The Atlantic Island of Terceira in the Azores

CarlosDuarteThe island of Terceira is a very important historical and commercial post for the Portuguese empire ever since its discovery in the 15th century.  A sailing port for ships coming from both ends of the Atlantic during the Age of Discovery. Many nobles from all over Portugal emigrated to the islands in the early years of colonization leaving behind many ornate and beautiful churches and buildings that date back hundreds of years. The island is filled with unique flowers that thrive here in the mild Azores climate. The island of Terceira is the 3rd largest island of the 9 islands in the Azores and is known as the party island. The island is filled with fun festivals throughout the year, many dating back centuries. Here the Bullfight still exists, however unlike many other countries that have bullfights the bull is not harmed or killed during the fight and it is more of a long tethered rope that is tied to the bull with the local men pulling the ropes to avoid a collision with the bull and a possible bystander in the crowd.TerceiraA four-hour direct flight from Boston and Toronto in the summer months and a short stopover in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel throughout the year makes this island very accessible. The Capital of the island is Angra do Herismo, with many churches and buildings still erected from the 15th century. The island has a rich history throughout Portuguese history and it was here that many Portuguese nobles came to holiday away from the hustle and bustle of mainland Portugal. The various black and white mosaic cobblestone streets are a reminder in the small towns on the island of its old world European charm. Many people speak English on the island however, it is recommended to try to speak Portuguese whenever possible to show respect for the local island and culture. Many world leaders have visited the island of Terceira throughout history to host summits since it is located almost in the westernmost region of the Euro Zone. The U.S has leased a military base on the island since World War 2 which is contributed to the integration of the American culture with the local culture of the Azorean people on the island. The contribution by the American has been felt on the island’s economy for decades adding a business social class to the island, which has introduced many products and mannerisms to the island picked up by locals.Praia de Angra do HeroísmoThe island of Terceira is accessible by Plane, and by Ferry in the spring and summer Months from all islands of the Azores. It is a quick flight from Ponta Delgada the Capital of the Azores on the island of Sao Miguel and the ferry ride is an experience of a lifetime. The modern-day ferry has a lounge and restaurant where you can enjoy the beautiful Atlantic ocean and majestic islands in the background as it sails by dolphins and whales that tease the boat and often giving a private show for guests on the boat by tailing the boat and jumping alongside the ferry making it a true Azorean experience.shutterstock_605772380The lush fertile, green countryside is filled with local flowers and is one of the most beautiful sights on the island. The picturesque green patterns and marked farmlands is a nature lovers paradise. One can forget the perils of time and enjoy the good local food, and interesting history while basking in the beautiful sunlight. The island of Terceira like all the islands of the Azores is known to have 4 seasons in one day. This means that you could wake up with a hazy rain and begin to drive and 5 minutes up the road it is sunny and blue skies. It is one of the unique weather patterns of the island which is affected by the gulf stream winds.shutterstock_698471098.jpgSome Visitors to the island have included: Winston Churchill, FDR, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, The Shah of Iran, HRH Prince Andrew, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, George H.W. Bush, King Carlos of Spain etc.

Some things to do on the island include:

shutterstock_751176730.jpgVisit the naturally formed volcanic caves (Algar do Carvão and Gruta do Natal) on the interior of the island. There are many natural rock pools in place of beaches of coastal towns.

Visit the wine village of Biscoitos with its cobblestone streets while you enjoy taking a swim on its small beach between lava rocks.

Motorsports are popular with rally, 4×4 and motocross events common throughout the year. Praia da Vitoria has dedicated facility as well as temporary and permanent tracks around the island.

Visit capital city of Angra do Heroismo, where there is a medieval Castle (Castelo de São João Batista) opened to the public for exploration. In this castle and surrounding grounds, great battles were fought, between the Portuguese and the Spanish in the 16th century.

In 5 Ribeiras, visit a traditional cheese factory, with the best cheese of the Azores. Queijo Vaquinha. You can taste the cheese for free.

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