Terceira Island view, Azores

One Day on Terceira Island, Azores

Experiencing the Azores- Terceira Island
During our week-long stay in the Azores, mostly on São Miguel, our group decided to spend one day visiting another nearby island. WC, Kelly, Harah, and myself woke up bright and early to catch the 7:00 am Sata Airlines flight to Terceira with a full-day Jeep tour awaiting us. Our guide, Gui, from Azores 38ºN, met us at the airport and began our whirlwind tour of this beautiful island. While we saw A LOT, we’ve just shared the highlights below. You’ll have to book a tour with Gui if you want to see it all!
Terceira Island Jeep tour with Azores 38ºN

Serra do Cume Viewpoint

Many say this is the best view of Terceira and it’s where we started our day. The Serra do Cume viewpoint really gives you an idea of just how much farmland there is on the island.
Serra do Cume Viewpoint on Terceira Island

Hike to Forte da Greta

This short hike is relatively easy and gives you an idea of the history of Terceira Island. Gui led us along a short trail until we reached the view of the Southeast coast of the island.
View of Southeast Terceira Island, Azores
This location was once home to Forte da Greta, a fort built in the 1500’s to defend the island against pirates. Today, some of the walls and remains of the fort can be seen from this spot.
Hike to Forte da Greta, Terceira Island, Azores

It’s also just a great spot for a view!

One Day on Terceira Island, Azores

View Ponta Das Contendas Lighthouse

From this same hike, you can also get a view of the Ponta das Contendas Lighthouse.

Ponta das Contendas Lighthouse view on Terceira Island

Go Caving at Gruta Das Agulhas

Now it’s time to put on your helmet and headlamp for a walk inside a lava tube!

Explore a lava tube on Terceira Island, Azores

Formed during a volcanic eruption, the lava flow created hollow caverns like this one around the island.

Inside Gruta das Agulhas on Terceira Island, Azores

Once you complete the trek, you’ll be ready for a celebratory photo outside of the cave. Gui is great at using the lighting to take unique photographs!

Walk through a lava tube on Terceira Island, Azores

Photograph Monumento ao Toiro

The “Monument to the Bull” honors the history of bullfighting on Terceira Island.

Monument to the Bull, Terceira Island, Azores

Today, the tradition has evolved to Touradas a Corda which means “Bullfighting on a Rope.” You’ll learn more about that at the very end of our day. Or you can just skip down to the bottom of this post for a sneak peak!

Bull statue on Terceira Island

Explore Furnas do Enxofre

This park is similar to the town of Furnas on São Miguel Island in that you can see hints of volcanic activity through hot steam rising from crevices in the land.

Furnas do Enxofre, Terceira Island, Azores

Brave the “Haunted Forest”

We’re certain this forest probably has a much more official name, but we’ll go with Gui’s unofficial, “Haunted Forest.” Make sure you pose for some funny photos while exploring!

Having fun in the "Haunted Forest" of Terceira Island, Azores

To be honest, the forest really isn’t scary. But it is a great spot for some picture taking with really great lighting coming through the trees.

Great lighting in this forest on Terceira Island, Azores

Algar do Carvão

This is probably the most famous and most visited spot on Terceira Island, but definitely for good reason!

Enjoying the view at Algar do Carvão, Terceira Island, Azores

Algar do Carvão is a huge cave that was created from a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. It is one of the only volcanoes in the world that is open to the public for exploration. Be prepared to walk a good amount of stairs!

Take a Dip at Biscoitos Natural Swimming Pools

You can just take a dip (like me)… or a dive from the rocks (like Gui)! He’s obviously done this a time or two.

WC may not have dived, but he had no problem jumping from the highest rock at Biscoitos!

This popular swimming spot along the Atlantic Ocean was filled with visitors, but it didn’t feel too crowded to enjoy. There are three different pools: one shallow pool for children, one for jumping off the rocks, and one mainly where you’ll find adults swimming (this way my favorite spot).

Biscoitos Natural Swimming Pools

Watch the Traditional Bull Running

Disclaimer: We, by no means, support or encourage the act of bull running. WC and I are huge animal lovers! However, we do feel that it is important to experience cultures and traditions when we are traveling. For that reason, we watched the traditional bull running. Below are some photos and video from the experience. Feel free to skip the rest of the post if it’s not your thing- we understand! 🙂

The bull running moves from town to town throughout the season on Terceira Island. They take place in the late afternoons when most of the locals are finished with work and able to participate. The bull running is different from bull fighting, in that they do not kill the bull.

Bull running on Terceira Island, Azores

On the day we visited Terceira Island, a bull running event was taking place in the town of Cabo da Praia. Since it was close to the airport, we finished our day by watching a portion of the event in the town square– yes, it happens right in the middle of town, not in an arena! What really struck us about the bull running experience is the way the town comes together to celebrate and participate. There were parties taking place at the homes that lined the main street and everyone seemed welcoming and in such high spirits. The event really seemed to bring the community together!

Back to the Airport

It was a long day, but we made it back to the airport just in time to board our flight back to São Miguel Island. Thanks to Gui for showing us a great time on Terceira!

Saying goodbye to Terceira

Pack Your Bags for the Azores!

We’ve seen a lot of great travel deals recently for the Azores (we found ours on Gate 1 Travel), so now is a great time to start planning your trip.  Also heading to São Miguel Island? Check out our other Azores blog posts for inspiration!

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Terceira Island, Azores Bucket List

2 thoughts on “One Day on Terceira Island, Azores

  1. Hi!

    I’m in the Azores right now and am wondering about the location about the “haunted forest”. Are there any clues you can give to help guide our way?

    Thanks 😀

    1. Hi Laura, Great question! We were on a tour for Terceira so we weren’t driving and I couldn’t tell you exactly how we got there. However, we’ve also heard it go by the name “Dark Forest” and “Black Forest” so we’d recommend asking a local if they can direct you there! Good luck!

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