Azores Country Guide

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argentinaThe Azores Archipelago is a group of nine distinct islands, lying on the same latitude as New York and Lisbon, around 950 miles from the Portuguese capital. Legend has it that they are the tips of the lost continent of Atlantis but the stunning craggy scenery points to volcanic rather than mythical origins.

Weather is of a mild maritime Mediterranean type and summers are generally very good. Average temperatures range from 15-22C (59-71F) with extremes being tempered by the passing gulf stream and although they do get rain year round the weather is generally very pleasant.

The Azores (Portuguese: Açores pronounced [ɐˈsoɾɨʃ] or [ɐˈsoɾʃ]) are a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km (950 mi) from Lisbon and about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) from the east coast of North America. The two westernmost Azorean islands (Flores and Corvo) actually lie on the North American plate and are only 1,925 km (1,200 mi) from St. John's in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Azores' most significant industries are tourism, cattle raising for milk and meat, and fishing.

The nine major Azorean islands and the eight small Formigas extend for more than 600 km (373 mi) and lie in a northwest-southeast direction. The vast extension of the islands defines an immense exclusive economic zone of 1.1 million km². The westernmost point of this area is 3,380 km (2,100 mi) from the North American continent. All of the islands have volcanic origins, although Santa Maria also has some reef contribution. The mountain of Pico on Pico Island, at 2,351 m (7,713 ft) in altitude, is the highest in all of Portugal. argentina-fallsThe Azores are actually the tops of some of the tallest mountains on the planet, as measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean. The archipelago forms the Autonomous Region of Azores, one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal.

You can fly direct to the Azores from either Lisbon, Boston or Frankfurt with TAP Air Portugal and SATA International. Connecting flights are available from the UK, the US and many airports across Europe.

The most instantly recognisable of the islands, Pico is dominated by majestic Mount Pico, itself a steep-sided dormant volcano soaring to 7,200ft on an island barely 10 miles wide.

Pico is the highest mountain in Portugal and its peak is often shrouded in clouds. However, views from the top over the central group of islands are unbeatable on a clear day.

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