ELLE (Canada) - - Lifestyle -

My guide in Terceira re­peat­edly re­ferred to the is­land as “par­adise,” so it might have been sub­lim­i­nal mes­sag­ing, but a few hours into my visit I was con­vinced. At 30 kilo­me­tres long, it is the third-largest of the group and home to An­gra do Heroísmo, the Azores’ old­est city and a UN­ESCO World Her­itage site: an oa­sis of cob­ble­stoned streets, build­ings painted in pas­tel and jewel colours, man­i­cured gar­dens with black-rock-and-white-mor­tar walls and views of the sparkling At­lantic. MUST- DOS: The is­land is edged by lots of nat­u­ral swim­ming holes—go to the ones in Bis­coitos, scut­tle into a sunny spot be­tween some boul­ders and stay all day. And don’t miss Al­gar do Carvão, the hol­lowed-out “chim­ney” of a vol­cano that last erupted 2,000 years ago. You can walk around this enor­mous cav­ern and see where flow­ing lava fi­nally slowed its path and har­dened for eterni- into var­i­ous rock for­ma­tions and walls that look al­most painted in earthy colours, a re­sult of dif­fer­ent types of min­er­als in the rock.

The Terceira coast­line; some of the is­land’s brightly coloured homes (be­low, right)

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