Terceira is Portuguese for ‘third’ – as in ‘the third largest island’ and ‘the third island to be populated’ during the Portuguese Age of Discovery.
The island’s home to the Azores’ oldest city Angra do Heroísmo: a UNESCO world heritage site – testament to the many members of Portuguese nobility who’ve contributed to the landscape of the town through its long history, resulting in some wonderful 17th and 18th century architecture. If you’re looking for Azorean culture and cuisine but without the hustle and bustle of Sao Miguel, Angra’s cobbled streets, historic architecture and friendly population help give the city a wonderfully relaxing, quiet charm.
Inland, Terceira’s sparsely populated, rugged interior provides a glimpse of how the Azores looked when the first settlers arrived in 1450. Just over 20% of the island is classified as a protected Natural Park to conserve the Laurisilva and Juniper forests. It’s also a very volcanic landscape, formed by criss-crossing lava flows which have created spectacular cave systems – most famously at Algar do Carvao: an 80m deep volcanic chimney formed by two major eruptions 1000 years apart. The cave was first explored in 1893 with extremely basic equipment; but it wasn’t until 1963 that organised descents allowed the cave to be explored more extensively, before being opened to the public in 1968.
Terceira is one of the few islands you can fly into directly from the UK, USA and Canada, making it a great destination for a Family Holiday.
If you enjoy a more active holiday, a good starting point is our Terceira Activity Week. As with all our holidays, we can create a personalised bespoke trip to the island just for you.