How to get here
To arrive at Terceira island, you will likely have to fly to Lisbon from wherever you are, and from there you can catch a flight directly to Lajes airport. You might also arrive in Lajes coming from another one of the Azores islands by plane, or perhaps you caught a direct flight from Boston or Toronto to Terceira.
If you travel the islands by boat, which is only possibe in the summer, you may arrive either in Angra do Heroismo, or in Praia da Vitoria. In that case, a taxi might be the best option to arrive here and it should cost around 25 Euro.
Once you are here, you will need to arrange your own transport to get around the island, unless you are content to take walks and wait for buses which pass at long intervals.
Arriving at Lajes airport, you will be around 25km from the final destination, the village of Altares. A taxi ride to Altares will cost you around 25 Euro. We will be glad to pick you up at the airport, but once in the house, you are on your own as far as transport goes.
There are some eight or ten car rental agencies with booths at the airport of Lajes, Terceira, the place where you will arrive, and it is always possible to get a car. If you plan to come in high season – from mid June to mid August – it would be good to reserve a car or you might end up with very little choice. So here are some websites of the rental agencies:
How to get to Altares by car
After you have your rent-a-car, here’s how you go to Altares:
Exiting the Airport parking lots, you find a roundabout where you take the first turn right.
Continuing on that road, you will drive by the front entrance of the Airport (departures) and then, leaving the airport area, another roundabout, where you continue straight on.
You will drive through the villages of Lajes and Vila Nova. When you come to Agualva, the next village, you have to take a right turn over a small bridge, in the direction of Quatro Ribeiras and Biscoitos. Once you are through the village of Biscoitos, you come to Altares. You have to go another few kilometers, to reach and pass through the center of the village.
Drive straight by the Church, look out for the sign of a restaurant “Caneta” and then the local fire department (Bombeiros – BVAH) on your left. Drive on another two hundred meters and you will see a street that goes off to your left. This is Canada da Ribeira dos Gatos and you have arrived. Yours is the second house on the right, number 14. Once you have arrived, call one of the numbers you find on the postbox, to get the key. We’ll be right there…
The previous village you passed, Biscoitos, is a popular place to go swimming in natural lava rock pools. Distance to Biscoitos is about 5 km.
Another way to get to Altares from Lajes airport is by Taxi. You will find taxis waiting outside the arrivals terminal. Give the driver the address, Altares, Canada da Ribeira dos Gatos 14.
Bus service is another possible mode of transport around the island, but some patience will be needed as the buses pass only every few hours. As a compensation, the routes are panoramic. There is one way around the island, which is going through all the villages, all of them are located close to the coast. There also is a bus that crosses over the middle of the island. From Altares, the street climbs up to about 500 meters altitude, to descend on the south side down to the main city – Angra do Heroismo.
The island Bus Transport Agency is called EVT and they have, on their site, time tables for the bus lines that can be downloaded. (http://www.evt.pt/percursos/)
Taking the bus from Altares around the coastal road, going east you end up in Praia da Vitoria (after you pass Lajes airport) and going west you will eventually arrive in Angra do Heroismo. Praia and Angra are the cities heading the administrative districts into which the island is divided.