Located in the north of the Atlantic Ocean, this archipelago is the most western point of Europe and consists of nine fantastic islands: São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Graciosa, Flores and Corvo.
Sculpted by volcanoes over thousands of years, the Azores host extraordinary geological formations that include lava tunnels, waterfalls, hot springs and crater lakes. The volcanic peaks offer spectacular views, being Ponta do Pico the highest site of Portugal, with 2351 meters of height. Perennial forests, endemic plants and pasture and cultivated land cover a large part of the slopes, while the exuberant flowering hydrangeas color the landscape from spring to autumn.
Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, is the owner of a rich historical and architectural heritage and Angra do Heroísmo, located on Terceira Island, is also worthy of an extended visit. It is a charming city classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But the Azores is synonymous of, first of all, nature in its purest state, its population is genuine and welcoming and the islands, distinct among them, contain breathtaking landscapes.
The territory is weakly populous, with only 250 thousand inhabitants for an area of 2333 km2. However, in the summer months it suffers a significant increase of residents with the arrival of the immigrants who visit their lands of origin and participate in its numerous festivals and pilgrimages.
Azorean gastronomy is very rich in spices, since the archipelago was a point of stop of the caravels that returned from their trips to the East. The offer of seafood and meat dishes is very abundant, always prepared with the freshest fish and seafood. The specialty of the Island of São Miguel is the Cozido das Furnas, a vigorous stew cooked underneath the earth taking advantage of the thermal heat of the island. The local wines and liqueurs produced with grapes are grown using techniques dating back to the 15th century and have a unique flavor.