The Archipelago of the Azores, situated in the North Atlantic Ocean between 37⁰- 40⁰ latitude North and 24⁰- 32⁰ longitude West, is an Autonomous Region of the Portuguese Republic territory with almost six centuries of history. Composed of nine volcanic islands is the most extensive and isolated archipelago in the north-eastern Atlantic which has been preserved for many centuries.
Azores islands (www.lotacor.pt)
Its innumerous natural parks and protected areas, in which 40 are marine, guarantee the preservation of its priceless natural legacy making the Azores a world renowned sanctuary of biodiversity and geodiversity perfect for Nature lovers. As a reward for this effort directed for the conservation of their nature and pureness, the Azores in the last years have received several international and nacional awards being classified as No.1 sustainable tourism destination and one of the top ten places in the world to travel.
Due to its mild temperate maritime climate, the air temperature in the Azores ranges from 14 °C in winter and 26 °C in summer, while at the ocean varies from 16 °C to 24 °C always under the influence of the Gulf Stream. As an EU Member State, Portugal and therefore the Azores uses the Euro (€) and voltage of 220 Ac 50 cycles. The Azores islands time zone is UTC-01:00. The Azores also offers good and very cheap local food and drink. There are several great restaurants in all islands where you can taste all the traditional dishes of each island. Medical care on the islands is excellent and there is absolutely no worry about safety and security. People from the Azores are also very friendly and hospitable, and the majority speaks English.
Even remote, the Azores can be easily reached by direct and frequents flights from North America and Europe. The international airport João Paulo II located in the city of Ponta Delgada, island of São Miguel is the main airport of the Azores.
São Miguel, with Ponta Delgada as the main city, is the biggest and more populated island of the archipelago. More than half of the Azorean population (around 140 thousand inhabitants) occupies an area of 744.7 sq. km. Nicknamed as the Green Island, its landscape is made up innumerous lakes nested in volcanic craters, beautiful natural hot water pools and fumaroles, magnificent islets and black sandy beaches and also exceptional waterfalls and lookouts surrounded by extravagant and lush vegetation that can abruptly come to an end in the blue of the sea.
Lake of Sete Cidades in São Miguel Island (Pauline Narvaez)
Given its dimension and the diversity of facilities and services it offers, São Miguel is the island for experience and discover the Azores Archipelago. Diving, whale and dolphin watching, swimming with dolphins, sailing, canoeing, jeep safaris, bike riding, horse riding, hiking, paragliding, geotourism, climbing and surf/bodyboard, are just some of the many activities to do on the Green Island. For the freshwater fishing lovers, by carrying a proper license you are able to access to all freshwater lakes and streams that are home to several freshwater fish species such as pike, zander, rainbow trout, largemouth bass and carps.