Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), Portugal

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Main port photo for Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), Portugal

Rising from the depths of the Atlantic, the rugged, volcanic Azores lie 800 miles off the coast of Portugal. Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the nine islands have provided a haven to Atlantic mariners for over five centuries. The Azores offer travelers spectacular landscapes that range from lush meadows fringed with brightly colored hydrangea to ancient caldera filled with lakes. And the many small villages and shops retain an otherworldly air and 18th-century charm.

Ponta Delgada is located on São Miguel, the largest of the nine Azores. The island's rich volcanic soil sustains fields of tobacco and tea, vineyards, and pineapple greenhouses. The Azores are also noted for fine crafts, particularly basketry and pottery.

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  • Sete Cidadas & Crater Lakes Sete Cidadas & Crater Lakes

    Two stunning crater lakes (one blue, one green) inhabit the caldera of an extinct volcano said to have once been the location of the legendary Sete Cidadas (Seven Cities).

  • Ribiera Grande Ribiera Grande

    One of the oldest settlements in the Azores, Ribeira Grande is a town of narrow cobblestone lanes and 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century buildings

  • Caldeiras (hot springs) & Furnas Lake Caldeiras (hot springs) & Furnas Lake

    Located in the island's Furnas Valley, this geothermal wonderland features 22 steaming hot springs, geysers and hot mud pools which emit the smell of sulphur.

  • Terra Nostra Park Terra Nostra Park

    Located outside the town of Furnas, this breathtaking botanical garden features a stunning collection of tropical plants and trees, extensive grottoes and a canal that winds through the grounds.

  • Pineapple Greenhouses Pineapple Greenhouses

    Unique to the Azores, São Miguel has thousands of greenhouses used to cultivate and grow pineapple, a major island crop that thrives in the rich volcanic soil of the area.

  • Antonio Borges Botanical Gardens Antonio Borges Botanical Gardens

    The largest and most lush municipal garden on the island, it was established by local politician and merchant trader António Borges Medeiros, an avid 19th-century amateur botanist.

  • Nordeste Nordeste

    The island's least populated parish is one of the most stunning and lush, featuring "belvederes" - fully equipped areas for picnicking while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean and countryside.

  • Outdoor Adventure Outdoor Adventure

    Some of the Azores' most beautiful spots are accessible only by 4WD. Journey into the island's heart as you travel unpaved trails and cross streams.

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