The Algar do Carvão Cave on Terceira Island
Terceira island is the 2nd most populated island in the Azores and the 2nd most visited island. However, Terceira hasn’t always come in 2nd place to Sao Miguel. Here, you can discover UNESCO World heritage sites, ancient castles, and dozens of unique biospheres. An island of preservation and history mixed with a modern-day European flair, Terceira is definitely the celebration island.
This island’s history is by far the most fascinating out of all of the 9 Azorean islands due to its relevant history as a maritime stopover point. It was here that the nation’s capital was transferred twice from Lisbon. The island has also hosted various international summits and events in its 500-year history. HRH Prince Andrew and The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson “Fergie” spent their honeymoon on Terceira for a week before touring Sao Miguel island. It was also the location of the famous summit with President George H.W Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Here, the plans were finalized for the War in Iraq “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”A place where history and culture play a vital role in locals’ daily lives, as traditional agriculture, fishing, and cattle farming are still the predominant economic sectors here. Ever since the great earthquake of 1980, which devastated the region, the significance of environmental considerations and modern building measures have been implemented in conjunction with UNESCO officials to preserve this island’s unique architecture.
Terceira is the site of four large volcanoes (Pico Alto, Santa Bárbara, Guilherme Moniz, and Cinco Picos). The Algar do Carvão is directly associated with the caldera “geyser” of the Guilherme Moniz volcano. A part of the same chain as Santa Barbara to the west, Pico Alto to the north, and Guilherme Moniz to the south. Algar do Carvão is situated at around 583 meters (1,913 ft) above sea level. This is a safe and exciting site to visit at any time of the year. The island’s volcanic landscapes are just as fascinating and impressive underground as they are above ground. It’s as if you are entering a heavily forested jungle, but it’s a cave in reality. Here you can get a unique look into the core of the volcanic makeup of the island. The good thing about this excursion is that you don’t need to be an athlete or even break a sweat. The entrance has been made accessible by a natural-made stairway that leads right into the cave. There is a dim amount of light so you can see where you are going and walk safely while exploring this charming spot. The light is dim since all preservation methods have been implemented to ensure the safe and natural exploration of the cave. This ensures that the natural environment is not disrupted. This is one of the most popular spots to visit on Terceira island. It is recommended that you go with a local guide, someone who knows the best times and can even make arrangements for private group tours is exceptionally beneficial. The cave is open daily from 9 am – 6 pm in the city of Angra do Heroismo. Here you can spend the entire day or as little as an hour if you are pressed for time. The entrance begins at a modest stone-built house that has a small information center. From here, there is a path that leads directly into this mystic cave. The price of admission is just a couple of euros for the entire day. This helps keep the staff adequately trained and assists in the preservation of this ecological site.
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