The gentle Graciosa Island

Graciosa, the “White Island”, is the second smallest island of the Azores Archipelago in Macaronesia, Portugal. It is in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of Portugal.

Discovered by the Portuguese around the 1450s, Graciosa Island became an agricultural spot thanks to its fertile soil and great climate. Throughout its history it suffered from many natural disasters. After that, between the 1950s and ’70s a large portion of populations migrated to the United States. Nowadays, the it is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and its main industries are agriculture and wine production.

The main town is Santa Cruz, with several historic and elegant churches, mix of Portuguese and baroque style, white houses and cobbled roads. The Island has 20 Dutch style windmills with red domes as a symbol of the cereals production.

Graciosa is the perfect destination for nature lovers, with golden beaches and turquoise sea. In fact, here they can scuba dive, surf and fish. Moreover, they can enjoy different trekking and biking tracks. The Mountain landscape offers amazing panoramic views. For example, one of the attractions is Furna do Enxofre, a volcanic sulphur cave accessible by spiral staircase. Moreover, Carapacho is a thermal spa complex with temperatures up to 40° with therapeutic benefit.

Info: http://www.visitazores.com/en

Photo credit: ©Azoresphotos.visitazores.com

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