Graciosa

Graciosa Island, Azores

 

Nature


Caldeira da Graciosa (Caldera of Graciosa) – Classified by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, Graciosa Island offers breathtaking landscapes, one of which the Caldeira da Graciosa. A large volcanic crater located at the top of the Caldera’s volcano, covered with dense vegetation, which will offer an excellent panoramic view of Terceira, Faial, Pico and São Jorge islands to its visitors.

Furnas do Enxofre (Sulphur Cave) – The real icon of Graciosa Island. Located inside the Caldera, Furna do Enxofre is a cavity shaped in a perfect dome with 40 meters. The access to its interior is through a tower built in the early twentieth century with 183 steps made of stone. Inside lies a cold water lake and a fumarole with mud, responsible for the release of gases, recalling its volcanic origin.

Ponta da Barca Lighthouse – 71 meters above sea level, it’s the highest lighthouse in the Azores, allowing a fantastic view over the ocean. From the top of the lighthouse it’s possible to view the Ilhéu da Baleia (Whale Islet), which is a volcanic rock shaped as a whale, as the name implies.

 

Heritage


Santa Cruz Main Church – With origins in the late sixteenth century, it’s situated in the area where the first captain donee of the island lived. Initially built in the Manueline style, it was later rebuilt, featuring now a Baroque architectural style but still keeping some Manueline traits inside.

Windmills – Considered the most beautiful of the whole archipelago, the Dutch style windmills characterize Graciosa Island’s landscape. With bright colors on their roofs, doors and windows, they serve today as temporary housing combining heritage to tourism.

 

Cuisine


Although sweets assume greater importance on Graciosa Island, fresh fish is harvested and turned into delicious stews and roasts. The rockmelon of Graciosa and garlic are excellent quality products integrating several recipes of typical dishes of the island.

White wines produced in demarcated region are of great quality, often accompanying delicious stews. As for desserts, cavacas, escomilhas, capuchas, pastéis de arroz (rice cakes) and encharcadas de ovos (egg based custard) will delight visitors. However, if there is a typical product of this island, it’s the pastry that adopted the namesake of the island: Queijadas da Graciosa (Graciosa Custards) inspired by the centuries-old recipe of milk tumblers.

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