The island of Graciosa has a peaceful rural charm, perfect for a truly relaxing break.
The whole island is protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (along with Corvo and Flores) – highlighting Graciosa’s ideal balance between the preservation of her landscapes and ecosystems, and sustainable economic and human development. As a visitor, 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 as soon as you arrive on the island.
That’s not to say Graciosa is dull; quite the opposite – it’s violent volcanic past is only too evident when you take the plunge down into the volcano at Furna do Enxofre. A unique geological phenomenon, this enormous lava cave is an extraordinary sight: 200m in diameter, with a magnificent vaulted ceiling 50m high (made up of perfect cross-sections of volcanic prisms), its 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 has to be one of our favourites.
Furna do Enxofre (pronounced ‘Fur-Na Dough En-Show-Frer’) is an incredible natural wonder. The visitors centre is excellent too, with displays on the geological evolution of the island since its creation 600,000 years ago.
Having explored inside the volcano, it’s time to explore the outside. The Volta a Caldeira trail takes you right around the caldera, and includes one of the few miradouros in the Azores where you can view five islands from the same spot: Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico, Faial and of course Graciosa herself.
Once your walks are done, it’s nice to spend a relaxing day on the beach at Praia, or maybe swimming in the seawater pools at Ponta Barca. The geothermal baths at Termas do Carapacho are a wonderful all year around.
Spend your days exploring on foot and by car, and your evenings relaxing in the main square in Santa Cruz. It's also a great island for studying pelagic bird species; we have a group trip every August.
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
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