Angra do Heroismo, or just Angra, is a regional capital on the island of Terceira in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago 1,400km off the coast of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean. Angra’s municipality forms the southern half of the island and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Angra do Heroismo was settled in the late 15th century by the Portuguese. The first houses in Angra were built on the hillside over the river and cove while the port dominated the inner harbour. A castle, now known as Castelo dos Moinhos (Castle of the Mills), was built in the late 15th century. Today, that castle is mostly in ruins. The battlements remain, as do several monuments. Other fortifications include the San Sebastião and San João Baptista military forts.
There are very few hostels in Angra. The hostels that are there are small and inexpensive, and not like the traditional backpacker hostels you may be familiar with. You may prefer to stay in a guesthouse rather than a hostel while in Angra.
The centre of town is dominated by a main square that has, over time, held various markets, public executions, and the running of the bulls, which occurs almost daily in the summers. The centre of Angra is where you will find most of the accommodation, restaurants, bars, and shops. Most are on Rua da Se, which is one of the oldest streets in Angra; there are also gardens on this street and they are well worth checking out. Nearby is the Se Catedral, built in 1570 and considered the largest cathedral in the archipelago. The port is no longer of any strategic importance, but worth wandering to see the local fishing boats. Outdoor enthusiasts will find that Angra has some excellent hiking. Most notable is the Mount Brasil, which dominates the skyline and offers over 10km of hiking trails. Whether seeking relaxation, history, or the outdoors, you will find it all in Angra do Heroismo.
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