With a total area of 61 km2, Graciosa is only 10 km long and 7 km wide. It is then the second smallest island of the archipelago, after Corvo. About 4,800 people live on this volcanic island.
With Pico, Faial, Sao Jorge and Terceira, Graciosa is part of the Central Group of the Azores, being the Northernmost one of this specific group. The closest island to Graciosa is Sao Jorge, only 37km away. The highest point of the island is Caldeira da Graciosa, up to 405m high above sea level.
In the 17th century, the base economy of Graciosa is agriculture, with the exportation of wheat, barley and dairy products. At that time, the island also produces Roccella tinctoria, used for dyes. In addition to agriculture, fishing had an important role in the island’s development.
Another source of wealth was wine. Thanks to the local Aguardente and diverse wines, the island managed to build a reputation, selling their product in the whole Portuguese territory. However, sometimes nature can be unpredictable. Drought periods alongside natural disasters came up and marked difficult times for the island. In the 19th century, the vines got sick and production went significantly down.
Whaling was practiced on this island in 1889 and manufacturing production ended in 1982. Today it is still possible to see some whaling evidences at Museu da Graciosa with the boats that were used.
Nowadays, it is the production of dairy and meat that run the island, in addition to agriculture (corn, vegetables and fruits) as well as responsible tourism.