Azores - Graciosa Island
Graciosa Island is called the Island of the calm. It has a soft landscape full of green pastures and vineyards. The mountain ranges are the lowest elevation in all of the Azores with the tallest peak being under 400 metres. At only 12 by 8 kilometres, it is the second smallest Island in the Archipelago (geographically). And there are only 4000 inhabitants on the island.
Azores Graciosa's Hot Spot (must see!)
Can you guess what the hot spot is?
I'll give you a hint.
It involves a volcano! (You're not alone - my teenage girl is rolling her eyes at me!)
There is a a large caldera on the island that can only be reached through a tunnel. Once passing through this tunnel it is possible to descend to Furna do Enxofre, a huge underground lake. This lake lies in a vault that is formed by the volcano. The original descent into this area was by a rope ladder. Now it can be reached by a winding staircase. I am told that the best time to go is around noon so that the most natural sunlight can reach you while down in the caldera. You will be about one hundred metres deep when standing by the lake! If you are reasonably fit this is a must see while visiting the "calm island".
Other Spots of Interest on Graciosa Island
I just told you about one of the most unique spots on earth! And you still want more? No problem. There is lots to see on Graciosa.
If you want to see the pictures, visit the Graciosa Azores Photo Gallery
The island is very serene. There are farmers fields and vineyards, old world windmills, and a spa at Carapacho. The spa provides treatment with thermal water and lays claim to be able to cure certain ailments. This is also a good place to catch a great view towards Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico and Faial, the other islands of the central group of islands. Nearby there is a great spot to swim in the ocean.
There are two islets off the coast of the island that are interesting to see. There is the Praia Islet and the ilheu de Baixa. Baleia looks like a whale in the ocean.
Courtesy of Azores Tourism Association
Pico Timao is the tallest point on the island at 398 metres (roughly 1300 feet). From this point you can enjoy a good view of the island as well as the other islands in the central group. Pico das Tercas and Pico do Facho also have accessible lookouts.
The main town is Santa Cruz. This town is quite attractive. There are large white homes and white churches that contrast the black lava rock of the coastline and the blue ocean.
Speaking of the Ocean, are you looking for a place to go diving in the Azores? The coastline offers many great spots for diving and snorkeling alike. The water is clear and the fish are abundant. It's also a great place to go fishing.
After you are done exploring the island be sure to enjoy their wonderful wines paired with the great cheese produced on the island.
Map of the Island
Graciosa Azores Map
Flights to Graciosa Island and other ways to get there
There are daily flights to this island from Terceira Azores.
There is a ferry to the island every day from Terceira and in the months of May through to October there is a ferry connecting all of the five islands in the central group of Azores Islands
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