Angra was the first settlement in the Azores to be granted city status in 1534, gaining the honorary suffix ‘de Heroismo’ following the battle of Praia da Vitoria on 11th August 1829 (a key moment in the Portuguese civil war). Tours normally begin at the miradouro Adro Santo overlooking Angra’s Marina and the extinct Monte Brasil volcano. The families of fisherman and sailors would come to this high vantage point to pray for the safe return of their husbands and fathers – at the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem which once stood on this spot.
Your next stop is Solar do Provedor das Armadas – the House of the Ombudsman of the Armed Forces. The original building was constructed in the 16th Century during the city’s ‘golden era’, when Angra played a key role in trade between Portugal and her Indian colonies. The Ombudsman protected fleets sailing the Carreira da India – the sea-route from Lisbon, via the Cape of Good Hope, to Goa on India’s eastern coast.
The westerly winds of the North Atlantic would bring the fleets into Angra, where they would restock their supplies before completing the final stage of their journey home to mainland Portugal.A constant stream of traders saw the city blossom economically, culturally and architecturally. A happy by-product of the influx of trade was the introduction of spices – perhaps most prominently cinnamon, which the islanders happily adopted into their existing Azorean dishes. Our handy online guide will help you sample the best cuisine in Angra.
Next, you’ll head into the Jardim Duque da Terceira – Angra’s botanical garden: a collection of tropical and subtropical plant species which, like the cinnamon, were first brought to the islands during that golden era of trade. The gardens are also home to the Alto da Memoria – an obelisk erected in memory of Dom Pedro IV. Known as ‘The Liberator’, Pedro supported his daughter Queen Maria during the civil war. Terceira was his initial base in 1832, where he formed a government-in-opposition to his brother Miguel’s regime, before marching on Lisbon to bring an end to the civil war (in 1834). The Alto da Memoria memorial is constructed from the stones Pedro first stepped upon when he alighted from his boat on Angra’s quayside.
Your final stop on the tour is the Se Catherdral ; the largest religious building in the Azores. Although the cathedral was originally built in the early 16th Century, major reconstruction was necessary following the New Year’s Day earthquake in 1980. The city suffered considerable damage with over 5000 buildings and homes destroyed. Building repairs were completed by the end of 1983, and the centre of the city was awarded its historic UNESCO protected status.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Terceira, I’d recommend a visit to the Museu de Angra do Herosimo which houses the Azores’ most extensive collection of 18th and 19th Century art, ceramics, traditional costumes and musical instruments. The ‘Do Mar e da Terra’ exhibition charts the history of the Azores from their settlement in the 15th Century up to the revolution in 1974. Opening hours are 10:00 to 17:30 and the museum is closed on Mondays.
We specialise in tailor-made holidays to the nine islands of the Azores. Our experienced team of specialists are ready to put together your personalised trip; just give them a call on 017687 721020.
Azores Choice provided a prompt, helpful service. they found us the perfect accommodation for our needs and provided superb, expert advice on how to spend our week walking on San Miguel. I would certainly use them again.
Joan from Durham
Recommended small travel company!
Great little company with friendly staff. Organisation of flights & accommodation very efficient. When problems arise they are helpful and very reasonable in their efforts to resolve them. We would definitely use them again for a return trip.
Really great! Would use again!
Very efficient, friendly, helpful. Excellent local knowledge. Everything ran very smoothly, from supplying the tickets to airport pick ups and hotel bookings. Lovely accommodation selected. No complaints!
A wonderful break in a beautiful environment!
Everything was excellent. The information and organisation, the hotel and the island itself all exceeded our expectations. Whale watching and other trips out, fantastic. We will book again!
Great honeymoon package and experience!
They provided a great package at a good price. We found them to be helpful and a quality service was provided.
Nicola and Christopher – Winchester
Top notch service. Highly recommended!
Excellent service throughout. Very informative, with lots of literature, maps and the like. Attended their offices in Ponta Delgada – very impressed with Olivia, friendly and helpful. Paul was first class.
Lynne in Welton-by-Lincoln
Great company for first time Azores visit!
Really great company, will be recommending them. We had never visited the Azores before but this company helped us decided which islands to visit.
Brilliant holiday organised by an excellent company!
Friendly, helpful, professional and completely geared to us as individuals.
John and Janice
Very helpful staff, and the trips they organised for us were excellent with knowledgeable guides.
A really wonderful holiday!
We normally travel independently, but I am go glad that we used Archipelago Choice – their insider knowledge was really helpful in making the most of our time.
Valerie – Brighton