The privilegedgeographical position of the Azores

Geography

Where are the Azores

Between the United States and Europe, there is an archipelago composed of nine islands that rise from the sea seated at the confluence of three tectonic plates. They are the Azores!

The 1446 km that separate the Azores from Lisbon or the 4121 km that separate them from New York are easily traveled by plane in two or four hours, respectively. This is the short distance that one has to travel to access one of the best-preserved natural sanctuaries in the world, which has put the Azores on the radar of outdoor adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking impressive landscapes.

The archipelago began to take shape 8.1 million years ago, during the late Tertiary period with the emergence of Santa Maria Island. São Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Flores, and Corvo are the names of the remaining islands.

Lagoon of the Seven Cities

São Miguel Island

horta marina

View to the Pico island from Faial

Observação de cetáceos

São Nicolão church

Typical church in Sete Cidades

There, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the islands remained undiscovered until the mid-15th century when Portuguese navigators broke the unknown. They are the westernmost point of Europe and have an area of 2322 km2, the sixth largest region in Portugal. With their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), they also add an area of approximately 1,000,000 km2 to the Portuguese and European EEZs.

If you haven't heard of the Azores yet, you have probably heard of the Azores High, the center of high atmospheric pressure that influences the weather and climate of vast areas that include Europe, North Africa, and the Americas. The next time you watch the weather report and hear the reference to the Azores High, it will be easier to locate the Azores on the map.

Surrounded by deep waters, the islands are located on the route of the Gulf Stream, in an area with the existence of underwater mountains. This combination of environmental and geological factors makes it one of the best places in the North Atlantic for observing whales, turtles, dolphins, and a vast marine fauna.

It is also because of this distance from large urban areas that one enjoys a high quality of life with no atmospheric pollution, landscapes of unusual beauty, and a rich historical and cultural heritage. The UNESCO world heritage designations given to the Pico Vineyards and the city of Angra do Heroísmo are a testament to this, as well as the unique "Platinum Award" that distinguishes the Azores as the world's leading sustainable tourism destination.

If you didn't know or had doubts about where the Azores are, now you know, and there are many good reasons to get to know and visit the Azores better. If you are planning a trip to the Azores, start exploring the multiple possibilities in our Azores travel guide with us.

Want to save money on your trip? Check out our recommendations

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Find a wide variety of activities to do and experience in the Azores 

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