Useful links to enjoy Terceira
Click on the links in the section below the photo gallery for answers
House instructions for Caminho Velho 27, Serretinha
How To Dress - What To Bring (Electrical Adapters)
This question naturally always comes up. Terceira doesn’t really have a winter (I’m from Colorado and live in Vermont), but it does have definite seasons.
Two important things about clothes: Terceira is essentially a rural island – meaning it is not fancy. People are clean and well-dressed, but casually. (I like it!) The other thing is to bring good walking shoes. There are lots of cobblestone street and steep hills.
You can see the comfort levels on this chart. Something to remember is that the weather is highly predictable in a general sense, yet the daily weather report is highly unpredictable.
Cold season – think layers.
The husband’s approach
I find that a zip-up wool sweater or light jacket is all I need, yet I see locals with hooded, fur-lined parkas and they are shivering.
A cotton/poly blend fabric is better than 100% cotton because it doesn’t feel clammy and dries faster. I never wear T-shirts there because, when the sun comes out it feels intensely hot.
I always have a rain jacket, but rarely use it, same with umbrellas. I think this is because when it is raining it will either stop soon or rain all day.
The wife’s approach
Hot season – think hair dryer. August can be oppressively hot. This is part of the reason that Terceirans can appear so nocturnal, it’s just too hot to do much during the day and the nights can be absolutely pleasant.
Shorts, flip-flops, sandals, hats and light tops are about all you need when it’s hot and brilliantly sunny out.
Most people seem to bring far more than they need. The house also has a clothes washer and dryer, so you can easily do your own laundry. The city of Anga also has a dry-cleaner/laundry service.
Things to bring with you – adapters for devices
Terceira uses standard European 220 V plugs.
The house has numerous adapters available, but please bring your own as well. You can buy inexpensive adapters online.
This type of plug is really useful for Macbook and iPad chargers.
USB ports work great for the wide variety of devices such as Apple, Android, etc. If all else fails you can also buy what you need on the island. We have some plugs with USB ports available at the house for your use.
Please don’t take them home with you!
Renting a car
Renting a car in Terceira is no different than anywhere else. There are numerous companies offering a wide range of cars. A simple Google search can get you started.
Price and availability change in the high season, from June through August. We always reserve our car at least a month ahead for the low season. During the summer it’s a good idea to do that 6 months ahead.
Some people find deals as part of a travel package or through an online broker. We have found that Angracar is perfect for our needs. They have great customer service, have a car lot next to the Lajes airport, competitive rates and are also friendly!
Most of the cars on the island have manual transmissions, for good reason. If you cannot drive a stick shift manual car, make sure you ask for an automatic!
Map to our house
You will want to print this out for handy reference
Map of our neighborhood
You will want to print this for handy reference
General Tips - Do's and Don'ts
Terceira is a wonderful blend of traditional and modern life. It is a relaxed yet industrious culture at the same time. The American influence is large, partly because of the American airbase in Lajes, but also because of the huge number of Azoreans who have migrated to the USA and Canada.
Overall, they like Americans and everybody seems to have a relative in Massachusetts, California or Toronto.
Here are a few general things to consider not doing:
- Tipping is optional, mostly something not done. Of course, any server who does an exceptional job appreciates a tip! But it is certainly not like the out-of-control American 20% surcharge for any type of service.
- Don’t expect much of anything to happen quickly. It isn’t exactly on “island time”, but maybe somewhat.
- Don’t be loud and demanding – duh? More than once I’ve cringed and tried to not be associated with American or UK tourists. Courtesy always goes a long way.
- There is not much need to jaywalk because everyone respects the right of pedestrians at crosswalks.
- You shouldn’t haggle or dicker over prices, as you might in some countries. On the other hand, asking if they have any discounts often will get you one.
- When driving Do Not let your mind wander. Seriously, anything can and will instantly appear when you least expect it.
Some thing you should do
- When driving you need to keep your eyes and attention on the road. This sounds obvious, but on one short drive I have encountered the following:double-parked cars, a goat-drawn wagon, a city bus, a school bus, pedestrians crossing the road, a herd of cows moving to their milking parlor, and probably a parade.
- Be prepared for extremely foggy and/or rainy conditions. If you think it might be getting foggy allow extra time to get to your destination (avoid crazy drives to catch your departing flight)
- Learn what the street signs mean. Almost everyone ends up on a tiny one-way street with cars parked on at least one side.
- Learn to at least say bom dia, boa tarde, boa noite and obrigado/a. Find out how to pronounce them so you don’t sound like Spaniard.
- Explore, get lost, discover something off-grid, meet locals, go to the festivals and street bullfights, take a glass bottomed boat ride, pay for a guided tour.
- Find a sweet, silent perch on the shore and simply be there – soak up the nature.
Restaurants --- the short and long list
There are many good restaurants on the island and most are quite affordable for travelers. Azorean food is pretty basic – usually a lot of local meat or fish with most everything else somewhat inconsequential.
At first you might wonder why there are so few vegetables, it’s because they are in the delicious puréed soups.
Here is a highly subjective list of some of our favorites.
Follow the link below to learn more about each restaurant
Eat at home, unless you like sweets that early.
Lunch – O Prato do Dia (Daily Special)
- Alto Sé Cafe in Angra offers good food at a very reasonable price
- Taberna do Teatro in Angra has smaller portions of creative dishes
- Canadinha in Angra is a favorite of locals. Nice and noisy and real
- Q.B. in Angra is a more modern type of cafe with sandwiches, pizza
Dinner – aka Supper – Terceirans usually eat late, as in 8 pm
- Búzios – São Martins – has Italian and regional food. Vegetarians also like it. Slightly more upscale
- Q.B. Food Court – Angra – has an informal and upscale level. Great island pizza, ask for the old style
- O Cachalote – Angra – is a must visit place offering the best steak you will ever eat, cooked on a hot volcanic rock
- A Caneta – Altares – worth the drive for the beef Alcatra
- A Boca Negra – Porto Judeu – wonderful fish Alcatra