12 Must-Do Activities On Terceira Island, Azores

things to do in terceira islands

Welcome to the hidden gem of the Atlantic, Terceira Island in Azores. From stunning landscapes and serene beaches to mouth-watering cuisines and vibrant festivals, Terceira Island offers an unforgettable travel experience unlike any other. In this article, we have rounded up the top 12 must-do activities that showcase the unique charm and essence of this Portuguese paradise. So, pack your bags, tag along, and let's explore the pristine beauty of Terceira Island together.


Visit Algar do Carvão lava tube

Source: Wikipedia
Characteristic Description
NameAlgar do Carvão
TypeCave in Portugal
Rating / Review count4.7 / 496

The Terceira Islands, also known as the Azores, are a volcanic archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean. These islands offer stunning natural attractions, beautiful beaches, and rich history and culture. One of the most spectacular attractions on Terceira is the Algar do Carvão lava tube, a unique geological feature that is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the islands.

The Algar do Carvão lava tube is located in the heart of the island, near the town of Praia da Vitória. It was formed about 3,200 years ago during a volcanic eruption and is one of the most well-preserved lava tubes in the world. The tube is about 100 meters long and was created when lava flowed from a nearby volcano and formed a tunnel as the surface of the lava cooled and hardened.

Visitors to the Algar do Carvão lava tube can descend down a spiral staircase to the bottom of the tube. Once inside, they can see the unique geological formations that were created by the lava flow, including stalactites and stalagmites. The walls of the tube are also covered in an unusual mineral called alabaster, which gives off a beautiful iridescent glow when light is shone on it.

Visitors can also learn about the geology and history of the island through a guided tour of the Algar do Carvão lava tube. The tour includes information about the different types of rocks found on Terceira and how the island was formed by volcanic activity. The guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the history and science of the lava tube, making the tour both educational and interesting.

Overall, the Algar do Carvão lava tube is a unique and beautiful attraction that is not to be missed by anyone visiting the Terceira Islands. It is a fascinating look into the geological history of the island and provides a memorable experience for all visitors.


Trek Monte Brasil

Source: Explore Terceira

The Terceira Islands are one of the most beautiful and serene places to visit in Portugal, and one of the most popular activities to do while visiting Terceira is to hike to the top of Monte Brasil. This small mountain, located in the city of Angra do Heroismo, offers a breathtaking view of the island and its surrounding areas.

The trek up Monte Brasil begins at the Parque Municipal de Angra do Heroismo, where visitors can take a leisurely walk through the park and enjoy the lush vegetation and serene ambiance. The trails that lead up to Monte Brasil are well-marked and easy to follow, making it the perfect activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.

As you start to climb up the mountain, you'll notice that the terrain becomes steeper and more challenging, but the stunning views of the ocean and the island make it all worth it. Visitors will be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire island and the city of Angra do Heroismo. It is the perfect location to snap some photos to remember the moment by.

At the top of Monte Brasil, you'll find a historical fortress called Castelo de Sao Joao Batista, which was built by the Portuguese army in the 16th century. This fortress has been preserved over the centuries and is now open to the public as a museum, showcasing the history of the island and its people. Visitors can take a guided tour of the fortress and learn about its history and the strategic importance it played in protecting Terceira from invading enemies.

The trek up Monte Brasil is a must-do activity when visiting Terceira Islands, as it offers a chance to connect with nature and see the beauty of the island from a unique perspective. With well-marked trails and breathtaking views at every turn, Monte Brasil is the perfect location to experience the best of Terceira Islands.


Explore Angra do Heroísmo city center

Source: Globonaut

The Terceira Islands are a fascinating archipelago nestled in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most prominent cities on the islands is Angra do Heroísmo, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its historical significance.

Angra do Heroísmo is the oldest city on the Terceira Islands, and its city center is packed with must-see attractions. One of the most impressive features of the city center is the Praça Velha, an elegant square surrounded by 17th and 18th-century buildings. The square is the perfect place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of this enchanting city.

Another essential stop on any visit to Angra do Heroísmo is the Cathedral of Angra. The church was constructed in the 16th century and boasts a stunning blend of Baroque and Gothic styles. Inside, the cathedral is home to an impressive collection of religious art that is well worth exploring.

As you explore the city center, you'll find plenty of other historical landmarks and cultural treasures. The Angra Museum is a must-visit for any history buff, with exhibits that showcase the art, culture, and traditions of the Terceira Islands. Additionally, make sure to explore the Fort of São João Baptista, a 16th-century fortress that offers stunning views of the city and the ocean beyond.

In addition to the historical and cultural attractions, Angra do Heroísmo is also home to some of the best restaurants and shops on the Terceira Islands. The city center is packed with quaint boutiques and charming cafes, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping and sampling the local cuisine.

Overall, Angra do Heroísmo city center is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Terceira Islands. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, this charming city is sure to leave a lasting impression on any visitor.


Chill at Praia da Vitória

Source: Wikipedia

If you're looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation spot, the Terceira Islands have got you covered. One of the best places to unwind and soak up the sun is Praia da Vitória.

Located on the eastern coast of Terceira Island, Praia da Vitória is a charming seaside town with plenty of character. The beach is a long stretch of golden sand that's perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The water is warm and inviting, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Aside from the beach, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained around Praia da Vitória. The town has a lovely marina where you can rent a boat and sail around the island. If you're feeling more active, there are also hiking trails nearby that offer stunning views of the coast.

If you're a foodie, Praia da Vitória won't disappoint. There are plenty of local restaurants serving up traditional Azorean cuisine, including fresh seafood and local cheeses. Be sure to try the famous "alcatra," which is a traditional beef stew cooked in a wood-fired oven.

In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of options around Praia da Vitória. From cozy guesthouses to luxury hotels, you'll find something to suit your budget and preferences. The town is quite small, so wherever you stay, you'll be within walking distance of all the amenities.

Overall, Praia da Vitória is a beautiful and relaxing destination that's perfect for a low-key vacation. With its stunning beach, charming town, and delicious cuisine, it's no wonder why it's a favorite among visitors to the Terceira Islands.


Swim in natural pools at Biscoitos

Source: Explore Terceira
Characteristic Description
NamePiscinas Naturais Biscoitos
TypeSwimming pool in Portugal
Rating / Review count4.8 / 2,142
HoursMonday - Open 24 hours
Tuesday - Open 24 hours
Wednesday - Open 24 hours
Thursday - Open 24 hours
Friday - Open 24 hours
Saturday - Open 24 hours
Sunday - Open 24 hours

The Terceira Islands are a Portuguese archipelago located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are filled with natural wonders, including numerous natural pools that are scattered around the island. However, there is one location on the island that is especially popular for swimming in natural pools - Biscoitos.

Biscoitos is a small village located on the north coast of Terceira Island. It is famous for its beautiful and unique volcanic rock formations that extend into the ocean, providing an ideal environment for natural pools to form. These pools have been carved out by the waves over time, creating a series of interconnected pools that vary in size and depth.

Swimming in the natural pools of Biscoitos is an unforgettable experience. The crystal-clear water is refreshing and inviting, and the surrounding rock formations provide a unique and breathtaking backdrop. The pools are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and even diving. The natural pools are also ideal for families with children, as they offer a safe and controlled environment for children to swim and play in.

In addition to swimming, Biscoitos is also a popular location for picnics and other leisure activities. The village has a variety of amenities, including restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a perfect location to relax and enjoy the island's scenery.

Overall, Biscoitos is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Terceira Islands. Its natural pools are a unique and unforgettable experience that should not be missed. Whether you're into swimming, diving, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach, Biscoitos is the perfect location to unwind and enjoy everything that the island has to offer.

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Snorkel or scuba dive at Cabo da Praia

Source: Scuba Diver Life

The Terceira Islands are a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts, and there is no better place to explore the depths of the Atlantic Ocean than Cabo da Praia. Cabo da Praia is located on the eastern side of Terceira Island and is known for its crystal clear waters and an abundance of marine life.

Snorkeling at Cabo da Praia is an excellent way to observe the diverse and vibrant marine life of the Azores. With a mask, snorkel, and fins, visitors can swim around the many rock formations and explore the brightly colored fish and fascinating underwater plants. There are plenty of places to rent snorkeling equipment in and around the town of Praia da Vitória, and it’s easy to find a guided tour that will take visitors straight to the best snorkeling spots.

For those who want to explore deeper waters, scuba diving at Cabo da Praia is the perfect experience. Certified divers can take advantage of the area’s clear water and visibility, which can reach up to 30 meters. The dive sites around Cabo da Praia are home to many species of fish, including parrotfish, groupers, and barracudas, as well as octopuses, moray eels, and several species of rays. Divers can also explore a sunken ship from the First World War, the Dori, located at 30 meters depth.

Before visitors dive or snorkel at Cabo da Praia, it’s important to note that the area has strong currents. Due to the currents, diving and snorkeling should only be attempted by those with experience and the appropriate certification. However, there are diving schools in Praia da Vitória that offer courses for beginners, and a guide will always be present on diving tours to ensure everyone’s safety.

In conclusion, Cabo da Praia is a must-visit destination in the Terceira Islands for anyone interested in underwater exploration. From snorkeling to scuba diving, the area offers visitors a chance to discover the rich marine life of the Azores. With the proper equipment, experience, and guidance, snorkeling or scuba diving at Cabo da Praia is an unforgettable experience that’s not to be missed.

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Horseback ride through Terceira's countryside

Source: Visit Scotland

Terceira Islands, located in the beautiful Azores archipelago of Portugal, attract tourists from around the world, who come here to enjoy the stunning natural beauty, unique traditions, and delicious cuisine. One of the most popular activities on these islands is horseback riding through the beautiful countryside, which not only offers a chance to explore the local culture and history but also provides an unforgettable experience of enjoying the island's rural landscape.

The Terceira Islands are blessed with a mild climate, lush scenery, and varied terrain, making them an ideal destination for horseback riding enthusiasts. The horseback ride through the islands has something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned or novice rider. You can choose to gallop through the wide-open fields or take a leisurely stroll through the lush green valleys, while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful vistas.

When you embark on your horseback ride, you get the opportunity to experience the Azorean way of life in a unique way. You can witness the traditional farming techniques using horses and bulls, which haven't changed for generations. You'll also notice the countless small fields that once kept the Azorean family self-sufficient for hundreds of years. You'll feel the pride and sense of community that exist among these islanders, which is undoubtedly one of their most charming qualities.

During the horseback ride, the expert guide will lead you through the beautiful countryside, helping you discover the island's unique flora and fauna. You will come across volcanic landscapes, lush greenery, scenic waterfalls and see the extensive variety of birds found here. The highlight of the trip is the chance to visit ancient sites such as Furna do Enxofre, a 5000-year-old crater lake, and the striking rock formations of Serreta Ridge, which displays stunning views of the surrounding ocean and landscape.

The horseback ride through the countryside in Terceira Islands also provides travelers with a chance to escape the crowds and explore the natural beauty of these islands. It's an experience that lets you soak up the tranquil atmosphere of this magical location as you traverse the picturesque trails, encountering friendly locals and their charming, colorful villages every step of the way.

In conclusion, horseback riding through Terceira's countryside is the perfect way to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of these islands. It offers an incredible chance to blend history and culture with exploration while providing a memorable and peaceful experience that you will treasure forever. So, if you are planning your trip to Terceira Island, make sure to add horseback riding to your itinerary and witness the unmatched natural beauty of the Azores archipelago in the most unique way possible.

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Taste local wines at a vineyard

Source: Azores-adventures.com

If you're planning your next holiday in Portugal, be sure to include the Azores Islands on your itinerary. The Azores are an archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the Terceira Island is one of them. One of the best activities to do on Terceira Island is wine tasting at a vineyard.

Terceira Island is one of the few places in Portugal that has a volcanic soil ideal for wine growing. The Terceira vineyards grow several grape varieties, including Verdelho, Arinto, and Terrantez. The wines produced in Terceira have a unique taste due to the island's climate, soil, and traditional wine-making techniques. As you taste the wines, you will be able to identify the local tastes and ingredients that make them so special.

One of the best ways to experience the local culture on Terceira Island is to visit a vineyard. There are many vineyards on Terceira Island, and each one has something unique to offer. You can take a tour of the vineyards and learn about the wine-making process while soaking in the beautiful surroundings. The winemakers will guide you through the vineyards and the cellars, where you will be able to see the barrels and taste the wines.

The wine tours usually take about two hours and include a tasting of four or five wines. You'll have the opportunity to taste both white and red wines, which are perfect for pairing with local cuisine. The vineyards also often serve traditional foods like local cheese and bread to enjoy with the wines. Some vineyards also offer a picnic service, where you can relax and enjoy the stunning views of the island while savoring the local wines.

When visiting Terceira Island, don't forget to take a bottle of wine or two back home as a souvenir. The wines produced on Terceira Island are not widely available in the international markets, so they make for a unique and unforgettable gift.

In conclusion, wine tasting at a vineyard is one of the experiences you shouldn't miss while visiting Terceira Island. It's a perfect way to experience the local culture, taste fantastic wines, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the island. Make sure to book your wine tour in advance and prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable experience.


Watch sunrise at Serra do Cume viewpoint

Source: Explore Terceira
Characteristic Description
NameMiradouro da Serra do Cume
TypeScenic spot in Portugal
Rating / Review count4.8 / 1,783
AddressRua Nossa Senhora da Saude 23, Praia da Vitória, Portugal
HoursMonday - Open 24 hours
Tuesday - Open 24 hours
Wednesday - Open 24 hours
Thursday - Open 24 hours
Friday - Open 24 hours
Saturday - Open 24 hours
Sunday - Open 24 hours

The Terceira Islands, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, are known for their picturesque landscapes, volcanic formations, and stunning sunrises. One of the best places to enjoy the first rays of the day is at the Serra do Cume viewpoint, which offers an unparalleled panoramic view of the island.

The Serra do Cume viewpoint is situated on the highest point of Terceira Island, at an altitude of 545 meters. From this vantage point, visitors can see the island's undulating curves and lush green valleys extending to the horizon. The viewpoint is particularly famous for its natural amphitheater shape, which offers an unobstructed view of the surrounding scenery.

The best time to visit the Serra do Cume viewpoint is at sunrise, when the sky is ablaze with colors and the sun slowly rises above the horizon. As the sun ascends, the light gradually illuminates the landscape, revealing the intricate details of the island. The early morning light also creates a magical atmosphere that is worth experiencing at least once.

To reach the Serra do Cume viewpoint, visitors need to drive up a winding road that twists and turns up the mountainside. The journey can be a bit daunting, but the reward is worth it. Once you're at the top, you'll be able to park your car in a designated area and take in the breathtaking view.

While at the Serra do Cume viewpoint, be sure to take some time to explore the surrounding area. There are several nature trails that wind their way through the hills, allowing visitors to discover more of the island's beauty. You might even see some of the local flora and fauna, such as the Azores bullfinch or the rare Terceira salamander.

In conclusion, the Serra do Cume viewpoint is an excellent destination for anyone visiting the Terceira Islands. Whether you're a photographer, a nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful place to relax, this viewpoint is sure to impress. So next time you're in the area, be sure to wake up early and head over to the Serra do Cume viewpoint to watch a magical sunrise.

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Get lost in the caves at Gruta do Natal

Source: Explore Terceira

If you're looking for adventure on the island of Terceira, Gruta do Natal (known as Christmas Cave) should definitely be on your list. This stunning natural wonder is located near the town of Biscoitos and is a must-see for anyone exploring the island.

The cave is named after the popular holiday because of the way the sunlight filters through the openings in the ceiling, creating a magical, mystical feeling. It's truly a unique experience that can't be missed.

When you arrive at the cave, you'll be greeted by a guide who will take you on a tour through the winding passages. The tour lasts about an hour and a half and covers a distance of almost 1000 meters. You'll want to wear comfortable shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting a little dirty.

As you make your way through the cave, you'll be struck by the sheer size of it. The cave is massive and contains several large chambers, each with its own unique features. Some of the highlights of the tour include a crystal-clear underground lake and several rock formations that resemble animals and other objects.

One of the most thrilling parts of the tour is when you get to explore some of the side passages that lead off the main chamber. These passages are narrow and dark, and you'll need to crawl on your hands and knees to get through them. But don't worry – your guide will be with you every step of the way.

Overall, the Gruta do Natal is an unforgettable experience that is not to be missed if you're in Terceira. The thrill of exploring deep underground, combined with the awe-inspiring beauty of the cave itself, will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. So why wait? Book your tour today and get ready to be amazed!

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Attend a traditional bullfight (no harm to the bull)

Source: Azoresvisit

The Terceira Islands, also known as the "Islands of the Eternal Spring," offer a variety of cultural and historical experiences for travelers. One experience, in particular, is attending a traditional bullfight.

Unlike most bullfights around the world that involve harm to the bull, the traditional bullfights in the Terceira Islands are much more humane. The bulls used in these fights are specially bred, and no harm is inflicted upon the animal during the event. The fight itself is more of a game between the animal and the bullfighter, with the bullfighter trying to avoid being hit by the bull's horns while the bull tries to make contact.

The bullfight takes place in an open-air arena called a "tourada à corda," which translates to a "bullfight by rope." The bull is released into the arena, and a rope is tied around its neck to keep it from going too far. The audience stands behind a safety barrier while the bullfighter attempts to avoid being hit by the bull's horns. The game is over when the bullfighter manages to touch the bull's horns and the rope is loosened.

Attending a traditional bullfight in the Terceira Islands is a unique cultural experience that should not be missed. It provides travelers with the opportunity to witness a centuries-old tradition that is deeply woven into the fabric of Terceira culture and history. Visitors should note that while the event may seem cruel at first glance, no harm is inflicted on the animal during the fight.

In addition to attending a bullfight, visitors to the Terceira Islands can also explore the beautiful landscapes, taste the unique cuisine, and immerse themselves in the rich history and cultural traditions of the region. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder the Terceira Islands are considered one of the most captivating destinations in the Azores.

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Try authentic Azorean cuisine at a local restaurant

Source: Azores Getaways

Looking for a unique culinary experience in the Azores? Look no further than the Terceira Islands, where traditional Azorean cuisine thrives at local restaurants.

Azorean cuisine is heavily influenced by Portuguese culinary traditions, with a focus on fresh seafood, meat, and dairy products. On Terceira, you'll find a variety of restaurants that specialize in this rich and flavorful cuisine, featuring dishes like cozido (a hearty stew of meats and vegetables), lapas (grilled limpets), and alcatra (slow-cooked beef).

One must-visit spot for authentic Azorean cuisine is Restaurante O Ramo, located in the town of Angra do Heroísmo. Known for its cozy atmosphere and friendly service, this restaurant offers a wide selection of traditional dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and great attention to detail. Start with a plate of crispy fried octopus, served with a light garlic and herb sauce, or try the Queijo da Ilha Assado, a savory baked cheese topped with sweet pepper jam.

For your main course, consider ordering the famous alcatra – a hearty beef stew that's cooked for hours in a clay pot, resulting in tender, flavorful meat and a rich, aromatic sauce. Other popular dishes at Restaurante O Ramo include the seafood rice, which is loaded with clams, mussels, and shrimp, and the bacalhau (salt cod), which is a staple in Portuguese cooking.

Another great option for an authentic Azorean meal is Restaurante Ti Choa, located in the charming village of Biscoitos. This cozy restaurant is run by a local family, and offers some of the best seafood on the island. Try the lapas – grilled limpets that are a favorite among locals – or the arroz de marisco, a flavorful seafood risotto made with fresh clams, shrimp, and squid.

No matter where you choose to dine on Terceira, be sure to save room for dessert. Azorean sweet treats are not to be missed, with options like queijadas (sweet cheese tarts) and bolo lêvedo (a sweet, fluffy bread similar to English muffins). Many restaurants also offer a selection of local wines, which pair perfectly with the rich, hearty cuisine of the Azores.

In summary, if you want to experience the taste of Azorean cuisine, Terceira Island is the place to be. With authentic dishes made with fresh ingredients, you're sure to have a culinary experience that will stay with you long after you leave the island.

Frequently asked questions

Terceira offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking in the Serra de Santa Bárbara mountain range, exploring volcanic caves, snorkeling at Praia da Vitoria, or taking a whale watching and dolphin spotting tour.

Terceira has a rich history and culture, and visitors should not miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angra do Heroísmo, the Algar do Carvão volcanic cave, Forte de São João Baptista, and the impressive lava fields of Pico Alto.

Terceira boasts delicious gastronomy with specialties such as Alcatra (a slow-cooked beef dish), Cozido das Furnas (cooking food using volcanic heat), and traditional Portuguese sweets like Queijadas (pastry filled with sweet cheese) and Dona Amélia (muffin with egg jam).

Terceira has a rich calendar of events, including the popular Sanjoaninas festival held in June, where locals dress in traditional costumes, cultural events, concerts, and host bullfighting competitions. The Festas da Praia festival in August also features a carnival and hosts beach performances.

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Subhan Cooper

I had the pleasure of visiting the Terceira Islands last year and it was such an incredible trip. One of the highlights for me was swimming in the natural pools of Biscoitos. The water was so clear and refreshing, and the surrounding volcanic rocks made for a unique and beautiful landscape. Another must-do activity is exploring the Algar do Carvão, a volcanic cave. It was like stepping into another world! Lastly, I highly recommend trying the local cuisine, especially the Alcatra, a traditional meat dish. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Terceira Islands truly have something for everyone.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience of visiting the Terceira Islands! It sounds like you had an incredible trip. I can imagine how amazing it must have been to swim in the natural pools of Biscoitos and enjoy the clear and refreshing water. The unique landscape of volcanic rocks must have added to the beauty of the experience. Exploring the Algar do Carvão sounds like a fascinating adventure, and I can only imagine the feeling of stepping into another world. And of course, trying the local cuisine, especially the Alcatra, is a must-do. Your glowing recommendation has definitely piqued my interest. Terceira Islands truly sound like a destination with something for everyone, and I hope to visit there one day myself.

Osian Tapia

I recently visited the Terceira Islands and I have to say, there are so many amazing things to do there! One of my favorite activities was hiking up Monte Brasil. The views from the top were absolutely breathtaking. I also enjoyed exploring the charming town of Angra do Heroismo. There are so many cute shops and restaurants to check out. And of course, you can't visit Terceira without experiencing a traditional bullfight. It was definitely an adrenaline-filled experience. Overall, I highly recommend visiting Terceira Islands for an unforgettable vacation.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience of visiting the Terceira Islands. I'm thrilled to hear that you had such an amazing time! Hiking up Monte Brasil must have been a truly breathtaking experience, especially with the stunning views from the top. Exploring the charming town of Angra do Heroismo sounds like a delightful way to spend the day, with all the cute shops and restaurants to discover. Experiencing a traditional bullfight definitely sounds like an adrenaline-filled adventure that adds a unique cultural touch to the trip. Your recommendation to visit Terceira Islands for an unforgettable vacation is greatly appreciated, and I can't wait to plan my own trip there!

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