About Terceira

The Azores

Known for their natural beauty and awarded in categories such as Sustainable Tourism or Adventure Tourism, the 9 islands of the Azores, make up an archipelago of singular beauty, which for centuries has enchanted visitors and passionate residents. Officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, it is a transcontinental archipelago, volcanic in nature, and an autonomous territory of the Portuguese Republic, located in the Northeast Atlantic, endowed with political and administrative autonomy. From a geographical point of view, the islands are divided into three groups: the western group, consisting of the islands of Corvo and Flores; the central group, formed by the islands of Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Faial and Pico; and the eastern group, materialized by the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria. Its current population (2021 data) is around 236,657 inhabitants.

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If you are interested in the history, culture and other facts about Terceira Island, here you will find information that can help you learn a little more about.

Official language: Portuguese Religion: Catholic Official currency: Euro (€)

Geography

Second most inhabited island in the Azores, with 53 311 residents (data from 2021), Terceira island has 401.9 km2 of surface, 30.1 kilometers in length and 17.6 kilometers in maximum width. It is the easternmost island of the five that make up the Central Group of the archipelago and the closest island is São Jorge, 37.9 km away. The highest point on the island, at 1021 m altitude, is located in the Serra de Santa Bárbara, at 38°43’47’’ north latitude and 27°19’11’’ west longitude.

Climate

The geographic location, in the context of the atmospheric and oceanic global circulation, conditions its climate. Atmospheric circulation is commanded by the Azores Anticyclone, whose position, intensity, development and orientation influence the weather conditions experienced in the archipelago.

Thus, the climate is characterized by high levels of air humidity, thermal amenity, low insolation rates, regular and abundant rainfall and a regime of vigorous winds.

The four seasons of the year, typical of temperate climates, are recognized. Winters, although not excessively rigorous, can be rainy in the months between October and March. Summers are mild and sunnier than the rest of the year, however days with completely clear skies are rare. Average temperatures are around 13°C in winter and 24°C in summer.

The temperature of the sea water, which is moderated by the Gulf Stream, is between 16ºC in the months of February to April and 24ºC in the month of August.

The third stop on the archipelago to be recognized by Portuguese navigators, probably between the end of 1420 and beginning of 1430, begins by being called Ilha de Jesus Cristo. The later rebaptism to Terceira takes into account the order of the previous discoveries, Santa Maria and São Miguel. The settlement is later than in the eastern group, as it was only in 1449 that Infante D. Henrique commissioned Jácome de Bruges, born Flemish, to humanize the island. Despite this first investment, the effective settlement of the island was only carried out from 1470 onwards, with the central areas of Praia and Angra, which gave rise to the appearance of settlements throughout the rest of the territory.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the importance of the bay of Angra was not only notorious as an internal trading post, promoting the circuit of regional products produced on the other islands, but it also assumed an even greater role as an intercontinental scale for ships that sailed between Europe and the distant America and India. The city of Angra, founded in 1534, becomes the political, economic and religious fulcrum of the Azores and it is full of precious metals and exotic spices that make the island a privileged and continued target for English, French, Castilian and Flemish privateers.

In 1580, before the accession to the throne of Portugal by the Spanish king Filipe II, the inhabitants of Terceira supported the pretensions of D. António, Prior do Crato, a Portuguese candidate. Spain seeks to quell the rebellion, but the first landing of Castilian troops, in 1581, resulted in their heavy defeat at the famous Battle of Salga. Two years later, Hispanics return in greater numbers and reach island rule after fierce fighting. With the Restoration of 1640, Portugal regained independence and Terceira solidified its central position in the archipelago.

The brave spirit of the locals is again tested during the Liberal Wars. Mainly supporters of the liberal cause, the population of Terceira reacts against the absolutist rule, already comfortably installed elsewhere. In 1829, a fierce naval battle ended with the defeat of D. Miguel’s absolutist troops who tried to land on the beach at Praia. Given the feat, this village becomes known as Praia da Vitória. During this troubled historical period, Terceira served as a base for D. Pedro IV to organize the reconquest of the throne and consolidate the constitutional monarchy. Angra is named capital of the kingdom of Portugal and gets the addition “do Heroísmo”. In 1832, we witness the departure of the armada and army towards the mainland, where it will land on Mindelo beach, a key moment in the victory of the liberal ideal.

During World War II, the British were allowed to set up a military base near Praia da Vitória, which later was transferred to the North American Air Force. The known and still operating Base das Lajes brings new influences to the local inhabitants. Mindful of the historic past full of great achievements, Terceira is currently a dynamic island in the context of the archipelago, with the historic center of Angrense having been recognized, in 1983, as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The title “Very Noble, Loyal and Always Constant” attributed to Angra do Heroísmo highlights the importance that this city had throughout the history of Portugal. The relevance of the bay of Angra, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the importance of the city in the political, economic and religious framework of the Azores are portrayed in the urban fabric of this city.

From Alto da Memória or from the Monte Brasil viewpoint, we can see the historic center of Angra do Heroísmo that extends in a lacework of streets, alleys, churches, palaces, manor houses, monuments, squares and gardens, which selfless generations knew how to preserve and maintain until to today, and which UNESCO knew how to recognize, integrating the Historic Center of Angra do Heroísmo on the World Heritage list.

The imposing fortification of São João Baptista in the city of Angra do Heroísmo, built around 400 years ago, is a unique example of military architecture in the Azores and stands in defense of the identity of this city. Palaces, churches, convents and museums, there are many places to visit.

In the municipality of Praia da Vitória it is the so-called architecture or “Casa do Ramo Grande” that pontificates. Rural houses, characterized by the use of large stone slabs and stonework worked with meticulous art.

In various locations on Terceira, “empires” of elaborate architecture and brightly colored façades are part of the island’s trademark and deserve a closer look.

Terceira Island breathes culture from every pore. There are several cultural institutions and associations, theater groups and temporary or permanent exhibition venues that contribute to the promotion of the island’s culture. This is the case of the Museum of Angra do Heroísmo, installed in the Convent of São Francisco, with its remarkable collections of military and transport history from the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the city of Praia da Vitória, Casa Vitorino Nemésio occupies the small house where this great figure of Portuguese culture was born. A poet and writer of choice, Vitorino Nemésio was an intellectual with many facets, from journalist to professor, from historian to presenter of a television program that marked a generation.

To explore the region’s museums and museums: http://www.redemuseuscolecoesvisitaveisacores.pt

In the center, the island is marked by the Caldeira de Guilherme Moniz, flooded by the two thousand-year-old lavas of the cone of Algar do Carvão, where the largest patch of heather in the Azores can be found. An identical scenario develops to the north, in Biscoito da Ferraria and Pico Alto, and to the west, in the Serra de Santa Bárbara, where dense forests of endemic vegetation refer to the archipelago’s native forest, generally known as laurifolia forest. Therefore, it is not by chance that Terceira represents the island with the largest patch of native forest in the archipelago.

The traces of volcanic activity in Terceira take on peculiar, spectacular and easily visitable forms. In the underground world, the Algar do Carvão stands out, remnants of an ancient volcanic pipeline that dazzles due to its immensity of space. From its vaulted ceiling hang remarkable silica stalactites, the largest in the world. The Gruta do Natal, a lava tunnel, marvels for the succession of long and narrow corridors and for the different shapes and colors that assume the walls, floor and ceiling, transforming the cave into a mystical place. On the surface, the Furnas do Enxofre are eloquent testimony to the strength of the Azorean volcanism: the landscape is dominated by fumaroles surrounded by terrains in reddish tones, which contrast with the green of the mosses and other vegetation. The atmosphere is warm and with a peculiar smell… of sulphur.

But it is from the top of its mountains and mountains, in strategically positioned viewpoints, that it is best to absorb the immensity of its volcanoes and internalize the way Man has shaped them. You go up to Monte Brasil, without noticing that you are walking along an ancient volcano originating from the sea – the largest and best preserved in the Azores – to enjoy one of the most fabulous views over the city and the bay of Angra do Heroísmo. From the top of Serra do Cume, you can see the geometry of the endless stone walls and hydrangea hedges that cut across Terceira’s pastures. From the Miradouro do Facho, where the imposing Monument of the Immaculate Heart of Mary resides, you have an exceptional view over the beach, marina and houses of Praia da Vitória and the entire plain of Lajes, which certainly attracted the location of the Airport. And the list could go on, long.

On the beach at Praia da Vitória, the most important on the island, history is combined with entertainment, urbanity with isolation and sunshine with warm waters. On the contrary, there are many natural pools available, more or less equipped with support infrastructure: Porto Martins, Biscoitos, Negrito and Silveira, to name just a few. Pontas, promontories and bays also mark the coastline of Terceira, with scenic framing of rare beauty, such as the bays of Quatro Ribeiras, Salga, Mina or Fanal.

The coastline on the west side of the island is more linear and marked by high, vertiginous cliffs that drop abruptly into the deep ocean, here and there interrupted by promontories that advance into the sea, testimony to thicker recent lava flows. Ponta do Raminho or Ponta do Queimado, with Serreta Lighthouse as a sentinel, are illustrative examples. Or the area of ​​Lagoa da Fajãzinha, in Agualva, a unique corner, designed “the ruler and square” by wise Nature.

Terceira island is an undiscovered paradise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sports and activities on land

The island is rich in natural and endemic vegetation, offering magnificent landscapes of volcanic origin with an intimate connection between the green of the earth and the blue of the sea.

Walking tours are the perfect opportunity to climb mountains, walk along the seashore, through valleys and calderas, discover the volcanoes that gave rise to it, discover the natural vegetation and the way of life of the island’s people in harmony with nature. There are official walking routes that can be done independently.

For cycling lovers, there are companies specialized in bicycle tours, for all tastes and with different degrees of difficulty. Great emotions are always guaranteed, whether by dirt trails that cross the mountains rich in endemic fauna and flora or by the road network, flanked by hydrangeas and forests, passing through places of scenic and cultural relief.

If you are more fearless, it is also possible to practice adventure activities, and even radical ones, such as Rappel, Slide, Canyoning and Coasteering. These are activities that must be practiced with maximum safety and therefore it is advisable to carry them out with a specialist company.

If you are a fan of Golf, the Terceira Island Golf Club offers a course with several natural lakes and impeccable maintenance, to which the existence of several “tees” in each of the holes gives a touch of a championship course and transforms the game an unforgettable experience. Hole 18 – a par 3 – is considered the most difficult on the course, as the “green”, with its steep slopes and lines that are very difficult to read, is protected by trees and lakes.

Sports and nautical activities

From whale watching, boat trips, swimming with dolphins, to wave sports, the island has all the conditions to experience a huge variety of activities and sea sports.

Due to its geographical location, the island has excellent conditions for the practice of wave sports in various contexts: beach breaks, reef breaks and point breaks. There are a number of locations that can be chosen by the practitioner according to the conditions they want and the time of year. The swell is usually consistent, the natural beauty of the places is an acquired fact, but the water temperature is undoubtedly the aspect that most delights lovers of Surf and Bodyboard.

Praia da Vitória bay offers excellent conditions for sailing and water sports, with strong praise from world and European champions present in the various championships held in this location, providing moments of meeting and training for the main sailors of the international ranking.

Deep sea and cetacean lovers can experience unique emotions by seeing and swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat.

There is also the possibility of getting to know the coast of the island by kayak, canoe or stand up paddle, exploring areas of translucent waters and caves lost in the ocean.

For fishing lovers, there are sport fishing options.

If food is one of the reasons to travel, you’ve come to the right place. For the people of Terceira, life is synonymous with party and party is synonymous with food and drink!

The seafood flavor is incomparable. Chips, barnacles, limpets and the many species of fresh fish invite you to sit at the table. The hard part is wanting to leave.

The cattle are raised in the pastures, free and happy, and the meat is succulent and tasty. The meat dishes are varied and we find, all over the island, from the more traditional ones such as Rump, Cracklings, Black pudding, Sausage, Rabbit, to the simpler ones like Angus meat kebab or Steak that “melts” in the mouth .

Associated with the festivities of Espírito Santo, we have the Sopas do Espírito Santo, the Cozido and the Massa Sovada. The experience of the cult of the Holy Spirit is unique.

To sweeten the mouth, the emphasis is given to Dona Amélia cakes, where sugarcane honey and cinnamon are combined with currants and ciders. Legend has it that the name of the cake is associated with the passage of Queen D. Amélia through the island. The “Alfenim”, another sweet characteristic of the island, associated with the Feasts of Espírito Santo, consists of a sugar paste, transformed, by the skillful hands of the ladies, into works of art in the form of flowers, doves, chickens, swans and rabbits, a fantastic world of sugar and fantasy. There are also other options such as Cornucopia or Arroz Doce that complement the dessert list.

Cheeses cannot be forgotten, from fresh goat’s milk to cured milk from cow’s milk. Visiting some of the factories is mandatory and the cheeses are tasted at their place of production.

To accompany all the dishes and sweets, from the Biscoitos wine region, marked by the vine arranged in “curraletas”, Vinho Verdelho is born. When visiting the Museu do Vinho dos Biscoitos, you will be able to understand, a little, the dynamics of the tradition and culture of the vineyard and wine of Biscoitos. It is also possible to take organized tours to the wineries.

Organic production has gained weight in recent years and some have opened the doors for visits that show us the entire cycle from production to table. Small local farms are more likely to use sustainable practices and grow a wider variety of crops. They grow vegetables that are unique and inspiring to cook.

There are many reasons to buy local, the best reason of all is the taste. Food that doesn’t travel that far is fresher.

Gastronomy and wines are the golden key for a holiday complete with nature, stories and flavors!

There is no island like ours, when it comes to partying, and we make a point of preserving and enhancing the art of welcoming.

The Feasts of the Holy Spirit, centered on the picturesque Empires, are lived with intensity: the eight weeks between Easter Sunday and Trinity Sunday give way to functions and weddings that animate the different locations of the island.

During the Shrovetide period, Carnival Dances are typical, a singular manifestation of popular theater. For three days, the people from Terceira go out into the street or retire to the salons so as not to miss a hint of the so-called “dances” and “bailinhos”. During the show, the members of each group interpret a plot, where satire and criticism are a constant presence.

The Sanjoaninas, festivals dedicated to São João, occupy the streets of Angra do Heroísmo for ten days in June. Parades, musical concerts, bullfights (both square and rope), snack bars, theater and fireworks shows and sporting events, have their high point in the parade of popular marches, on the night of São João.

In August, Praia da Vitória presents a poster full of irresistible events and proposals: the Beach Festivals include bullfights, exhibitions, parades, gastronomic fair, concerts and nautical sports events.

At the beginning of September, the Vine and Wine Festivals enliven Biscoitos, a land of wine tradition.

Angra do Heroísmo is also the stage for two relevant music festivals: the AngraRock festival, in September, and the international AngraJazz festival, in October.

Even today, Terceirense parties are animated by singing to the challenge, where singers improvise verses for the delight of the audience.

Bullfighting is ancestral and the island has several active cattle ranches. The activity is divided into square bullfights and typical rope bullfights*, in which the bull runs through the streets of the town, held by a long rope held by a group of men known as the shepherds. The bullfighting season runs from May 1st to October 15th

Craftsmanship, better than any other witness, embodies the richness of a heritage, vast and full of reasons of interest, where the peculiar way of being of the peoples is projected: the inventive genius, the innate manual skill, a refined aesthetic sense, the natural assumption of the surrounding geographical environment and the strong and personal character.

The island’s female hands embroider linen with traditional motifs and make delicate lace. The quilts made in loom, whose tradition goes back to antiquity, when the clothing of families depended on wool and linen.

Basketry, pottery, the manufacture of everyday objects, made from local cedar wood, and even the guitars that are heard on feast days, are in charge of the island’s men.

Even today, the old looms are used to make colorful wool quilts, which are used throughout the island to cover the beds and decorate the windows on festive occasions.

In addition to the local crafts that you can purchase as a souvenir of your visit to the island, there is also a wide range of shops that will serve your needs during your stay.

Terceira Island Hospital: (+351 295 403 200) Emergency number: 112 Emergency Service for Deaf Citizens: you can call the Civil Protection emergency services, via Skype video call, to SERViiN – LGP INTÉRPRETE or via the number 12472. The Portuguese Sign Language interpreter will communicate with the desired emergency service. This service is available from Monday to Friday, from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, including holidays. APP PROCIV Azores: The application provides information on the main self-protection measures for situations involving a risk of fire, earthquakes, storms, technological incidents or others; discloses alerts with regard to weather warnings and seismological communications, assists in first aid for victims of accidents and poisoning. With regard to calls to 112, the application, in addition to allowing the call to be made according to the type of distress call (accident, sudden illness or others), automatically sends an email with the data you have filled in in your profile, directly to the Medical Emergency Line, so that you can help you more quickly and effectively. Civil Protection provides brochures with self-protection measures (MAP) and/or information relevant to the population and visitors. Click on the link below and access the documents that you can consult or download. Self Protection Measures Public Security Police: Angra do Heroísmo (+351 295 212 022) Praia da Vitória (+351 295 908 710)

Official language: Portuguese Religion: Catholic Official currency: Euro (€)

Geography

Second most inhabited island in the Azores, with 53 311 residents (data from 2021), Terceira island has 401.9 km2 of surface, 30.1 kilometers in length and 17.6 kilometers in maximum width. It is the easternmost island of the five that make up the Central Group of the archipelago and the closest island is São Jorge, 37.9 km away. The highest point on the island, at 1021 m altitude, is located in the Serra de Santa Bárbara, at 38°43’47’’ north latitude and 27°19’11’’ west longitude.

Climate

The geographic location, in the context of the atmospheric and oceanic global circulation, conditions its climate. Atmospheric circulation is commanded by the Azores Anticyclone, whose position, intensity, development and orientation influence the weather conditions experienced in the archipelago.

Thus, the climate is characterized by high levels of air humidity, thermal amenity, low insolation rates, regular and abundant rainfall and a regime of vigorous winds.

The four seasons of the year, typical of temperate climates, are recognized. Winters, although not excessively rigorous, can be rainy in the months between October and March. Summers are mild and sunnier than the rest of the year, however days with completely clear skies are rare. Average temperatures are around 13°C in winter and 24°C in summer.

The temperature of the sea water, which is moderated by the Gulf Stream, is between 16ºC in the months of February to April and 24ºC in the month of August.

The third stop on the archipelago to be recognized by Portuguese navigators, probably between the end of 1420 and beginning of 1430, begins by being called Ilha de Jesus Cristo. The later rebaptism to Terceira takes into account the order of the previous discoveries, Santa Maria and São Miguel. The settlement is later than in the eastern group, as it was only in 1449 that Infante D. Henrique commissioned Jácome de Bruges, born Flemish, to humanize the island. Despite this first investment, the effective settlement of the island was only carried out from 1470 onwards, with the central areas of Praia and Angra, which gave rise to the appearance of settlements throughout the rest of the territory.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the importance of the bay of Angra was not only notorious as an internal trading post, promoting the circuit of regional products produced on the other islands, but it also assumed an even greater role as an intercontinental scale for ships that sailed between Europe and the distant America and India. The city of Angra, founded in 1534, becomes the political, economic and religious fulcrum of the Azores and it is full of precious metals and exotic spices that make the island a privileged and continued target for English, French, Castilian and Flemish privateers.

In 1580, before the accession to the throne of Portugal by the Spanish king Filipe II, the inhabitants of Terceira supported the pretensions of D. António, Prior do Crato, a Portuguese candidate. Spain seeks to quell the rebellion, but the first landing of Castilian troops, in 1581, resulted in their heavy defeat at the famous Battle of Salga. Two years later, Hispanics return in greater numbers and reach island rule after fierce fighting. With the Restoration of 1640, Portugal regained independence and Terceira solidified its central position in the archipelago.

The brave spirit of the locals is again tested during the Liberal Wars. Mainly supporters of the liberal cause, the population of Terceira reacts against the absolutist rule, already comfortably installed elsewhere. In 1829, a fierce naval battle ended with the defeat of D. Miguel’s absolutist troops who tried to land on the beach at Praia. Given the feat, this village becomes known as Praia da Vitória. During this troubled historical period, Terceira served as a base for D. Pedro IV to organize the reconquest of the throne and consolidate the constitutional monarchy. Angra is named capital of the kingdom of Portugal and gets the addition “do Heroísmo”. In 1832, we witness the departure of the armada and army towards the mainland, where it will land on Mindelo beach, a key moment in the victory of the liberal ideal.

During World War II, the British were allowed to set up a military base near Praia da Vitória, which later was transferred to the North American Air Force. The known and still operating Base das Lajes brings new influences to the local inhabitants. Mindful of the historic past full of great achievements, Terceira is currently a dynamic island in the context of the archipelago, with the historic center of Angrense having been recognized, in 1983, as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The title “Very Noble, Loyal and Always Constant” attributed to Angra do Heroísmo highlights the importance that this city had throughout the history of Portugal. The relevance of the bay of Angra, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the importance of the city in the political, economic and religious framework of the Azores are portrayed in the urban fabric of this city.

From Alto da Memória or from the Monte Brasil viewpoint, we can see the historic center of Angra do Heroísmo that extends in a lacework of streets, alleys, churches, palaces, manor houses, monuments, squares and gardens, which selfless generations knew how to preserve and maintain until to today, and which UNESCO knew how to recognize, integrating the Historic Center of Angra do Heroísmo on the World Heritage list.

The imposing fortification of São João Baptista in the city of Angra do Heroísmo, built around 400 years ago, is a unique example of military architecture in the Azores and stands in defense of the identity of this city. Palaces, churches, convents and museums, there are many places to visit.

In the municipality of Praia da Vitória it is the so-called architecture or “Casa do Ramo Grande” that pontificates. Rural houses, characterized by the use of large stone slabs and stonework worked with meticulous art.

In various locations on Terceira, “empires” of elaborate architecture and brightly colored façades are part of the island’s trademark and deserve a closer look.

Terceira Island breathes culture from every pore. There are several cultural institutions and associations, theater groups and temporary or permanent exhibition venues that contribute to the promotion of the island’s culture. This is the case of the Museum of Angra do Heroísmo, installed in the Convent of São Francisco, with its remarkable collections of military and transport history from the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the city of Praia da Vitória, Casa Vitorino Nemésio occupies the small house where this great figure of Portuguese culture was born. A poet and writer of choice, Vitorino Nemésio was an intellectual with many facets, from journalist to professor, from historian to presenter of a television program that marked a generation.

To explore the region’s museums and museums: http://www.redemuseuscolecoesvisitaveisacores.pt

In the center, the island is marked by the Caldeira de Guilherme Moniz, flooded by the two thousand-year-old lavas of the cone of Algar do Carvão, where the largest patch of heather in the Azores can be found. An identical scenario develops to the north, in Biscoito da Ferraria and Pico Alto, and to the west, in the Serra de Santa Bárbara, where dense forests of endemic vegetation refer to the archipelago’s native forest, generally known as laurifolia forest. Therefore, it is not by chance that Terceira represents the island with the largest patch of native forest in the archipelago.

The traces of volcanic activity in Terceira take on peculiar, spectacular and easily visitable forms. In the underground world, the Algar do Carvão stands out, remnants of an ancient volcanic pipeline that dazzles due to its immensity of space. From its vaulted ceiling hang remarkable silica stalactites, the largest in the world. The Gruta do Natal, a lava tunnel, marvels for the succession of long and narrow corridors and for the different shapes and colors that assume the walls, floor and ceiling, transforming the cave into a mystical place. On the surface, the Furnas do Enxofre are eloquent testimony to the strength of the Azorean volcanism: the landscape is dominated by fumaroles surrounded by terrains in reddish tones, which contrast with the green of the mosses and other vegetation. The atmosphere is warm and with a peculiar smell… of sulphur.

But it is from the top of its mountains and mountains, in strategically positioned viewpoints, that it is best to absorb the immensity of its volcanoes and internalize the way Man has shaped them. You go up to Monte Brasil, without noticing that you are walking along an ancient volcano originating from the sea – the largest and best preserved in the Azores – to enjoy one of the most fabulous views over the city and the bay of Angra do Heroísmo. From the top of Serra do Cume, you can see the geometry of the endless stone walls and hydrangea hedges that cut across Terceira’s pastures. From the Miradouro do Facho, where the imposing Monument of the Immaculate Heart of Mary resides, you have an exceptional view over the beach, marina and houses of Praia da Vitória and the entire plain of Lajes, which certainly attracted the location of the Airport. And the list could go on, long.

On the beach at Praia da Vitória, the most important on the island, history is combined with entertainment, urbanity with isolation and sunshine with warm waters. On the contrary, there are many natural pools available, more or less equipped with support infrastructure: Porto Martins, Biscoitos, Negrito and Silveira, to name just a few. Pontas, promontories and bays also mark the coastline of Terceira, with scenic framing of rare beauty, such as the bays of Quatro Ribeiras, Salga, Mina or Fanal.

The coastline on the west side of the island is more linear and marked by high, vertiginous cliffs that drop abruptly into the deep ocean, here and there interrupted by promontories that advance into the sea, testimony to thicker recent lava flows. Ponta do Raminho or Ponta do Queimado, with Serreta Lighthouse as a sentinel, are illustrative examples. Or the area of ​​Lagoa da Fajãzinha, in Agualva, a unique corner, designed “the ruler and square” by wise Nature.

Terceira island is an undiscovered paradise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sports and activities on land

The island is rich in natural and endemic vegetation, offering magnificent landscapes of volcanic origin with an intimate connection between the green of the earth and the blue of the sea.

Walking tours are the perfect opportunity to climb mountains, walk along the seashore, through valleys and calderas, discover the volcanoes that gave rise to it, discover the natural vegetation and the way of life of the island’s people in harmony with nature. There are official walking routes that can be done independently.

For cycling lovers, there are companies specialized in bicycle tours, for all tastes and with different degrees of difficulty. Great emotions are always guaranteed, whether by dirt trails that cross the mountains rich in endemic fauna and flora or by the road network, flanked by hydrangeas and forests, passing through places of scenic and cultural relief.

If you are more fearless, it is also possible to practice adventure activities, and even radical ones, such as Rappel, Slide, Canyoning and Coasteering. These are activities that must be practiced with maximum safety and therefore it is advisable to carry them out with a specialist company.

If you are a fan of Golf, the Terceira Island Golf Club offers a course with several natural lakes and impeccable maintenance, to which the existence of several “tees” in each of the holes gives a touch of a championship course and transforms the game an unforgettable experience. Hole 18 – a par 3 – is considered the most difficult on the course, as the “green”, with its steep slopes and lines that are very difficult to read, is protected by trees and lakes.

Sports and nautical activities

From whale watching, boat trips, swimming with dolphins, to wave sports, the island has all the conditions to experience a huge variety of activities and sea sports.

Due to its geographical location, the island has excellent conditions for the practice of wave sports in various contexts: beach breaks, reef breaks and point breaks. There are a number of locations that can be chosen by the practitioner according to the conditions they want and the time of year. The swell is usually consistent, the natural beauty of the places is an acquired fact, but the water temperature is undoubtedly the aspect that most delights lovers of Surf and Bodyboard.

Praia da Vitória bay offers excellent conditions for sailing and water sports, with strong praise from world and European champions present in the various championships held in this location, providing moments of meeting and training for the main sailors of the international ranking.

Deep sea and cetacean lovers can experience unique emotions by seeing and swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat.

There is also the possibility of getting to know the coast of the island by kayak, canoe or stand up paddle, exploring areas of translucent waters and caves lost in the ocean.

For fishing lovers, there are sport fishing options.

If food is one of the reasons to travel, you’ve come to the right place. For the people of Terceira, life is synonymous with party and party is synonymous with food and drink!

The seafood flavor is incomparable. Chips, barnacles, limpets and the many species of fresh fish invite you to sit at the table. The hard part is wanting to leave.

The cattle are raised in the pastures, free and happy, and the meat is succulent and tasty. The meat dishes are varied and we find, all over the island, from the more traditional ones such as Rump, Cracklings, Black pudding, Sausage, Rabbit, to the simpler ones like Angus meat kebab or Steak that “melts” in the mouth .

Associated with the festivities of Espírito Santo, we have the Sopas do Espírito Santo, the Cozido and the Massa Sovada. The experience of the cult of the Holy Spirit is unique.

To sweeten the mouth, the emphasis is given to Dona Amélia cakes, where sugarcane honey and cinnamon are combined with currants and ciders. Legend has it that the name of the cake is associated with the passage of Queen D. Amélia through the island. The “Alfenim”, another sweet characteristic of the island, associated with the Feasts of Espírito Santo, consists of a sugar paste, transformed, by the skillful hands of the ladies, into works of art in the form of flowers, doves, chickens, swans and rabbits, a fantastic world of sugar and fantasy. There are also other options such as Cornucopia or Arroz Doce that complement the dessert list.

Cheeses cannot be forgotten, from fresh goat’s milk to cured milk from cow’s milk. Visiting some of the factories is mandatory and the cheeses are tasted at their place of production.

To accompany all the dishes and sweets, from the Biscoitos wine region, marked by the vine arranged in “curraletas”, Vinho Verdelho is born. When visiting the Museu do Vinho dos Biscoitos, you will be able to understand, a little, the dynamics of the tradition and culture of the vineyard and wine of Biscoitos. It is also possible to take organized tours to the wineries.

Organic production has gained weight in recent years and some have opened the doors for visits that show us the entire cycle from production to table. Small local farms are more likely to use sustainable practices and grow a wider variety of crops. They grow vegetables that are unique and inspiring to cook.

There are many reasons to buy local, the best reason of all is the taste. Food that doesn’t travel that far is fresher.

Gastronomy and wines are the golden key for a holiday complete with nature, stories and flavors!

There is no island like ours, when it comes to partying, and we make a point of preserving and enhancing the art of welcoming.

The Feasts of the Holy Spirit, centered on the picturesque Empires, are lived with intensity: the eight weeks between Easter Sunday and Trinity Sunday give way to functions and weddings that animate the different locations of the island.

During the Shrovetide period, Carnival Dances are typical, a singular manifestation of popular theater. For three days, the people from Terceira go out into the street or retire to the salons so as not to miss a hint of the so-called “dances” and “bailinhos”. During the show, the members of each group interpret a plot, where satire and criticism are a constant presence.

The Sanjoaninas, festivals dedicated to São João, occupy the streets of Angra do Heroísmo for ten days in June. Parades, musical concerts, bullfights (both square and rope), snack bars, theater and fireworks shows and sporting events, have their high point in the parade of popular marches, on the night of São João.

In August, Praia da Vitória presents a poster full of irresistible events and proposals: the Beach Festivals include bullfights, exhibitions, parades, gastronomic fair, concerts and nautical sports events.

At the beginning of September, the Vine and Wine Festivals enliven Biscoitos, a land of wine tradition.

Angra do Heroísmo is also the stage for two relevant music festivals: the AngraRock festival, in September, and the international AngraJazz festival, in October.

Even today, Terceirense parties are animated by singing to the challenge, where singers improvise verses for the delight of the audience.

Bullfighting is ancestral and the island has several active cattle ranches. The activity is divided into square bullfights and typical rope bullfights*, in which the bull runs through the streets of the town, held by a long rope held by a group of men known as the shepherds. The bullfighting season runs from May 1st to October 15th

Craftsmanship, better than any other witness, embodies the richness of a heritage, vast and full of reasons of interest, where the peculiar way of being of the peoples is projected: the inventive genius, the innate manual skill, a refined aesthetic sense, the natural assumption of the surrounding geographical environment and the strong and personal character.

The island’s female hands embroider linen with traditional motifs and make delicate lace. The quilts made in loom, whose tradition goes back to antiquity, when the clothing of families depended on wool and linen.

Basketry, pottery, the manufacture of everyday objects, made from local cedar wood, and even the guitars that are heard on feast days, are in charge of the island’s men.

Even today, the old looms are used to make colorful wool quilts, which are used throughout the island to cover the beds and decorate the windows on festive occasions.

In addition to the local crafts that you can purchase as a souvenir of your visit to the island, there is also a wide range of shops that will serve your needs during your stay.

Terceira Island Hospital: (+351 295 403 200) Emergency number: 112 Emergency Service for Deaf Citizens: you can call the Civil Protection emergency services, via Skype video call, to SERViiN – LGP INTÉRPRETE or via the number 12472. The Portuguese Sign Language interpreter will communicate with the desired emergency service. This service is available from Monday to Friday, from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, including holidays. APP PROCIV Azores: The application provides information on the main self-protection measures for situations involving a risk of fire, earthquakes, storms, technological incidents or others; discloses alerts with regard to weather warnings and seismological communications, assists in first aid for victims of accidents and poisoning. With regard to calls to 112, the application, in addition to allowing the call to be made according to the type of distress call (accident, sudden illness or others), automatically sends an email with the data you have filled in in your profile, directly to the Medical Emergency Line, so that you can help you more quickly and effectively. Civil Protection provides brochures with self-protection measures (MAP) and/or information relevant to the population and visitors. Click on the link below and access the documents that you can consult or download. Self Protection Measures Public Security Police: Angra do Heroísmo (+351 295 212 022) Praia da Vitória (+351 295 908 710)

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