The Azores are a group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. These include the nine islands of Corvo, Flores, Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa, Terceira, Santa Maria and São Miguel. The individual islands are between 6 and 600 kilometers apart. Although the islands are 1,369 kilometers west of Portugal , they belong to the European state. Due to their distance from each other, they are divided into three island groups – the northwest group (Grupo Ocidental), the central group (Grupo Central) and the southeast group (Grupo Oriental). In addition to the nine large islands, there are other small islands in the Azores.
- Northwest group: Corvo, Flores
- Central group: Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa, Terceira
- Southeast group: Santa Maria, São Miguel, Formigas
According to PICKTRUE, the capital of the Azores is Ponta Delgada . This is located on the largest island in the Azores, São Miguel. A total of 245,283 people inhabit the Azores archipelago in the Atlantic. More than half of the population live on São Miguel alone. Like all other islands in the Azores, São Miguel is of volcanic origin. As the Portuguese islands, the Azores belong to the European Union . Therefore, they are ideal for a stress-free entry vacation. The archipelago can only be reached by plane, because there is no passenger ship traffic to the Azores. There is an airport on each of the nine islands. Airplanes from abroad fly to the main islands of São Miguel, Faial and Terceira several times a day. The largest and most important airport is in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel. With propeller planes you could be transported from one island to another and thus explore the Azores extensively. Take care of flights within the Azores archipelago in good time , as these are often fully booked in the high season. Alternatively, ferries bring you from island to island.
A wide variety of fish species have settled around the Azores due to the warm Gulf Stream. These are among the regions with the world’s highest fish stocks . In contrast, there are few bird species in the Azores. It is interesting that the only native mammals of the archipelago are bats. All other mammals were not originally native to the Azores. The islands’ flora is also unique. You can only admire 70 plant species that grow in the Azores there. A trip to one of the numerous caves is a special experience the archipelago. With a few exceptions, all caves have a volcanic origin. The Algar do Carvão on Terceira and the Gruta das Torres on Pico are particularly worth seeing. Pack sturdy shoes and explore the impressive caves of the Azores!
The Pico is characteristic for the landscape of the Azores . The volcano bears the same name as the island on which it can be found. At 2351 meters, this forms the highest point in the archipelago. In addition, the Pico is the largest volcano in Portugal. Hardly any island in the Azores was spared from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In December 1998 the last major earthquake struck the archipelago. The eruption in the west of Terceira Island took place under the sea and lasted until February 1999. The volcanic eruption off the west coast of Faial in 1957 created three square kilometers of new land. After volcanic eruptions, fertile volcanic soils formed. This brought perfect conditions for viticulture, which is mainly practiced on Pico, Graciosa and Terceira. The cultivation areas of the island of Pico are even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a total of 26 active volcanoes in the Azores, but currently there is no danger from them. The only island without an active volcano is the oldest island in the Azores – Santa Maria.
This region is also very attractive for divers because of its diverse fish species and marine mammals. Diving in the Azores is not recommended for beginners, as the currents of the Atlantic require diving experience. The place Furnas from São Miguel is ideal for a relaxing holiday with a healing effect. There are iron-containing medicinal and thermal springs that attract tourists. A bath in a pool in the middle of the beautiful flora guarantees you a relaxing time during your Azores trip.