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GETTING TO GRACIOSA
Sata Air Açores has daily flights to this island, departing from Terceira; one flight takes about 20 minutes. Also departing from Terceira, a ferry links the two islands. From May to October a ferry connects all the islands of the central group of the Archipelago. The journey between Terceira and Graciosa takes about 3 hours.

LOCALISATION
Located 28ş 05’W and 39ş 05’ N, Graciosa Island surface has approximately 62 sq km (25, 6 sq miles), 12, 5 km (6, 7 miles) length and 8, 5 km (4, 6 miles) width. It belongs to the central group of the Archipelago.

DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT
Sailors coming from Terceira were probably the first to disembark in this island. Although it is not the certain the date it occurred, many historians appoint the year 1450 as the most possible. The first settler was Vasco Gil Sodré, a man from Montemor-o-Velho.

TRANSPORTS
Car rentals, taxis or the bus lines are all options to visit the whole island.

PLACES TO VISIT
Furna do Enxofre
It is a very interesting volcanic phenomenon. A winding staircase leads to a volcanic vault with a lagoon of 130 m of diameter and 100 m of profundity, and of sulphurous water. To benefit from the light of the sun, we suggest a visit between 11 and 14 o’clock.

Caldeirinha
From this elevation, one can admire a panoramic view over the islands of Terceira, S. Jorge, Pico and Faial

Pico Timăo (398 m) and Pico do Facho (375) are mountains covered by endemic vegetation.

Nossa Senhora da Ajuda Mount offers a pleasant view over Santa Cruz, the north part of the island. In the zone, visit three chapels dedicate to S. Joăo, S. Salvador and Nossa Senhora da Ajuda.

Termas do Carapacho
Its thermal waters are proper for rheumatic and skin diseases. There is also a bathing place in this area, inviting for a good sea bath.

Ilhéu da Baleia
It is an islet that due to its shape received the name of islet of whales (baleias).

Ilhéu da Praia
Of rocky formation and covered with luxuriant vegetation, this islet in front of the City of Praia da Vitória and its port, offers a beautiful sight from the coast.

Graciosa Museum
Graciosa Museum has a vast and diversified content, mainly composed of local ethnographic objects. Besides, the museum presents collections of coins, postcards, old and recent photos, newspaper and several documents.



GETTING TO KNOW THE ISLAND

Itinerary 1
Leave Santa Cruz in direction of Guadalupe, pass through Pontal, Feteira, Pedras Brancas and take the road to Caldeira and Furna do Enxofre. Continue through the road to Carapacho, and deviate to the islet zone. Continue the visit by the seashore road, passing through Fenais, Praia and Quitadouro till Santa Cruz. Before the end, go up to Nossa Senhora da Ajuda Mount.

Itinerary 2
Leave Santa Cruz through the seashore road and stop at the belvedere of Ponta da Barca; pass through Senhora da Vitória, Porto Afonso, and go up to Pico das Terças, which offer one of the most wonderful sights of Graciosa Island. Deviate to Almas terrace, and follow the road that cross Serra Branca, passing through Fajă, Luz, S. Mateus, Quitadouro, and return then to Santa Cruz.


TRADITIONAL FESTIVITIES / ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE

The festivities in honour of the Holy Spirit have also a great religious meaning in this island; from the Pentecost to summer, this festival is celebrated in all the parishes of the island.
In the second week of August, the festivities in honour of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres take place.
Carnival in Graciosa is very lively. Enthusiastically lived by the inhabitants of Graciosa, it is also a tourist allurement of the island.
The Cultural Centre of Graciosa Island is the place where the most varied cultural events take place, and also a place of sociability.

MONUMENTS

Santa Cruz Church, the mother church, was built in the XVI century and restored in the XVII century. It presents a retable painted over wood, tiles from the XVIII century, valuable panels, and images dating from the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries.

Cruz da Barra dates back from the XVI century and was built in Manuelino style.

Santo Cristo Church was built in the XVI century.

Nossa Senhora da Ajuda Chapel keeps an important collection of tiles from the XVIII century.

S. Mateus Church was built in the XVI century and restored in the XIX century. It keeps images from the XVI and XVII centuries.

Nossa Senhora da Guadalupe Church was built in the XVIII century

Nossa Senhora da Vitória Chapel was built in the XVII century in commemoration of the victory over Algerian pirates.

GASTRONOMY
Fish stew and roasted fish are the most usual ways to cook the fish captured in the coast of the island. Lobster, spider-crab and limpets are very abundant shellfish. In the sweets, the much famous “queijadas da Ilha Graciosa” (cheese cakes), “pasteis de arroz (rice pastry) “encharcados de ovos (egg pastry) and “massa sovada” (sweet bread) are local specialties.
White wine, old brandy, or the aperitif wines produced in the island are considered very good even by the most exigent.

SEASIDE RESORTS
Clear waters with pleasant temperatures invite for a sea bath in the natural pools of Carapacho, in the beach of Praia, in the bathing zones of Calheta and Barro Vermelho, and in the municipal pool of Corpo Santo.

SPORT FISHING
If you enjoy fishing, Graciosa is a paradise for you; fish species like sargus, sea bream, grouper, anchovy, long beaked fish and saw fish can be captured in these waters whatever technique you choose because the coast is low and of easy access. Fishing on open sea, one can capture fish of bigger size with bottom fishing or angling.
Underwater fishing is also possible due to the great abundance of fish, capturing specimens of bigger size.

DIVING
The clear water allows a good visibility till more significant profundity. The quantity and variety of species, offers moments of rare beauty with excellent spots for underwater photos.

HUNTING
The most abundant species are quail, pigeon and rabbit. Dial 295712143 to get information about the hunting season in the Forestry Service of Graciosa Island.

TRACKING TOURS
Due to its smooth relief, this island is proper to pleasant walks. To enjoy the whole range of options, we suggest that you ask for specialised booklets in your lodging. There are no dangerous wild animals, nor snakes in the island.

RESERVE OF BIOSPHERE
Graciosa Island is a Reserve of Biosphere, due to its preservation of the social, cultural and traditional usages.

 

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