Azores - natural beauty in the Atlantic
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The Azores brim with natural beauty and lush vegetation. The sapphire blue sea and emerald green lakes, fertile prairies, volcanic cones and craters all combine to inspire even the most experienced of travellers.
Stress and pollution seem to be non-existent here, so no wonder the Azores has been nicknamed "God's home". It's that sort of Heavenly place.
They might be part and parcel of Portugal, but the fact is they are also further away from the mainland, some 1500km, than most European countries. It is quicker to get to Paris from Lisbon, for example, than to Pico Island. Unsurprisingly, then, the Azores has developed its own distinctive identity and culture.
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Flores & Corvo: Flores & Corvo share a number of similarities. Separated by a mere 20 km, these two islands mark the most westerly point of the Azores and consequently perhaps because of this the least well known of the islands.
Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial: They say Pico itself is part of the central group of islands that make up the lost Atlantis. Terceira makes up part of the central group of islands. Many galleons cast anchor here, weighed down with cargoes of spices from the East and gold and silver from America. The island, with its green patchwork of level fields dotted with the white silhouettes of dairy cows, the brush-strokes of vibrant colour between white-washed houses provides for a lovely sight, further enhanced by the epoch of azaleas in April and the hydrangeas during the summer.
São Miguel, Santa Maria, Formigas: São Miguel is the largest island of the Azores and famed for its impressive twin lakes, one blue, one green, Santa Maria, sandy beaches, grottos, impressive cliffs and fortresses. Indeed, S. Miguel boasts lakes and countryside of great beauty, along with the hustle and bustle of a large city, together with ample quiet green open spaces adorned with flowers. Museums, churches and palaces embellished with treasures of art and history.
Whale watching and fishing
Whatever the islands, the whole coast of the Azores provides a natural environment for the whale. Over twenty species of whales and dolphins, including Pilot, Sperm, Fin and False Killer whales are attracted to the area, which is so rich in nutrients. Boats can take you out to sea where you may view these amazing creatures face to face in their natural habitat.
Deep Sea Fishing: With sea depths of 300 to 800 metres only two to three km off the coast, the Azores is a big game fishing paradise. Swordfish, sharks, oceanic bream and tuna are in plenty supply and willing to put up a fight with keen fishermen.