The small island of Graciosa has a peaceful rural charm, perfect for a truly relaxing break.

The island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (together with Corvo and Flores) – acknowledging the balance Graciosa’s struck between the preservation of her landscapes and sustainable human development. For visitors to the island, this manifests itself as sparsely populated villages, traditional rural architecture, quiet roads and a gentle pace of life which you can’t help slipping into.

That’s not to say Graciosa is dull; quite the opposite – it’s violent volcanic past is only too evident at Furna do Enxofre. A unique geological phenomenon, this enormous lava cave is an extraordinary sight: 200m in diameter with a 50m high vaulted ceiling made-up of volcanic prisms, it has it’s own underground sulphurous lake, and it’s only accessible via a vertigo-inducing 80-year-old stone spiral staircase (we counted 183 steps !). The Azores has more than its fair share of impressive geological phenomena, but Furna do Enxofre is one of our favourites.

Graciosa’s ideal if you’re looking for a relaxing Family Holiday  – combined with its larger neighbour Terceira, it’s a truly authentic Azores experience.

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