The Azores Islands - As Ilhas dos acores


The Azores (Portuguese: Açores) is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km (950 mi) from Lisbon and about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) from the east coast of North America. The two westernmost Azorean islands (Flores and Corvo) actually lie on the North American plate and are only 1,925 km (1,200 mi) from St. John's in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Azores' most significant industries are tourism, cattle raising for milk and meat, and fishing.

The nine major Azorean Islands have volcanic origins, though Santa Maria also has some reef contribution.

The mountain of Pico on Pico Island, at 2,351 m (7,713 ft) in altitude, is the highest in all of Portugal.

The Azores are actually the tops of some of the tallest mountains on the planet, as measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean.

The archipelago forms the Autonomous Region of Azores, one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal.

Though it is commonly said that the archipelago is named after the goshawk (Açor in Portuguese), because it was supposed to be a common bird at the time of the discovery, the bird actually never existed on the islands. Some historians indicate the archaic Portuguese word "azules" (the plural of blue) because of the colour of the islands when seen from afar. Most, however, insist that the name is derived from birds, pointing to a local subspecies of the buzzard (Buteo buteo), as the animal the first explorers erroneously identified as goshawks.

The vast majority of the inhabitants of the Azores are Portuguese, descendants of 15th century immigrants from Algarve (Southern Portugal) and from the Minho (Northern Portugal), with a minor Dutch admixture (particularly from Flanders).

Since the 17th century, many of them emigrated, mainly to Brazil, the USA and Canada.

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The Azores

The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean approximately 1500 km from the ... More…

Images of the Azores islands.