Environment and Biodiversity of the Azores
The Azores are a volcanic archipelago located in the middle of the North Atlantic that harbors unique biodiversity and stunning landscapes.
Comprising of nine islands, the archipelago boasts a variety of ecosystems, offering a diverse range of landscapes including forests, meadows, mountains, and coastal zones, providing habitats for a variety of plant and animal species.
Aerial view of Ribeira Quente
The marine biodiversity of the Azores is especially rich, with over 500 species of fish, sharks, and rays, as well as whales, dolphins, and sea turtles frequenting the waters around the islands. Organized boat tours allow for the observation of several species of cetaceans and even swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat. The clear waters and cold-water coral reefs make the Azores a popular destination for divers and marine life enthusiasts.
The Azorean avifauna is particularly noteworthy, with over 20 species of seabirds nesting on the islands, including the famous Cory's Shearwater, a seabird that can be observed at night in the Azorean skies.
The Azores also have a rich flora, with various endemic species and botanical rarities. One of the most emblematic plants, although not endemic, is the hydrangea, which blooms in various shades in early spring, and is used as a boundary element for agricultural properties and pastures, covering mountains and roads with a colorful carpet.
The laurisilva forest, which covers some areas of the islands, is one of the best-preserved in Europe and is home to many endemic plant species, such as the Azores cedar, heather, and laurel.
Landscape of the Azores - Lagoa do Fogo
In addition to their biodiversity, the Azores are also known for their natural beauty and impressive landscapes. The islands have a unique volcanic landscape, with craters, calderas, and fumaroles. Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal, the lakes of São Miguel, and the waterfalls of over 20 meters in height at Poço do Ribeira do Ferrerio on Flores Island are just a few examples of the breathtaking diversity of landscapes.
Ribeira do Ferreiro
The Azores are one of the few tourist destinations in the world that have been certified as sustainable tourism. This means that the archipelago is committed to preserving its biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as developing responsible and sustainable tourism.
They are truly a natural treasure that should be appreciated with respect and responsibility. As a visitor, you have the opportunity to experience one of the most impressive biodiversities in the world and connect with nature in a unique way.
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