Lila island is the first island of Azores Archipelago I’ve seen. Visiting Terceira Island Azores I was amazed at a glance, as it was not the island one would of expect to see in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Moreover, I was fascinated about the hydrangeas, nature’s beauty, cuisine, quality of actually all, architecture, gulf fields. And more.
Terceira, same as other islands in Azores, has millions of hydrangeas, brought from China over 100 years ago. Those acclimatized very well in here. Did you knew that these flowers take their colors from the soil composition? Pink, blue, dark blue, white?
Visiting Terceira Island Azores: 10 Reasons To Start Packing Right Now
1. The people
The people from Azores are hard-working, warm and very welcoming as long as you respect them and their way of life. They are also very very proud of their inheritance and culture and above all their beautiful land. In Azores people have an amazing sense of community.
Nobody is intrusive at all so you’ll have all the privacy you need as no one will shout at you in the streets: Where are you from, Whats your name, Why you are alone, Are you married etc.
2. Journey to the Center of the Earth: inside a volcano
Algar do Carvo is the only volcano in the world where a tourist can venture, totally safe. Although I have learned that no volcano is totally asleep and they any can get back to life, this does not happens overnight. The activity of volcanoes is monitored, so enjoy the journey! It is something so exciting, was totally happy to do this in this in this lifetime. My experience inside the Algar do Carvo volcano is here.
3. Swim in the natural lava pools
In Terceira island you have the very rare, if not unique opportunity to swim in some very photogenic lava pools. All natural, as the islands are volcanic, the pools were built by the mother nature in one of the many past volcano eruptions. Read my review of swimming in Biscoitos lava pools here. Biscoitos means biscuits in Portuguese.
4. Amazing food
The Azores cuisine is tasty, very healthy, being almost totally organic. The soils are very fertile, everything is green in here. Terceira is exporting a lot of bio diary. They produce butter, still water, sugar, beer, cheese. All delicious and extremely cheap. The wine is also very good, white and red and also fortified wine in Biscoitos area.
In Terceira you”ll find something unique: it is the only island where they still breed the Ramo Grande cattle. And as the cows in Azores stay out all year round and the islands are green all the time and with an extremely low level of pollution (the inevitable one that comes from the rain).
I just love the soups, the fish, the diary (Terceira is also a big exporter of Bio diary), wine and beef. You can check them all, including Alcatra Portughuese, at Adega Lusitania in Angra do Heroismo, the capital city of the Lila island of Azores.
5. Local parties
As they say: 8 islands work, one parties all the time. Although for the nightlife Sao Miguel island is much more alluring, at any given day, one of the villages in Terceira is celebrating something. In Terceira are over 70 houses of Spirito Santo as the locals are very faithful and also keep all the traditions.
During the festivities, people share with the ones passing by and also the community, of course, food, orange juice, cakes, beer and wine. In the past they used to give milk but now people do prefer the alcoholic drinks.
6. Play Golf among Hydrangeas
Terceira is a very green island. Moreover, it is inundated with beautiful hydrangeas. As they are my favorite flowers, I felt like reaching a fairy land. It was impossible for me to think so many of them can exist in a single place and that they grow everywhere. Terceira has a very good Golf Course with 18 holes. And an amazing view, just beautiful. Read more about Golf Course in Terceira island and the club.
7. Serra do Cume Bellevue
Just amazing. This place is absolutely fabulous and from here you also have a wonderful view of Praia do Victoria. Praia do Victoria has one of the biggest beaches in Azores.
8. Angra do Heroismo
The most beautiful city of Azores is Terceira’s capital city, Angra do Heroismo. It is colorful, very clean, packed with nice coffee shops, pastries, restaurants and shops. Also here you will find a lot of museums, beautiful churches and other tourist attraction.
9. Activities: cruises, hiking’s, scuba diving
There are so many things you can do in Terceira. You can take one of the many cruises to see whales, dolphins, fish in Atlantic ocean. The you can make bike tours, paragliding, yachting, kayaking, snorkeling tours, scuba diving (there is a very big diving center in Praia da Vitoria with a professional PADI and SSI team). You can hike safe with your kids: no big wild animals or snakes, it is a very safe place for families.
To resume, you have nature and ocean: you can have any activity related with this two.
10. The is no mass tourism in Terceira island (yet)
Terceira is actually a very secluded island and so welcoming. In Azores there are more cows than humans: two cows (total, including ox and bulls) for any human. Then, there are no street beggars, you are not harassed in any way. It is a place for people that love the nature and the silence, the good food, clean air. Yet, the tourism is growing in Azores particularly for its safety. So better visit it sooner rather than later, as the tourism industry is developing not very quick, but is growing.
And did I mentioned the very good WiFi in public places (restaurants, coffee shops, airport etc) and hotels?
Traveling to Terceira island
By plane: TAP Portugal and SATA Air Acores, the company of Azores islands have regular flights between Lisbon or Porto and between the islands. Ryanair also introduced flights between Lisbon and Porto (Portugal) and Terceira Lajes Airport, two times/week from Porto and 4 times/week from Lisbon.
There are also charters in the summer, from US, Canada etc.
By ferry: between May and October. Yet, the journeys take long time so only if you prefer to travel with your own car, or you rent a car this is a good option.
Taxis are cheap and the local public system is reliable, very clean and cheap.There are buses that connect each city and village. You can also rent a car.
About Terceira island
Azores is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. They have a lot of autonomy in administration and yet are part of the European Union. So the EU citizens and also the Sweden citizens do not need a passport to visit Azores.
The official language is Portuguese, yet people do speak English very good and many also french or German languages.
Stay: Hotel Do Caracol, with a wonderful view of the ocean and Monte do Brasil.