The Azores Islands comprises of 9 scenic, volcanic islands deep in the Atlantic Ocean over 1,360 km west of mainland Portugal. São Miguel is the largest island famous for its volcanic crater called Sete Cidades and Fogo (Fire) Lagoons in the centre of the island and its most beautiful sight. You’ll also encounter geysers, hot thermal waters and volcanic lakes. In the hot springs locals make the dish "Cozido das Furnas" slowly cooked in a giant pot full of meats (pork,sausage,chicken and beef) and vegetables. The south-eastern most island of Santa Maria has fantastic white, sandy beaches and a landscape dominated by vineyards.
The islands of Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial and Graciosa (referred to as the Central Group of Azores) is where you can see whales and dolphins. On Terceira, the city of Angra do Heroísmo is an UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its festivals. Faial Island is the "Blue Island" thanks to the cool blue of the hydrangeas plant. Its marina is one of the most busy and famous in the world and it’s colourful murals are the work of yachtsmen to give them protection on their trip. The extinct Capelinhos volcano, which is like a lunar landscape is also a must see. Next to Faial Island is Pico Island where there is the highest mountain in Portugal which rises out of the sea (Ponta do Pico). The island has vineyards planted in black volcanic earth, a unique historical feature and key to the island’s development resulting in its UNESCO World Heritage status. On São Jorge, the most scenic of the islands, the main sights are the Fajãs (geological, coastal feature) and its cheese, a unique specialty with an flavour not unlike Cheddar. Graciosa,the graceful "White Island", is an agricultural island full of vineyards that contrast with its strange windmills.
Finally there’s the Western group of Azores including Flores island. The beauty of its flowers, the natural waterfalls and lakes carved out by volcanoes is spectacular. The island of Corvo is the smallest and most northern island of the Azores. It has a broad, beautiful crater at its centre, and attracts many species of migratory birds from both Europe and America.