Image by Oliver Hoffmann Shutterstock
A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1983, the historic centre of Angra do Heroismo on the island of Terceira is an architectural jewel. This once obligatory stop on the transatlantic routes between Europe, Africa and the Americas prospered as a centre of trade during the Age of Discovery.
Those glory days left a legacy of well-preserved buildings, including two unique maritime forts dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, plus a veritable bonanza of Baroque cathedrals, churches and convents.
Less immediately visible proof of Angra’s historical importance lies beneath the surface of the surrounding bay, where divers can explore an underwater archaeological park that contains a ‘cemetery of anchors’ from long-sunken ships.