Politically part of Portugal but situated far out in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores archipelago is made up of nine volcanic islands. The fertile soil supports a splendid array of sub-tropical flowering plants and trees. As a result, the largest island – Sao Miguel – is justly known as ‘The Green Island’. The natural beauty of the islands is a highlight of any visit.
The volcanic nature of the islands is plain to see with towering volcanic peaks, steaming thermal baths, boiling mud pools, pristine crater lakes and lava caves to explore. With so much natural heat rising from the depths of the Earth, it’s no wonder that the islanders have developed a way of cooking which uses it. They dig a pit, place a carefully wrapped pot of food in and bury it. A few hours later, a beautifully cooked meal emerges – very environmentally friendly!
On the second biggest island – Terceira (known as the purple island) – there are caves spectacularly adorned with stalactites and stalagmites to explore as well as the enormous chimney of an extinct volcano. The waters around the Azores are equally rich. Several species of whale and dolphin live just off-shore; take a boat trip and the chances are high that you will spot some. The Azores are a great place for all the family to learn about volcanoes, spot wildlife and enjoy the beautiful scenery.