Azores Islands

The Azores Islands are the largest Portuguese archipelago and consists in nine islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, 1,500 km west of mainland Europe, with an area of 2247 square km.
The archipelago is divided into three groups. The eastern group includes the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria, the central group has the islands of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Terceira and Graciosa, and the western group is formed by the islands Flores and Corvo.
The Eastern Group also includes a group of oceanic rocks and reefs, located northeast of Santa Maria, called Ilheu das Formigas, which together with the reef Dollabarat constitute the Natural Reserve of the Ilheu das Formigas, one of the most important sites for conservation of the marine biosphere in the northeast Atlantic.
The largest city in these islands is Ponta Delgada on the island of St. Miguel, and is also the largest island of the archipelago. The highest point of the archipelago and Portugal is situated at the top of Pico Mountain and measures 2352 m in height.
The volcanic origin of the Azores, except Santa Maria, has its maximum expression on the island of Sao Miguel, in the famous Furnas Valley and had his most recent work in terrestrial Capelinhos on the island of Faial, in 1957-1958.
The climate is temperate, registering an average temperature of 13 º C in winter and 24ºC in summer the Gulf Stream, which passes relatively close, keeps the sea at an average temperature between 17 C and 23 º C.
The Azores is a mixed soil fertility with its green fields bordered by hedges planted and natural coloured flowers, and agricultural ineptitude by not only the sharp slope and the inaccessibility of its most remote areas, but especially for the exhibition of a natural vegetation composed of numerous endemic species of high botanical and science value, giving the landscape an unusual scenic beauty and is an invaluable collection of the natural heritage of the region.
Mainly due to its geographical location in the Atlantic, theoretically halfway between Europe and America, the Azores are one-stop destination for many migratory birds on their long transatlantic crossings, take the opportunity to rest, not only in ponds and coasts of the islands Azores, but in most islets that surround them, some of these are even nesting sites.
While the Azores does not have an endemic fauna in the true sense of the word, there are species that, by the geographical isolation of the islands in them have adapted and, therefore, has specific characteristics, mainly in colour, size and shapes, which distinguish them, and some of them, have subspecies in the Region.
There are several alternatives for long walks through the flowered paths and green fields, up hills and down valleys, which transmit the stroller a pleasant feeling of absolute tranquillity. While they provide exciting pictures of the innermost places of the Azorean landscape, coupled with the pleasure of an always healthy contact with nature.
For lovers of the underwater observations and explorations, the seas of the Azores offer extraordinary multicoloured wealth funds, not only visual but also in marine animal and plant life.
Further reinforcing these conditions, the crystal blue sea that washes the coast of the Azores islands is calm and warm inviting the practice of various sports, such as the “Surf,” “Windsurfing, Rowing, Sailing and Swimming, beyond that is extremely rich in fish varieties, which allow amateur fishing line and excellent sea catches.