Terceira is known as the ‘Lilac Island’ for its many hydrangeas, which turn lilac in colour due to the high iron content in the soil. The island is located around 145 kilometres from São Miguel our flight from Ponte Delgada took around 30 minutes. Terceira is the second most populated of the Azorean islands, with approximately 58,000 inhabitants, and the third largest in surface area.
Where to Stay
Pousada Forte Angra do Heroísmo is located just a few minutes by foot from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Angra do Heroísmo (although it is at the top of quite a steep hill). The hotel is a converted 16th century fortress. The construction of the castle started in 1555 and is closed in by high rising stone walls. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and bar. There is free wi-fi however it doesn’t work very well in some of the rooms (it works in the bar/restaurant areas). The views from the hotel grounds are quite spectacular, as the hotel is located right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the city of Angra do Heroísmo and the Atlantic Ocean.
What to See
Walking Tour of the City
If you only have a few days in Terceira a walking tour of the city of Angra do Heroísmo is highly recommended. Following a violent earthquake that damaged over 75% of the buildings in the city, Angra do Heroísmo became the oldest Portugese city centre included on the World Heritage List and was considered a witness to the Age of Discoveries. A walking tour will take you to Museo Angra do Heroísmo, situated within a former Franciscan convent of the seventeenth century, the church of Nossa Senhora da Guia, Palace of the General Captains and Sé Catedral de Angra.
Algar do Carvão Lava Tunnels
Algar do Carvão is just one of the many lava tunnels on the island of Terceira but this is the only one that is open to visitors at the moment. The word ‘algar’ means a natural cavity in the earth that, unlike most caves and caverns, is vertical. ‘Carvão’ is the Portuguese word for ‘coal’, as the cave walls are formed by dark, black lava. The tunnel is located in the centre of the island and is accessed through a long, man-made tunnel. Inside the lava tunnel you can climb down the steps down into the volcano towards a small pool of crystal-clear water.
Casa Agricola Brum
Biscoitos is located on the north of the island and is home to Casa Agricola Brum, the main winery on the island. he factory was opened in 1890 by Francisco Maria Brum, known as Chico Maria. Visitors can tour the vineyards and learn about the wine-making process before tasting some of the locally produced wines in the tasting room.
Where to Eat
O Chico restaurant is located in the city of Angra do Heroísmo, just a few minutes by foot from the Pousada Forte Angra do Heroísmo. It is a small restaurant and usually quite busy, so it is recommended to book a table. The food is good and reasonably priced with lots of local dishes on the menu.