Walking Holidays in Portugal - Azores

The Azores are a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean about 1500 km (950 miles) from Lisbon and about 3900 km (2400 miles) from the east coast of North America. The two western most Azorean islands (Flores and Corvo) actually lie on the North American plate and are only 1,925 km (1,200 miles) from St. John's in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The nine major Azorean Islands and the eight small Formigas extend for more than 600 km and lie in a north west-south east direction. All of the 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 the other being Madeira. The nine islands have a total area of 2,346 km² (906 sq miles). Their individual areas vary between São Miguel's 759 km² (293 sq miles) and Corvo's 17 km² (7 sq miles). Three islands (São Miguel, Pico and Terceira) are bigger in size than Malta (composed of three different islands), São Miguel Island alone being twice as big.


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