Terceira is Portuguese for ‘third’ – as in ‘the third largest island’ and ‘the third island to be populated’ during the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Terceira’s home to the Azores’ oldest city, Angra do Heroísmo. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Azorean culture without the hustle and bustle of Sao Miguel, Angra’s cobbled streets, historic architecture and friendly population give the city a seductive charm. As a protected UNESCO world heritage site, the city’s stately 17th and 18th century architecture bears witness to Angra’s golden age, when the city blossomed economically, culturally and architecturally, and a long list of exiled members of the Portuguese nobility called Terceira their home.

Inland, Terceira’s rugged interior provides a glimpse of how the Azorean landscape looked to the first settlers arriving in the 15th century. Just over 20% of the island is classified as a protected Natural Park, to preserve and protect the last remaining laurisilva and juniper forests. It’s also a very volcanic landscape of criss-crossing lava flows and spectacular cave systems – most famously at Algar do Carvao: a unique 3000-year-old volcanic chimney and one of Portugal’s most-fascinating Natural Monuments.

Our Terceira Family Holiday and Terceira Activity Week are great ways to explore the island, or include a stay on Sao Jorge for an island hopping adventure.

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