Terceira is one of the larger islands in the Azores and is also called the 'lilac island'. The former capital of the archipelago, Angra do Heroísmo, lies on the southern coast. This old city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bullfights are held in summer months.
Approximately 60,000 people live on the entire island. One third lives in the historical city of Angra do Heroísmo, which is usually simply called Angra.
Like the other islands in the Azores, Terceira is of volcanic origin. The archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1500 kilometers west of the Portuguese mainland and over 3300 kilometers from the North American coast. Due to the prevailing westerly winds, the western part of the island is much greener than the eastern part. Angra do Heroísmo lies on the south coast. The other large place, Praia de Vitoria, lies on the north coast.
Angra's port used to be of major importance to the entire Azores, but this role has in large part been taken over by the port of the current capital, Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island. Agriculture mainly consists of cattle breeding for dairy production. There's also some wine growing. On Terceira almost exclusively white wines are produced. There are also military bases, from both the Portuguese and American air forces. Tourism is an important source of income. Visitors are mainly attracted by the beautiful old city of Angra.
Terceira Airport is situated in the northeastern part of the island, just north of Praia de Vitoria. There are flights to and from other islands in the Azores and in summer months there are also direct connections with destinations in Europe and North America. The airport is easily reachable by rental car; from Angra do Heroísmo you take the Via Rapida to Praia de Vitoria. The way and exit to the airport are clearly signposted.
The only means of public transport on Terceira are taxis. There are also ferry connections with the other islands in the Azores.
Traffic and Parking
Finding a free parking place in Angra do Heroísmo is difficult, if not impossible. Therefore make sure you can park your rental car at your hotel. A rental car is an ideal means of transportation though to explore the rest of Terceiro. The main road Via Rapida connects Praia de Vitoria with Angra de Heroísmo. When you leave the main road, you may come across cattle or people on the road. Therefore drive carefully.
Angra do Heroísmo is the tourist attraction of Terceiro and has a large choice of accommodations: bed & breakfasts, guesthouses and midrange hotels. There are also some luxurious accommodations. We advise booking your hotel room well in advance if you want to visit the city in summer months.
For more information about Terceira, we recommend Google and the following sources: