Found in the 15th century by Portuguese sailors, the Azores archipelago is located in the North Atlantic, between Europe and North America. The nine islands are divided into three groups: Eastern (São Miguel and Santa Maria), Central (Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa and Terceira) and Western (Corvo and Flores). Many of the 244 thousand inhabitants (2008 census) speak English or French. Euro (€) is the local currency and the local time is -1 GMT, that is less one hour than in Lisbon and less four than in New York. The Azores are an Autonomous Region, with their own parliament and government; nevertheless, they are part of Portugal.

Nine Secrets of Nature

The Azores are nine natural jewels. In shades of green, they crown of beauty the Atlantic’s blue vastness. The islands hold several international awards for their natural rarities as well as for their heritage and environmental conservation which has earned them the title of “Second best Islands for Sustainable Tourism” given by National Geographic Traveller. In two of the islands, the work of man bears UNESCO’s title of “World Heritage”, whilst nature has been classified has a “Biosphere Reserve” in several other islands. The uniqueness and diversity of unparalleled life of Azores underwater hydrothermal springs made them be called “Gift to the Earth” by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). These are the Azores: where Europe ends and luxuriant nature shows itself in multiple secrets to unveil at land, sea and air…

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