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Graciosa Geography

The oval shaped island of Graciosa has an area of 24 square miles (61.66 km2), with a length of 8 miles (12.5 km) and a maximum width of 5 miles (8.5 km). Low-lying and flat in the northern and north-eastern areas, it rises gradually until the altitude of 398 meters is reached at Pico Timao, located at the center of the island.

Graciosa Island is situated in the northwest tectonic structure called the “Terceira Rift” which is oriented southeast to northwest and coincident with the orientation of the archipelago. The presence of the rift has deformed Graciosa into an elongated oval form 12.5 km long by 8.5 km wide.

The coast is rough and rocky but generally low, except in the northwest along the Serra Branca (where the cliffs are 200 meters high). There are two shallow bays, situated in the southeast and southwest corresponding to fishing ports in Vila da Praia and Folga, respectively. Along the northeast coast there are several smaller coves near Santa Cruz da Graciosa that were used as ports but are now abandoned, and the older whale and commercial port in Barra, which is now a recreational zone.

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