Autonomous region of Portugal, the Azores are an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They played an important role in the history of Portugal, since they served as a stopover for ships at the time of the Discoveries and the Great Navigations. With this strategic location, the islands have been fortified since the beginning of the Portuguese settlement. For this reason, even today it is possible to find dozens of forts, castles and military fortresses in the Azores.

There are nine main islands, divided into three groups: Eastern (Santa Maria and São Miguel), Central (Faial, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge and Terceira) and Western (Corvo and Flores). With volcanic origin, they have a relief full of hills and mountains covered with trees and green fields, as well as beautiful beaches designed by rock formations, in whose seas whales and dolphins swim.

The beaches of the eastern islands, especially Santa Maria, are warmer, like Praia Formosa. Among the most beautiful views are the Bay of São Lourenço, with its vineyards on the slopes of the hill, and the Ribeira de Maloás, with a formation of magmatic rocks. In São Miguel, there are signs of geothermal activity in several places, in waterfalls and natural pools of thermal waters and volcanic lakes. Visit Lagoa do Fogo, the Sete Cidades Basin, the São Brás Castle and a multitude of Baroque churches.

Another incredible place is the Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo, which has a cove that forms a natural pool. On Terceira Island, one of the highlights is the city of Angra do Heroísmo, a World Heritage Site. In Graciosa, there are beautiful windmills, the natural pools of Carapacho and a spa with hot and sulphurous waters.

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