São Miguel Island, the largest island of the Azores

30 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

São Miguel Island, nicknamed “The Green Island” (Ilha Verde), is the largest and most populous island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The island covers 760 km² (290 sq mi) and has around 140,000 inhabitants, with 45,000 people residing in Ponta Delgada, the archipelago’s largest city. The ancient laurisilva forest has mostly been replaced by cultivated fields and imported trees and plants, such as the ubiquitous cryptomeria trees. There are some hot springs (caldeiras), generally located in the center of the island, in the area stretching from Povoação to Nordeste. The highest elevation on São Miguel is the Pico da Vara at 1,103 metres (3,619 ft). Lying at the eastern end of the island, it is the focus of a Special Protection Area containing the largest remnant of laurisilva forest on the island, which is home to the endemic and critically endangered bird, the Azores bullfinch. Whale watching tours, starting from Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca do Campo are available. One may see sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.   read more…

Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores

9 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Marina de Ponta Delgada © flickr.com - Feliciano Guimarães/cc-by-2.0

Marina de Ponta Delgada © flickr.com – Feliciano Guimarães/cc-by-2.0

Ponta Delgada is a city and municipality on the island of São Miguel in the archipelago of the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal. It includes 44,403 residents in the urban area, and approximately 20,113 inhabitants in the three central parishes that comprise the historical city: São Pedro, São Sebastião, São José.   read more…

The three-masted Thor Heyerdahl

1 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month

Thor Heyerdahl in Kiel © VollwertBIT/cc-by-sa-2.5

Thor Heyerdahl in Kiel © VollwertBIT/cc-by-sa-2.5

Thor Heyerdahl , originally named Tinka, later Marga Henning, Silke, and Minnow, was built as a freight carrying motor ship with auxiliary sails at the shipyard Smit & Zoon in Westerbroek, Netherlands, in 1930. Her original homeport being Hamburg, she was used for the next 50 years as a freighter.   read more…

The archipelago of the Azores

25 March 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Sustainability, UNESCO World Heritage

Angra do Heroísmo - Terceira Island © Luissilveira

Angra do Heroísmo – Terceira Island © Luissilveira

The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. The Portuguese archipelago is located about 1,500 km (930 mi) west from Lisbon and about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) east from the east coast of North America. The archipelago, and economic exclusion zone, forms the Autonomous Region of the Azores, one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. Its main industries are: agriculture, dairy farming (for cheese and butter products primarily), minor livestock ranching, fishing and tourism, which is becoming the major service activity in the region. In addition, the government of the Azores is responsible for employing a large percentage of population directly or indirectly in many aspects of the service and tertiary sectors.   read more…

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