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Terceira Island in Azores

If you’re thinking of moving to Portugal, the Terceira island, in the Azores archipelago, should definitely be on your list! It was the third island in the Azores to be discovered and it’s one of its largest, third only to São Miguel and Pico. It’s also home to the Azores’ oldest city, Angra do Heroísmo, which is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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Terceira, Azores: Land of 4 volcanos

This is a unique island, with four overlapping volcanoes on its ground. This overlap is what causes the Terceira Rift, a junction of 3 tectonic plates (Eurasian, African and North American). 

There is Cinco Picos, the oldest one. There’s also Guilherme Moniz at the centre of the island, which experts think is responsible for the numerous volcanic rocks, ignimbrites, spread across the island. Pico Alto, a small and recent addition to Guilherme Moniz volcano, consists of a cluster of trachyte domes and short flows. And Santa Barbara is the youngest volcano on the island, surrounded by domes and coulee trachyte formations.

But don’t worry! Besides these natural rocky formations , there’s a lot more to enjoy.

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What can you do around Terceira?

A beautiful island such as Terceira holds many unique spots where you can get the most amazing landscape and sea views. Due to its rocky ground, this island has more than enough mountains and hills, filled with natural trails and strategic viewpoints, created and designed to entertain tourists and all enthralled by nature, fitness or just plain old curiosity.

Miradouro da Serra do Cume is one of the islands’ most known viewpoints, built on relatively flat ground. At 545m high, it provides amazing views over the wide green farming fields, small villages and sea. 

Miradouro da Cruz do Canário is an altogether different viewpoint, isolated, about 10km from the city of Angra do Heroísmo and on sea level. By going there, you get a great place to decompress, while enjoying unobstructed views of the sea, over the surrounding uninhabited islands and the bird species particularly on those islands.

The famous cave, Algar do Carvão, which got its name and shape due to the island. The cave resembles a tube, where the old volcano’s lava used to circulate. It’s really one of the few places inside the volcano’s grounds where people can go. Where before there used to be a channel of lava, now it’s a moss-covered chamber where people enjoy taking strolls. You will get to see whole sets of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as a small born of rainwater filling the crater.

Natural Pools 

The Porto Martins Natural Pools are yet another popular attraction for both those residing in or visiting the island. On the eastern coast of the island, these pools are geological formations that resulted from ancient volcanic eruptions. When the lava clashed with sea water, it created long depressions, some made of black stone due to volcanic heat, at different depths, which grew with marine abrasion over time.

Locals have taken advantage of its popularity, surrounding these natural pools with all the structures and services one may need to spend a day around the place. You can count on it being safe and having your pick of restaurants.

Last but no least, this is one of the typical island attractions you can’t miss when coming to Terceira, the sulfur furnaces or, as they’re called in Portugal, Furnas de Enxofre.  This is yet another volcanic phenomenon which consists of the release of gases to the surface through a volcanic fissure system, meaning cracks on the ground resultant of volcanic activity. 

The most common gas is known as sulphur, which explains the name of this natural volcanic attraction. On these grounds, sulphur deposits and fumaroles can be found on the ground – this is from where the sulphur smell is released and why it lingers in the air of the surrounding area. Though a strange natural phenomenon, the trails leading to the area are immersed in beautiful green meadows and forest. The plant biodiversity found there is also very unique, which is why many of its species are under protection.

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Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira

How do you settle down in Terceira, Azores?

Real estate on the Portuguese islands of Azores and Madeira has grown a lot. There has been a tremendous growth of investment in tourist resorts, hotels and rentals. So, if you are looking into investing in real estate on this particular island, we recommend a big property that’s built and / or needs rehabilitation. With such a project, you can plan and decide on the best features a potential tourist would like to have in a rental when visiting the island.

Being Terceira’s island capital and a main point of attraction for tourists, we recommend investing in Angra do Heroísmo. The city has a lot of potential in real estate, mainly if we are talking about buildings with approved luxury rehabilitation projects for Alojamento Local or pricier rentals. 

Cost of Living in Terceira, Azores in 2024

ItemCost in EUR
Rent for two-bedroom furnished apartment €900
Utilities (Electricity and water) €110
Public transport/ month€15 (€0,30 per Minibus trip)
Internet/2 Phone plan €50
Gym (per person)€30
Groceries €350
Transportation: Tank of gas €100
Dining out 5x/month €150

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