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Praia da Vitoria travel guide — Praia da Vitoria tourism and travel information

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Praia da Vitoria travel guide

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about Praia da Vitoria

Vila da Praia da Vitória is a town in the Portuguese department of the Azores, on the eastern fringe of the island of Terceira. It is the second largest town on the island, after Angra do Heroismo.

Praia da Vitoria is a fishing and agricultural community, and boasts a large new marina popular with the yachting crowd. It is the location of the only sizable sand beach on Terceira. The town has roughly 4,500 inhabitants and is the seat of a county of the same name.

Settled in the early 15th century around a natural harbor, Praia da Vitoria was designated a village of the Portuguese realm in 1480. The harbor was the scene of a naval battle in 1829 between the Liberals and the Absolutists, competing factions in support of King Pedro IV and King Miguel, respectively, during the Liberal Wars. The Liberals won a decisive victory, and the town was granted the name Praia da Vitoria (Victory Beach) in honor of the victory.

The town boasts two notable churches, several public squares, and a number of hotels and restaurants. It is popular with windsurfers because of the constant stiff seabreeze. The town edges up against a low mountain ridge called The Torch, and a large public park atop the ridge affords excellent views of the surrounding countryside and the Atlantic Ocean.

Lajes Air Base, a joint United States and Portuguese air force base, lies three km to the north of the town. American servicemen frequent the restaurants and clubs in the town and add considerably to the local economy.

Praia da Vitoria hosts an annual triathlon.

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