Overview

Introduction

The White Island - With an area of 61 sq. km, Graciosa lies 20 minutes by air northwest of Terceira. It is the second smallest island in the archipelago, only 12.5km long and 7km wide and has a gentle, low-lying landscape that is relatively untouched by time.

The 39km coastline of Graciosa offers a sand beach at Praia and natural rock pools at Carapacho, as well as many picturesque bays and offshore islets that provide a sanctuary for an abundance of sea birds, including the grebe and red-billed tern.

On the north east coast is Santa Cruz, the capital of Graciosa; an attractive town with many 18th and 19th century manor houses and a cobbled central square. From the Monte de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda an excellent view of the town and the vineyards which cover the north of the island can be observed.

Another fine view - of the central islands of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge and Terceira – can be enjoyed from Pico on a clear day. Classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO this peak is the highest on the island measuring 398m.

A must for any visitor to Graciosa is an exploration of the Furna do Enxofre, an impressive lava cave which stretches 194m in length and 40m in height. Accessed by a narrow funnel and 184 steps, this volcanic phenomenon is part of a much larger caldeira whose fertile lands can be explored by a 9km circular trail.

For those wishing to unwind and step back in time, look no further. Graciosa is an island where tranquility reigns and where age-old traditions remain.      

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About Graciosa

Area: 61 sq. km
Length: 12.5 km (8 miles)
Width: 7 (4 miles)
Population: 4,800 inhabitants
Capital: Santa Cruz

Highlights

Furna do Enxofre
The best time to visit this volcanic phenomenon is between 11am and 2pm when sunlight penetrates the narrow funnel by which the cave is entered.

Ilheu da Baleia
This dramic rocky outcrop, located near Santa Cruz, is shaped like a whale hence the name islet of whales.

Shopping
Graciosa produces its own wine, cheese and traditional cakes – the ‘Queijadas da Graciosa’ are a sweet, treacle-like pastry made in Praia. Fresh fish and shellfish are also available in abundance.

Festivals

  • Espírito Santo (7 weeks after Easter)

Activities

Diving

The Azores are increasingly becoming known for their excellent diving possibilities. Graciosa is a perfect base, with its abundance of fish, fascinating wrecks and 20-30m visibility.

This activity is only bookable locally.

Guided Walks

Guided Walk - Baía da Folga

This 2.1km (1 hour) walk begins in the centre of the village of Luz, near the local Holy Spirit chapel in the south of the Island and ends at Portinho da Folga. Along the trail you will pass through vineyards and coastal paths and have a chance to spot several plant species such as seaside goldenrods (Solidago sempervirens), African tamarisks (Tamarix africana) and endemic fescue (Festuca petraea).

  • Difficulty: Grade 1 (Easy)
  • Price is £31 per adult and £11 per child (6-12yrs) – Minimum 2 people

 

Guided Walk – Serra Branca-Praia

This 8.7km (2.5 hour) trail begins in Pico da Caldeirinha at Serra Branca hills, and ends in the village of Praia. Before starting the descent, you will walk around Pico da Caldeirinha’s volcanic cone and enjoy amazing views over almost the entire island. Along the trail you will walk along dirt paths amidst orchards and along the coast passing by several traditional windmills.

  • Difficulty: Grade 1 (Easy)
  • Price is £40 per adult and £14 per child (6-12yrs) – Minimum 2 people

 

Guided Walk – Around Caldeira - Furna do Enxofre

This 10.8km (3 hour) trail begins and ends at the access path to Caldeira, in the southeast part of the island. You will walk around the Caldeira’s perimeter and along the way make a short detour to visit Maria Encantada cave, which has several interesting geological formations. Further ahead you will come to the viewpoint overlooking the Caldeira. After walking around the perimeter there will be a visit to Furna do Enxofre (Sulphur cave), one of the most remarkable lava cavities of the archipelago.

  • Difficulty: Grade 1 (Easy)
  • Price is £43 per adult and £15 per child (6-12yrs) – Minimum 2 people

 

Notes

  • Pick-up from hotels in Santa Cruz at 09:00
  • Departures: Daily – all year
  • English speaking guide and transportation included

 

Private Taxi Tour
Sunvil is able to pre-book the following private taxi tours on Graciosa with English speaking driver. Tours can also be tailor-made to suit the individual requirements of our clients, please telephone us for a quotation.


Graciosa (Half Day)
Depart from Santa Cruz da Graciosa towards the caldeira where you will visit the Furna do Enxofre or sulphur cavern
located at the base of the crater. The view from the caldeira, overlooking small meadows and forests, is spectacular.
Continue to the fishing village of Praia, Fenais and on to Carapacho to visit the thermal baths. Return to Santa Cruz da
Graciosa via the west coast, stopping at Monte da Ajuda to enjoy the view over the capital.

Price is £184 per taxi

Notes

  • Pick-up from hotels in Santa Cruz at 09:00
  • Prices are based on a maximum of 3 people per taxi
  • Half day (3 hours 30 minutes)
  • A qualified English speaking guide can be provided at a supplement on request
  • The Furna do Enxofre may be closed to public visits without prior notice
  • Lunch and entrance fees to museums and parks are not included
  • Itinerary subject to change

Sea Activities

Boat tour around Graciosa

Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on clear and temperate waters with the opportunity to swim in beautiful inlets, whilst observing the beautiful coast and magnificent bays, caves and islets of Graciosa.

  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Price is £32 per adult and £16 per child (6-12yrs) – Minimum 6 people

 

Boat tour to Praia Islet

Enjoy a wonderful boat trip to the natural reserve of ‘Ilhéu da Praia’, guided by experienced guides this tour will explore the natural beauties of this reserve. The ‘Ilhéu da Praia’ is undoubtedly one of nature's greatest treasures with an enormous diversity of nesting birds, among them endemic species such as the Monteiro storm petrel. It is also an important nesting habitat for seabirds and serves as a resting area for migratory birds. You will also be able to see Cory shearwaters, Madeiran storm petrels, Common terns and Fruzz.

  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Price is £16 per adult and £8 per child (6-12yrs) – Minimum 4 people

 

Boat tour to Praia and Carapacho Islets

Depart from Porto de Abrigo da Praia da Graciosa and head towards the Ilhéus do Carapacho, following the coastline and passing by Ponta dos Fenais, Portela, Baía da Engrade, Ponta da Restinga, Ponta do Carapacho, Baía do Carapacho and Ilhéus do Carapacho, before reaching the Ilhéu da Praia. Besides the natural beauty of the islets you will see an abundant variety of seabirds and occasionally even dolphins.

  • Duration: 1 Hour 15 minutes
  • Price is £20 per adult and £10 per child (6-12yrs) – Minimum 5 people

 

Notes

  • Pick-up from hotels in Santa Cruz at 09:00
  • Departures: Daily – all year
  • Children 0-5yrs go free of charge
  • Minimum number of passengers (as shown above) required to run the boat tours

 

Useful information

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Get in touch
Cristiana da Silva
Cristiana da Silva
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT - 1 hour

Currency

Euro

Language

Portuguese

Average flight times

4 hours 5 minutes

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our The Azores expert

Alison
Alison Garrard

Alison joined the Sunvil team in 2019 but has long been an extended member of our family, having sold our holidays as a travel agent for 25 years! Sunvil is more than a business, our approach to travel - introducing visitor to lesser-known places and placing them among the locals, is a concept that our staff buy into and feel passionate about. Our holidays are those that we ourselves enjoy and would recommend for our friends and family. Alison is no exception having chosen a Sunvil trip to the Azores for her honeymoon and having recently returned from Veneto.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
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