The Archipelago of the Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. There are many activities available to visitors on the Azores: tracking in stunning natural landscape marked by dense coastal woods, relaxing in natural carbonic water, waterfalls and iron water pools, or whale watching, amongst other possibilities.
The Azores are well known for promoting sustainability, and have a diverse protected areas with a rich marine life and beautiful hiking trails.
The islands of the archipelago are divided in three geographical groups: the Eastern Group, comprising Santa Maria and São Miguel, the Central Group, including Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial, and the Western Group, composed by Corvo and Flores. The Azores, along with the archipelagos of Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Vert, constitute the biogeographic region of Macaronesia, which means "fortunate islands" for their inhabitantsand their visitors.
São Miguel is the biggest island of the archipelago, with 62.1 km in length and 15.8 km at its maximum width. More than half of the Azorean population (137.856 inhabitants in 2011) occupies an area of 744.7 sq. km. Together with Santa Maria, located 81 km away, São Miguel is part of the Eastern Group of the Azores Archipelago. With an altitude of 1,105 m, Pico da Vara is the island’s highest point.