The Azores belongs to Portugal and have long been on the sailing routes for boats coming from the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Sailors from various nations favour a stop-over while crossing the Atlantic. The archipelago consist of nine main islands divided into three groups:
- western group (Occidental) with Flores and Corvo
- central group (Central) with Graciosa, Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Terceira
- eastern group (Oriental) with São Miguel, Santa Maria and the uninhabited Formigas islands.


The large number of buzzards seen flying over the islands, which the early settlers mistook for hawks and are called açores in portuguese, have given their name to the archipelago. The Azores lies on the Mid-atlantic Ridge, a submarine mountain range, which divide the European and the Northamerican Oceans. Here collide the American Plate with the Eurasian and the African Plates of the earth crust.
Corvo and Flores lies on the American Plate and moves some centimetres yearly towards the United States. At present the other islands approach Europe at 1,5 centimetre per year. In this active geological area the weakness in the earth crust break up again and again. To this day the volcanic process has not finished, which is why small tremors can still be registered on the islands.


Home I Service I São Miguel I Ponta Delgada I