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One thing I noticed as we were getting ready to move to Lajes was that there was limited information available about things to do around the island.  I later discovered this was not because the information is not there, but rather that the information is in Portuguese and therefore unsearchable to those English speakers getting ready to move.  While more information is available now, there is still a lack of information, particularly that can be found in one place.

The island is small and life at Lajes is what you make of it.  I have created this site to help those of you stationed at Lajes make the most of the time you have here.  I have set up the categories of eat, play, sleep and current events.  Although all of the information will be posted on the home page of this site, it will be searchable in these categories.  Whenever possible I will share pictures, maps and contact information for the various establishments I am posting about.

I just want to mention that I am not a travel or tourism expert, so everything I write is purely my opinion, and at times may be from things I have heard from others stationed here.  My hope is that you are able to find new things to do, places to eat and ways to spend your time.

I welcome your comments.  Please feel free to comment on these posts.  On each individual post, if you have had a similar or different experience, please share that with others.  There are a few categories I am including to help making searching easier.  Those are Current Events, Eat, Sleep and Play.  To learn more about each, click on the tabs above.  Once you have read the pages explaining the various content of this site, please feel free to comment there as well, especially if you have a suggestion of a new place or activity to try.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. jason permalink
    December 4, 2010 9:53 am

    hello, great site! I was wondering if you could give me some good directions to Roca in porto Judeu from base? I didnt quite understand the ones on your site. I want to take my wife there for her b-day this monday. Thanks!

    • December 4, 2010 11:44 am

      Sure, It can be a little tricky, but I will try my best. I am sure she will enjoy it for her birthday. If you head out from the base and drive like you would head to Porto Martins by going through Cabo da Praia, on the road that follows the outside of the island, you will drive through Porto Martins, then Sao Sebastian, and then get to Porto Judeu. Wheh going through Porto Martins, don’t turn off and head towards Buzuis, instead keep on the main road and pass through Porto Martins that way. Keep going straight to Sao Sebastian, make sure you go straight and not veer left or right (which goes up a hill) just after you exit Porto Martins. This will keep you on the main road on the outside of the island. Drive through Sao Sebastian and if you seem to be lost look for street direction signs off the main square for Angra or Porto Judeu (it’s the same direction and I know it says Angra, but can’t remember if it says Porto Judeu too). You should see a sign that says Porto Judeu once you actually enter the town, and shortly after you will see a left hand turn which will head down to the actual main town part of Porto Judeu. You can actually see that there is a town below, so you need to turn down the road (that’s the left hand turn) to get into the main part of Porto Judeu. Once you take the road all the way down to where it dead ends, you will make a right. Keep driving and Rocha will be on the left hand side. It is just past the Casa do Povo and a church that has like a dome on it. If for some reason you miss the first turn off down into Porto Judeu, there should be a second and even a third street (I think) that goes down into the town. Once you are down, there is only really one main road, and the restaurant will be on there. Sorry if it sounds confusing, but it is a little hard to explain. Good luck and enjoy.

    • Julie Sorrell permalink
      January 22, 2011 6:46 pm

      Jason, there is an easier way to get to Porto Judeu. Pass P.Martins and as you enter Sao Sebastiao, you will pass the sign for the restaurant, “The Mill” ,on the left (you are now in the open section ofo Sao Sebastio where on the right there are small fountains sitting next to each other) After you pass The Mill sign veer immediately to the left. Keep following this lower road to Rocha. You may have already found it by now but for the future, this is the easier way of getting there =)

      • January 22, 2011 6:52 pm

        Thanks Julie! I have never found it this way. Good to know, I will try that next time.

  2. Local guy permalink
    December 19, 2010 2:13 pm

    I have one suggestion. In Vila Nova, besides “Setenta’s Place” , you also have “Casa da Galinha”. The speciality of this restaurant is fried chicken, similar to KFC chicken but with a completely different flavour.
    It’s open since 1980 and for over the years it has welcomed many Americans in Terceira. It have a familiar environment and is nice to spend a good time with some mates.

    So take your friends there e try it yourself. The restaurant is situated right in the center of Vila Nova, in front of the “Sociedade”. You just have to follow the main road and if you’re coming from Lajes it’s at your right.

    Hope you have a great time in the island and Merry Christmas

    • December 19, 2010 2:27 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll have to check that out. Boas Festas!

    • Julie permalink
      April 20, 2012 8:24 am

      The chicken house in Villa Nova is the best!

  3. February 1, 2011 5:28 pm

    Your blog has recently become popular among a group of us who were stationed there from 1989-1992. We have a Facebook group and have relived lots of great memories from reading your site. Anyway, one of the foods I distinctly remember was a type of creamy cheese that was served with fresh bread at many restaurants. Is that type of cheese still popular and, if it is, can you tell me what it is called so that we can start looking for places to find it here? It has been 20 years and I can still distinctly recall the taste.

    • February 1, 2011 6:34 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment. I am so glad that you have been enjoying my blog and reliving those great experiences. While there are probably more places to eat around here, the cheese is probably still the same. This is a fresh goat’s cheese, also known as queijo da ilha (cheese from the island). It is different from the hard and crumbly goat cheese you can buy in the states. I think that it may also have a combination of cow’s and sheep’s milk too, but most places we asked when we moved here told us goat cheese.

      • February 2, 2011 12:29 am

        Thank you so much. That’s exactly the piece of information I was looking for.

  4. Etleva permalink
    April 2, 2011 3:34 pm

    Your blog is fantastic! Just what Americans here at Lajes need!!! My husband works at AFN and I will find a way to make this more popular around base as people need to read this and know that there are fact a lot of places to eat and visit in the island. Way to go girl!

    • April 2, 2011 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much! I am glad to know that you like it. I just want to make everyone here aware of what an amazing experience this can be.

  5. Steve McGuffey permalink
    July 31, 2011 1:48 am

    I was wondering if there is a place in downtown Praia that sells alcatra pots that is searchable via the web? it’s been 20 years since I’ve been there and the place I bought mine was called Fast Freddies. Is that store still there? Anyway, any info would be great. Thanks!

    • August 2, 2011 3:19 am

      Not that I am aware of. Most stores do not have information online, at least in English, although many restaurants do now have English websites. I haven’t seen any place called Fast Freddies, so maybe it has closed or changed names. There are some places to buy Alcatra pots, but I don’t know of any with information online.

  6. JE (Native of the Island) permalink
    August 8, 2011 10:51 am

    Fast Freddies, it’s still open. It is a store in the main street “Rua de Jesus” that sell regional artfacts. This isn´t the real name of the store, never was 🙂 but the nickname of the worker store, wich today owns the store.

    To find alcatra pot, there is a pottery in São Bento near Continente store, that does the pot’s. For that don’t by ones that are finished with a glassed vernish. A good pot is the one that is 100% clay. After using for alcatra, never wash it with soap, only with water, the better used, better taste you will get.

    Sorry for my english, enjoy the island and welcome to all of you.

    • August 8, 2011 10:09 pm

      Thanks! This is great information. I know which pottery place you are talking about. They sell other pottery as well, so this is a good choice to stop in even if not looking for an alcatra pot.

  7. Julie permalink
    April 20, 2012 8:26 am

    Melinda, you are awesome! I can’t believe you had the info on the Gastronomica so fast! Thank you for getting it out. Hope all is well!

    • April 20, 2012 12:08 pm

      Thanks Julie! As soon as I saw the information was out, I knew I had to get it up so everyone could know well enough in advance. It’s one of my favorite times on the island (of course I have tons of them though!). All is good here. Hope all is well with you!

  8. Beverly Holder Carter permalink
    September 10, 2012 1:39 am

    You made my day! I was surfing the web, trying to find a source to buy an alcatra pot from the US (I bought lots of the beautiful pottery and baskets while we were at Lajes, and have kicked myself a million times for not buying an alcatra pot), and ran across this site. I literally got chills, thinking of all our fond memories from 1988-1990. Our daughter was born at Lajes, and we’ve always wanted to go back to let her see where she was born; someday! I always say that Lajes was a place you either loved or hated, and we definitely loved it. This website is a fantastic idea; wish it had been available when we were there. If anyone knows how to order an alcatra pot, please let me know. Thanks again for the memories, and enjoy your time at Lajes. It’s the best!

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