The first settlers erected a cross in the harbour, originating the name of the parish. Porto da Cruz was one of the first places inhabited on the North coast.
The lush Laurel forest of Ribeiro Frio and majestic Penha de Águia are the defining natural landmarks of the parish. Penha de Águia fills the horizon and separates Porto da Cruz from Faial in neighbouring Santana.
Porto da Cruz is a rural parish dominated by the primary sector. The humanised landscape, resulting from the farmland scattered among the valleys embellish the natural environment.
Sugar cane has been cultivated since the beginning of the settlement and is made into Aguardente (white rum) which is then used in Poncha.
Thanks to the vast forests growing in the municipality, Porto da Cruz is known as the Trail Running capital of the Island, where several training courses challenge and delight runners.
Outdoor activities and extreme sports, such as surfing, paragliding and mountain biking are just some examples of what makes Porto da Cruz a reference in adventure experiences.