Hundreds of yachts of all kinds of different nationalities stop in Horta each year on their voyages across the North Atlantic Ocean, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century. In recent years, there have been more and more large yachts mooring here, giving Horta its own very special colour.

Amidst all this animation and excitement, Horta Marina has another source of fascination: nobody knows how the painting of the harbour walls first began. But one day, many years ago, the crew of a sailing vessel anchored in the harbour wanted to leave a souvenir of their visit to the island in the docks. This first painting was followed by others, gradually occupying the whole sea wall, which has been transformed into a brightly-coloured mosaic of drawings evoking the many yachts that have stopped off in the marina.

It is considered bad luck to leave Horta without first painting the name of your boat on the wall and better luck to paint a fancy mural. The local hardware stores do a good trade in small tins of gloss paint.

On the old outer wall you can see faded names of the classic yachts of the last century.


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