One of the largest islands in the Azores, Terceira lies in the middle of the archipelago, surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s home to the Azores’ historical capital, Angra do Heroismo, which was founded in 1478 and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Things to do in Terceira
Spend a day relaxing on the sands of Praia da Vitoria, which is lapped by the refreshing waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Away from the beach, you explore its colourful buildings and the remains of its old town walls before soaking up the elevated views across the harbour from the Miradouro do Facho. Topped by a giant statue of the Virgin Mary, the lookout can be accessed via a steep staircase from the town.
No visit to Terceira Island is complete without exploring Algar do Carvão, an ancient lava tube that is illuminated. It is believed to have been formed about 3,200 years ago when magma drained from its volcanic chimney, resulting in the 90-metre-deep tube seen today. Embark on a self-guided tour to experience this Natural Monument and see its underground lake.
Protruding off the southern coast of Terceira Island is Monte Brasil, the remnants of a tuff volcano topped by the 17th-century Fortress of São João Baptista. Just a stone’s throw from Angra do Heroismo, it is surrounded by a designated nature reserve crisscrossed with trails and offers magnificent views of the whitewashed old town.
Getting around Terceira
Lajes Airport is the main aviation gateway to Terceira Island and has flights to destinations across Portugal and North America. Regular ferries travel to Praia da Vitoria from the surrounding islands. Local buses connect the main towns around Terceira Island, although renting a car will give you greater freedom to explore.