Azores


The Azores is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 Km west of continental Portugal.

It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1429 and was settled over the centuries from mainland Portugal. It has a total population of 250,000, the majority of people living in S. Miguel and Terceira islands.

The climate is very mild for such a northerly location, being influenced
by its distance to continents and the passing Gulf Stream. The temperatures remain mild year-round as a result of the ocean effect.  

The main industries of the islands are agriculture, fishing, dairy farming and tourism. The islands are incredibly beautiful and were considered
the most beautiful location in the world for vacation or business travel,
by National Geographic Traveller of a list of 20 sites.

The Azores was honored as the 2nd most sustainable region in the world and the most sustainable touristic destination in Europe as a result of its sustainable development. In fact, the island is a paradise for nature's activities in the sea (whale watching, fishing, sailing, surf) and on land (hiking, golf, geo-tourism). 

Due to its rich geographic, geological and marine nature, the Azores Geopark (part of the European Geoparks Network and the UNESCO-assisted Global Geoparks Network) is ensuring the geological conservation, environmental education, and sustainable development while promoting the well-being of the population and a respect for the environment.

The Azores archipelago is composed of nine volcanic islands in the northeast of the Atlantic ocean, west of Continental Portugal. According to 2011 data, 246,772 people live in this island territory that covers 2,325 sq.km, distancing 1,600 km from mainland Europe (Portugal) and 2,454 km from the North American continent (Canada).
The climate of the Azores is very mild for such a northerly location, being influenced by its distance to continents and the passing Gulf Stream. Due to the oceanic effect, temperatures remain mild year-round.

The capital is Ponta Delgada and is also the main city of the archipelago.
Agriculture, fishing and dairy farming are the main industries of the islands but tourism has become in the latest years the major service activity in the region.
All the islands have volcanic origins and the landscape is filled with dry calderas, craters lakes, fumaroles and thermal water springs. In the sea, there are submarine geothermal springs.

The islands are incredibly beautiful and were considered as the most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic Traveller (Belgium-dutch edition) of 20 sites to vacation in 2016. The sustainability of Nature and the development of the islands was the main reason for the award. 

The Azores is also known as Europe's secret islands of adventure (Lonely Planet, 2016) for varied activities as whale watching, diving, watersports and geo- tourism. In fact, due to its rich geological nature, the Geopark of the Azores is now integrated into the Europe's Geopark sites, managed by the UNESCO.