The largest island in the archipelago is San Miguel. For the abundance of forests and meadows, it is also called the Green Island. Among its attractions are the Museum of Carlos Mochado, the Church of St. Sebastian with a treasury, St. Peter(XVI-XVIII centuries), palaces (XVII-XIX centuries), the oldest house of Carlos Buchido. The island has many traces of active volcanic activity: the crater Sete Cidades with its Green and Blue lakes, Lake of Fire, the valley of the caves of Vale das Furnas, where mineral and hot springs beat. 12 hectares are occupied by the beautiful Terra Nostra park with evergreen tropical vegetation, ferns and flowers. In the east of San Miguel, patches of relict forest have been preserved, covering an area of about 600 hectares. Horseback riding is possible on the island. There are routes for both beginners, which combine classes and horseback riding, and for professionals. San Miguel offers excursions to tobacco, tea, coffee and pineapple plantations. Terceira Islandknown for its many churches, old forts and baroque palace. Many historical monuments were damaged after the earthquake that occurred in 1980. The historical center of the capital – Angra do Geroizmo is recognized by UNESCO as a site worth special protection. One of the island’s most impressive natural attractions is the Algar do Carvao Cave. This is a lava tube 100 m long, which was formed after a volcanic eruption that occurred 2000 years ago. The cave contains many stalactites and stalagmites made of quartz that has been dissolved in lava. At the end of the cave, an underground lake was formed from rainwater. Depending on the season and the amount of precipitation, its depth can reach 15 m. Not far from the cave there is a sulfur spring, which is best visited early in the morning – during the day the sun heats up the dark rocks.
On Terceira you can see an unusual show – a bullfight with umbrellas: a bull is tied on a rope, and daredevils prick him with umbrellas, dodging attacks in front of a ferocious animal.
According to Abbreviation Pedia, Terceira has preserved the largest relic forests in terms of area. They are located on the mountain Caldeiro de Santa Barbara (Caldeira da Santa Barbara) and in a small area between the peaks of Juncal, Pico Alto and Serra do Labaсal in the central part of the island. However, these areas are quite difficult to get to. The famous wine verdelho, loved by many monarchs, was born on Terceira. There is even a museum of this wine. Faial Island famous for its churches, decorated with tiles and gilded carvings, as well as the port of ocean yachts. It is also worth visiting the Caldeira Nature Reserve, the grottoes and caves of the Costa da Feteita and the Monte de Guia observation deck. Santa Maria
Island offers ideal conditions for lovers of water sports. It is worth visiting the city of Vila do Porto with small charming houses, a church and a chapel where all the companions of Columbus prayed. Pico is a volcanic island (the height of the volcano is 2351 m), where there is a wine museum, churches of the 17th-18th centuries. The popularity of this island was brought by whales, whose migration path lies in its vicinity. Flores Island interesting for its baroque mansions and churches, as well as the Ribeira Grande waterfall and seven lakes, located in the picturesque craters of extinct volcanoes.
On the island of Graciosa in the capital, ancient streets and mansions of the 18th century, a beautiful Cathedral of the 17th century, have been preserved. and a Manueline cross. It is also worth visiting the Sulfur Cave with an underground lake.
The main city of Flores Island – Santa Cruz – is interesting for its mansions, the baroque churches of San Boaventura and Nossa Señora da Conceisan of the 19th century, and the Ethnographic Museum. Excursions are organized to the Ribeira Grande waterfall, Enshareush grotto (by boat) and to seven lakes located in the picturesque craters of extinct volcanoes.
Center of Sao Jorge Island is the fishing port of Velas, which attracts the attention of noble estates, churches of the 17th century. and fortress walls of the XVIII century. Corvo Island is the smallest of the islands in the archipelago. Its symbol is 2 lakes with small islands in the middle, located in the huge crater of the Calderao volcano. In the Azores, you should definitely book an excursion “Whale watching” (Whale watching). You can watch from the boat, and for trained people, scuba diving is organized. From June to October you can watch and swim with dolphins. There are several companies on the islands that offer these excursions, and the best of them are located on Pico and Faial. A popular tour is a cruise to all the islands of the archipelago.
History in Azores, Portugal
The Azores have been discovered more than once. On the maps they were marked here and there, under one name or another. There is an assumption that in the X century. This is where the Vikings stopped. In 1427, the Portuguese landed on the islands of Santa Maria and San Miguel, which are part of the archipelago. Due to its favorable position on the way between Europe, the East and America in the XVI – XVII centuries. they became the anchorage of many ships. During this period, the Azores witnessed naval battles with pirates. In the following centuries, agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing developed on the islands. In April 1974, the “Carnation Revolution” took place in the Azores, which was the last turbulent event in the history of the Azores, as a result of which, in 1976, they were granted the status of an autonomous region.