativos.

Copyright 2003, Eduardo Furtado - All Rights Reserved. Developed by José Machado.