When you are Portuguese you should visit Azores at least once in your life – when you are not Portuguese you should either. The problem is that then you fall in love with this wonderful archipelago and have to return! The advantage is that we have 9 islands to explore and I went to visit my second, Terceira (meaning third, do not get confused with the names :P). It was a flight that I asked for because I knew that our layover on the third island discovered of this archipelago would finish. Unconsciously but fortunately I asked for days when Jorge was off duty and so he was able to come with me on this express visit.
We stayed at the Azoris Angra Garden Hotel, which made me happy from the beginning as it had bolo levedo and cookies from Moaçor for breakfast. Then it has this name because it is located in Angra do Heroísmo and faces the city garden and the old town square. In the half hour that we were waiting for the car we were going to rent, provided by Terceira Mar Hotel, which has a partnership for TAP crew, we took a walk in the center of Angra and then we went up to the Pico da Memória, a viewpoint inside the garden from where you can see the whole city and Monte Brasil.
It was precisely this Mount that we first visited with the car. I got filled with desire to see Angra with more time and make the trail of Monte Brasil, which will have to be done in another time. Right from here and along the whole way between Angra and Altares, on the EN1-1A, we got a good surprise of being able to see the islands of São Jorge, Pico behind, and also Graciosa! I was also very excited when I saw an Empire of the Divine Holy Spirit, small chapels of typical architecture of this Azorean cult, very colorful and super photogenic. Unfortunately I only saw two on the way and only one was photographed!
We were for too long in the EN1-1A, always by the sea and therefore always inhabited and Jorge wanted to see the countryside, to be lost in uninhabited places, so we decided to climb to Serra de Santa Bárbara, the highest point of Terceira, from where we knew that we would not have any view because this area was clearly cloudy. Still he loved it, we could see happy cows, the walls so typical of this archipelago and beautiful landscapes of green and fog!
Finally we stopped for lunch at Caneta restaurant, where I ate the typical alcatra with the fantastic massa sovada! I love it, you do not understand! WONDERFUL!
In the afternoon we finally visited most of the island’s attractions. We started by the Biscoitos Natural Pools where we could go for a dive. It is undoubtedly a place where it is worth spending half a day or even a day! The water is transparent and calm, because the volcanic rocks in the distance absorb the force of the waves – but take shoes to the water or slippers that are stuck to the foot because there are a lot of rocks and the water is not hot, therefore it is not possible to enter at once .
From there we went to Algar do Carvão, a beautiful volcanic chimney. Admission costs €6 and has a very specific time, depending on the time of year, so inform yourself before you go there. I liked it but the expectations were higher than the reality – much like a Yucatecan cenote but without water.
Right next to it we have Furnas do Enxofre, the only vestige of active volcanic activity on this island, but “ridiculous” when compared to Furnas in São Miguel. In fact, that usual nauseating smell of sulfur is felt just really on top of the furnas. Although the access is of the most bucolic and romantic that we have seen throughout the day!
The last point visited, the Jorge’s favorite, who was very upset because we had to leave to return the car, was the viewpoint of Serra do Cume. From here we can see the typical Azorean “patchwork”, marked by the walls mentioned previously. Wear warm clothes as it is a very windy place, and will be totally worth for a sunset in a clear sky day.
We saw the sun setting already back at the hotel, Angra do Heroísmo and the Atlantic bathed in a fantastic pink light. At night we were so sad that we had to return home the next day. Terceira unexpectedly conquered our hearts!