Terceira Island


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The island has the approximate dimensions of 29 kilometers of length by 18 kilometers of width, measuring its perimeter 90 kilometers. It has an area of 402.2 square kilometers. Its highest point is 1021 meters above sea level, located in the Serra de Santa Bárbara on the west side.

Angra do Heroísmo and its bay.

Praia Grande, bay of Praia da Vitória.

The central zone of Angra do Heroísmo, with the Sé Cathedral; in the background, the walls of Fortaleza de São João Baptista and the slope of Monte Brasil.

Road typical of the Azores: paths of hydrangeas.

Dolphins next to Monte Brasil.

The island is crossed by the Terceira rift, a geological structure associated with the triple junction between the Eurasian, African and American tectonic plates.

The geomorphology of the island makes it present very varied landscapes of great beauty, which are divided between plains like Achada, and mountains like Santa Barbara. There are also some natural accidents, such as the Caldeira Guilherme Moniz, one of the largest on the island, called Lagoa das Patas or Falca, which together with "Viveiros" form a harmonious whole, and Chã das Lagoinhas, in the geological reserve of the Algar do Carvão. Also worthy of note is the Complex dismantled from Serra do Cume, in the East zone, from the top of which we can see Praia da Vitória and Lajes. The western part of the island is covered by lush vegetation where the cryptomies are pontificated. On the north coast, one can observe the tip of the "mysteries" and the bathing area of Biscoitos, with traces of volcanic eruptions. In the interior it is worth noting the Algar do Carvão and the Furnas do Sulx.

Its population is 55 833 inhabitants (census of 2001). Most of the population has their income from livestock and services.

There is also the Serreta Lighthouse, and the Serra do Morião or Nasce Água, with its 632 m of maximum altitude, is facing the city of Angra do Heroísmo, is in itself a singularity. The Peak of Bagacina. Rising from the sea, Mata da Serreta, is a large forest reserve that houses many species of fauna and flora. Lagoa do Ginjal, which despite its small size has unique plants and protected by law.

The Lagoa do Negro, which sits above the Christmas Grotto.

The Miradouro do Facho, in the municipality of Praia da Vitória offers a panoramic view of the city of Praia da Vitória.

Monte Brasil, at the gates of the city, houses the Fortaleza de São João Baptista. The Jardim Duque da Terceira, almost a botanical garden, has many exotic plants brought from the beginning of the maritime adventures. The Ilhéus das Cabras, which offer a nesting site for the many marine species that walk along the coast.

It can be affirmed that the geomorphology of Terceira presents a very rounded form with a single peninsula quite foreshadowed that is the volcano of Monte Brazil.

It has its highest point in the Serra de Santa Bárbara, which rises to 1021 m, and presents an extensive plain that extends from the Serra da Ribeirinha, in the county of Angra do Heroísmo, to the Serra do Cume in the county of  Praia da Vitória .


Like the other islands of the archipelago, the climate of Terceira is temperate oceanic. The Atlantic and the Gulf Stream function as temperature moderators - maritime - giving the island and the archipelago in general a small thermal amplitude. Rainfall is distributed regularly throughout the year, although it is more abundant in the cool season.

In winter, as well as the other islands of the archipelago, it is ravaged by strong winds that blow predominantly from the southwest, while in the summer they move to the North quadrant. The sky is generally cloudy, which causes variable sunshine.


One can not speak of the Terceira without speaking of the feast of the Divine Holy Spirit. This cult is linked to the Queen Santa Isabel, joining in the joaquimitas roots brought to the Azores by the spiritual Franciscans. This miracle is remembered every year in the parishes of Terceira in the ceremony of the distribution of bread and meat (the "bodo") by the population, celebrated next to the "empires", colored constructions erected as chapels in honor of the Holy Spirit. This is a ritual dating back to the Middle Ages which is repeated over the centuries with a deeply religious feeling.

The other great party and with great traditions in the island is the bullfight with the rope. A bull trapped with a rope and controlled by two groups of four shepherds invests against the popular ones that spread through the streets of the villages. Shepherds play a crucial role in running the bullfight, controlling the bull's course, and its speed, and ensuring the safety of the participants.

The work of the team of shepherds largely depends on the display of the animal, since the degree of restriction imposed by the rope, and the strokes, that is the impulse and tension given rhythmically to the rope, determine the speed and course of the animal. The safety of the participants also depends on the safety of the participants, since it is the rope that keeps the animal within the demarcated course, and, by delaying the bull, prevents excessively dangerous attacks on the improvised bullfighters.

Another festival that is great in Terceira is the Carnival. Carnival, or Carnival as it is called on the island, is celebrated in a fashion different from other world cultures. The celebrations begin on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and when the halls open on the whole island and the people wait to see performances.

These performances are in the form of dances and bailinhos that walk around the island climbing stages and show the work that the group did. These dances are a way of showing bravery and grandeur, in the form of popular theater. It's a great way to get into Lent, the idea behind the Costume. There are many kinds of dances and dances, with the ideas of those who invent each group. Basically, each dance has its clothing also with its music, songs and a play. The Carnival of Terceira ends on Tuesday before Lent. Tradition is so important in Terceiran society that emigrants from this island have brought it to other leagues in the world. (Specifically the east coast of the United States, Canada and California).

The Carnival of Terceira is celebrated between Saturday and Tuesday which was described above. In fact, planning the Carnival takes all year. The garments with their intricate designs and the songs and pieces written for this day alone require a lot of time. There is also a time before Carnival when the elders of the island make their performances in a cultural tradition called "Dances of the third age".