FOR A DETOX AFTER THE WINE TOUR: TERCEIRA
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)