About the Destination

Terceira Island - The “Lilac Island”

Terceira Island is located approximately 90 miles from Sao Miguel and 66 miles from Faial, and has a surface area of 148 sq. miles.

The international airport, located in Lajes about 2 miles from the city of Praia da Vitoria, serves both civilian and military needs and includes both the Military Command for the Azores as well as an important American Air Force Base located in Lajes.

Terceira is the second most populated Azorean island with 58000 inhabitants and the third biggest in surface area after S. Miguel and Pico.

Terceira’s municipal seat is located in Angra do Heroismo where the The Paços do Concelho (City Hall), a majestic construction of the 19th century, is an important example of the rich architectural patrimony of Angra.

After a violent earthquake in 1980 and the subsequent reconstruction of the city, a large portion of Angra’s historical center has been classified as being of “public interest” and is included in the UNESCO’s list of World Patrimony since 1986. Angra do Heroismo also features one of the best public libraries and archives in Portugal and also retains some important private art collections.

The network of streets of a town that is a monument in itself: the colorful “impérios” or chapels that bear witness to the popular devotion of the Holy Spirit; the walls of a castle that was a royal prison; the constant presence of history; the gentle undulations of a green countryside; the white triangle of the typical chimneys; these are all features of the attractive and colorful prism that is Terceira.


The Terceira volcanic complex results from overlapping strato-volcanoes built over a geologic line called the Terceira Rift. These volcanic areas include the Cinco Picos, Guilherme Moniz, Pico Alto, and Santa Barbara volcanic aggregates.

The western part of Terceira Island has more vegetation than the eastern part due to the prevailing westerly winds and greater precipitation. Other geographical areas of interest include the plains of Achada, the hills near Santa Barbara, and the small lagoon of Lagoa das Patas.

The northern coast is an area marked by evidence of volcanic activity with several “misterios” (lava fields) and the swimming pools of Biscoitos. The center of the island features the dormant volcanic caves of Algar do Carvao: a popular fixture with tourists.


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