What to visit in Graciosa Island? We break it down for you
Graciosa is one of the most underrated islands of the whole Azores archipelago, meaning you’ll find there a peaceful and secret retreat just for yourself. Graciosa may be small, but there’s beauty and excitement at every corner. Though it is one of the less visited islands of the Azores, we’re here to prove that we don’t understand why -- it is incredibly charming and the locals love to interact with visitors.
Hop aboard as we tour you around Graciosa Island most iconic sights.
ITINERARY FOR DAY 1 IN GRACIOSA ISLAND, AZORES
The City of Santa Cruz da Graciosa
The island capital is the perfect starting point for your Graciosa adventure. Stroll around Santa Cruz da Graciosa entrickely tiled streets, appreciate the traditional architecture and sit down for a coffee or a meal at the central plaza.
Windmills of Graciosa Island, Azores
Head to the shoreline of Vila da Praia to see up close some of the famous windmills that dot Graciosa Island landscape. The Flemish-influenced windmills of the island are spread a bit all over the island, and some of them serve nowadays as local accommodations for visitors who intend to have a unique and authentic experience.
Queijadas da Graciosa Factory
As you appreciate the red windmills of Vila da Praia, the delicious and sweet smell of fresh queijadas da Graciosa will certainly appeal to you. Make sure you call ahead to Fábrica das Queijadas da Graciosa to book a tour, or simply stop by to buy some. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, book a tour with the one lady who still does the queijadas 100% artisanally.
Praia Islet in Graciosa Island, Azores
Still in Vila da Praia, taking a sit at the ocean side will appreciate the view to Praia Islet, located only 1.5 km away from the shore. It is an important nesting point for several types of seabirds.
Ponta da Barca Lighthouse in Graciosa Island, Azores
Head to the northwest tip of Graciosa Island for a meeting with the beautiful Ponta da Barca lighthouse, featuring a 23 metres high tower at an altitude of 71 metres. This lighthouse has been working since 1930 and it is a great place to assist sunset as well.
Baleia Islets of Graciosa Island, Azores
Next to the lighthouse make a quick stop to appreciate the unique whale-shape of the islets on the site. The islet is really named “whale islet” and it is considered a protected landscape.
Porto Afonso in Graciosa Island, Azores
As you head down to the west, make sure you don’t skip a visit to Porto Afonso. This fishing harbour is one of the most iconic sights of Graciosa Island, and once you’re there you’ll get why. There used to be a fort on the site, built to protect the island from the entrance of pirates. Nowadays it is used as a port and as a swimming area in the summer. The most interesting thing about it is that the locals have shaped the redish volcanic rocks in order for it to protect the boats from the sea.
ITINERARY FOR DAY 2 IN GRACIOSA ISLAND, AZORES
Furna do Enxofre in Graciosa Island, Azores
An incredible ancient lava cave whose main feature is the perfectly shaped vaulted ceiling formed by lava prisms. You’ll first get down to the Earth’s interior through a 200 meter tunnel, followed by a spiral staircase with 183 steps. There are several windows on the way down for you to take a sneak peak of the Furna.
Caldeira da Graciosa
This area of the island is perfect for hiking, biking and all kinds of activities. At 405 metres high, the Caldeira da Graciosa has no lake but it is impressive as if it had one.
Furna da Maria Encantada in Graciosa Island, Azores
This cave is a part of the Furna da Maria Encantada hiking trail in Graciosa Island, and all of the site is impressive. The cave for its perfect shape and right amount of sunlight, and the views to the Caldeira behind are beautiful as well.
Carapacho Viewpoint in Graciosa Island, Azores
On your way to Caldeira da Graciosa make sure you stop at Carapacho viewpoint overlooking the beauty of an unexplored and almost secret island.
Termas do Carapacho in Graciosa Island, Azores
You can also have a hot spring bath in Graciosa Island in the complex of Termas do Carapacho, overlooking the Baixo Islets and the natural swimming pools ahead. Locals have been using the thermal waters of Graciosa since 1750 and characterized them as “miraculous”.
Ponta da Restinga Viewpoint in Graciosa Island, Azores
The best place to overlook the shapes, the colours and the uniqueness of the island coastline. You’ll get a privellied view over the Carapacho bay and surrounding islets.