Graciosa (meaning Gracious) belongs
to the Central Group of the Archipelago of the Azores (about 30
miles from Terceira). The island has an area of 61 km² in an oval
form and is called “the white island”. Graciosa has a length of
10 km and a width of 7 km and is almost flat. The island has about
is also known for the colored old windmills. The most
important town on the cosy island is Santa Cruz;
it’s a friendly village to visit with building fromm the
18th century and it has two lakes and the huge araucárias (sort
of tree). The airport is about 3 km outside the center
of the town. If you come to Graciosa by the ferry from
Terceira, you will arrive in Praia, (also known as Sao
Mateus). This town was in the past the most
important town on the island.
landscape of Graciosa mixes the green of the trees
with the white of the villages and isolated houses. It
has fertile fields that produce cereals, fruit, wine,
and cattle. The underwater life is spectacular. You can
easily spend 3-4 days to discover Graciosa.
Villages and Culture
- Santa Cruz: island capital with the Igreja
Matriz de Santa Cruz , The Igreja Misericordia,
Associacao de Artesaos da Ilha Graciosa, Ermida de N.S. da
Ajuda, and the Ethnographic Museum.
- Guadalupe: Igreja Nossa
Senhora da Guadalupe
- Vitória: picturesque village
- Furna do Enxofre (Sulphur
Cavern), see left picture above, is a unique geological phenomenon.
It is an extinct volcano
with a crater, which you can enter all the way
to the very bottom. A tower with internal steps lead
you rather comfortably to the very bottom. At the bottom
there is a beautiful large deep lake filled with cold
sulphur water. The diameter of the lake is about 130
meters and its depth about 15 meters. The opening at the
top of the crater is fairly small, which makes
the visit even more exiting. You can drive by car all
the way to the crater entrance. The best time for a
visit is between 11.00 AM to 14.00 PM.
- Furnas da Pombas, a curious
volcanic rock formation which is populated by wild pigeons.
- All the Fajas along the coast offer spectacular
- The lighthouse at the point of Carapacho gives
you a wonderful view towards Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico and
- The Praia Islet, totally covered by vegetation,
and the Baleia Islet, naturally formed to appear
as if a giant whale were anchored along the coast, are attractive
and serve as shelter for the numerous sea birds.
- The Carapacho Thermal Baths: In
Carapacho there is the health spa TERMAS DO CARAPACHO,
which provides treatments with thermal water, and claims
to cure some bone and skin diseases. It's open from 1. May
to 30. September.