Terceira was the third island to be discovered, thus its name. Terceira is very popular among tourists from the mainland Portugal, mainly due to the numerous festivities in the summer. When asking an Azorean what comes to his or her mind about Terceira, the answer will most likely be – parties.
The third island
The cities and villages of Terceira are situated along the sometimes steep coastline. The inner part of the roundish shaped island is dominated by volcanic craters. They might be less steep than the ones on São Miguel or the Caldeira of Faial, but nevertheless impressive. Green landscapes inhabited by an uncountable number of cows alternated with laurel forests. Angra do Heroismo, the capital of Terceira is probably the most beautiful city of all 9 islands. Founded in the 16th century the city is beautifully renovated an UNESCO world heritage site. The city had been devastated by a massive earthquake in 1980, but subsequently been reconstructed and given back its glory.
The colorful houses of Angra do Heroismo are by itself a reason to visit Terceira, the third island. You can stroll the streets and have a coffee or dinner down at the harbor. If you feel having a stroll in the green, you can walk up to Monte Brasil, from where you have a great view on the city. One of the major attractions in the inland is the volcanic cone of Algar do Carvão, a volcanic cone you can actually walk into. But you do not need to be afraid of any eruption, the 90 m vertical open cone, which you can access by climbing down endless stairs, last time erupted 3200 years ago. Above the earth you can have a breathtaking view over the island from the Miradouro da Serra do Cume. Typically for Terceira are its traditional bullfights, where the bulls are chased through the streets. Even though the bulls are not killed at these events, nowadays this tradition is more and questioned.
Terceira, the third island is about 30 km long and 18 km wide and is with 55.000 inhabitants the second most populated island. The settlements are situated along the cost line and are connected by a circular road. Terceira has actually the largest airport of the Azores. It has for a long time been an active American airbase, situated strategically in the middle of the Atlantic. Nowadays it is still used for military purposes but it is also an important hub for air traffic among the 9 islands. There are daily flights to the mainland Portugal and connections to North America.