Azores Information

The Autonomous Region of Azores under Portuguese influence is a group of 9 islands and 8 islets called formigas located about 930 miles (1500 km) from Lisbon and 2422 miles (3900 km) from the east coast of the United States. An autonomous region of Portugal is defined as having its own government and political and administrative statutes.

Tourism is important to the island and it’s easy to see why. Lovely wineries, tall mountains and wonderful flora and fauna all contribute to the beauty and serenity. Geographically, the Azores Islands are formed of the tops of some of the tallest mountains on earth.

They are all of volcanic origin, although there is some coral contribution on the island of Santa Maria. The Azores naturally are grouped into three geographic areas. São Miguel is the largest and most populous of the islands with over half the population of the Azores living here.

Its nickname is the Green Island. The nickname comes from the verdant lowlands and the laurel forests in the hills. Numerous geysers and hot springs add geological and botanical interest to the island.

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Portugal Information

Portugal, a country with a rich history of seafaring and discovery, looks out from the Iberian Peninsula onto the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal's history has had a lasting impact on the culture of the country: Moorish and Oriental influences in architecture and the arts are prominent.

Over the past 3000 years, Portugal has witnessed a constant ebb and flow of civilizations. Phoenician, Greek, Celt, Carthaginian, Roman and Arabic cultures have all left their imprint. In the 15th century, Portugal’s intrepid maritime explorers led by Vasco da Gama discovered new territories, leading to the accumulation of an overseas empire.

During the month of June, festivities dedicated to three saints known as Santos Populares (popular saints) take place all over Portugal. They are characterized by folk dance and music, particularly the traditional melancholy fado.

Each region of Portugal has its traditional dishes made with various kinds of meat and seafood. In particular, the country is particularly well known for its one hundred ways of cooking cod. Click HERE for more complete information about Portugal.

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