National Geographic's Traveler magazine has assembled over five hundred experts ranging from archeologists and historians to environmentalists and other earth scientists to judge the world's best island archipelagos. The Azores islands continue to be on National Geographic's top list. The recent book, National Geographic Guide to the World's Secret Places - Escapes to Unspoiled Earthly Paradises, by David Yeadon, includes the island of Sao Miguel, the largest of the Azores islands. The number 2 ranking of 111 island "paradises" in the world is truly remarkable considering the formidable competition.
The Azores Islands are a Portuguese archipelago that American vacationers are only beginning to discover. But travelers who do venture halfway across the Atlantic to these nine hidden islands can find a cheaper, more authentic European destination.
The volcanic islands have a lot to offer tourists. Towering peaks, crater lakes, and abundant whale watching create many opportunities for outdoors activities.
Although there have not been many American tourists coming to the Azores, there have been long-standing ties between the US and the Azores due to heavy immigration to America as well as a strong US military presence there. Most people in the Azores have relatives in the US and are very comfortable with Americans. English is widely spoken.
Call on one of our participating agencies and find out what the possibilities are for spending a memorable, exciting, and safe vacation. For an introductory slide show, click HERE. For more photos click HERE.
For an up-to-date article on the Azores on MSNBC, click HERE.
The Azores archipelago consists of nine islands: Sao Miguel, Terceira, Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Santa Maria, Graciosa, Flores, and Corvo.
The largest island of the Azores Arquipelago is Sao Miguel, or Saint Michael, in English. The capital and largest city is Ponta Delgada.
The language spoken in the Azores Islands is Portuguese although English is widely understood.
The climate of the Azores is subtropical which means it is very mild year round. The temperture rarely goes below 55 degrees Farenheit and rarely above 85 in the Summer.
The only snow in the Azores occurs in the winter on the peak of Pico island which is the highest mountain in Portugal.
The Azores is an autonomous region of Portugal which means it is part of Portugal but has its own President and its own Parliament. Portugal is a Parliamentary democracy.
Since World War II the Azores has had an important American military base on the island of Terceira.
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