Discovered during the first half of 15th century by Portuguese navigators, the archipelago of Azores is 1,460 Km from the European cost and is divided into three groups of islands: The eastern group (Sao Miguel and Santa Maria), the central group (Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico e Faial) and the western group (Corvo and Flores). All the archipelago enjoys year-round mild temperatures between 14-22º C. There are international airports in Santa Maria, Ponta Delgada and Angra and flights to all the islands by the regional airline SATA. Fertile prairies, blue lakes, volcanic cones and craters, and colourful flowers are some of the great variety of beautiful sights you can find in all these islands. SANTA MARIA offres excellent water sports facilities. Here you can also see superb manor-houses and Nossa Senhora dos Anjos chapel where Columbus´ crew prayed. SAO MIGUEL is the largest island of the archipelago. Located in this island is PONTA DELGADA the capital, where its 18th century portals and a great number of monuments built between 16th-18th centuries, deserves your visit. You must also visit Caldeira das Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, Ribeira Grande and Vale das Furnas (spas and hot mineral pools). The historic centre of ANGRA DO HEROISMO, capital of TERCEIRA island has been classified in the UNESCO´s International Heritage list. Several forts and other monuments form 17th-18th centuries deserve your visit. In GRACIOSA Island, Mother-church and St. Christ-church deserve your visit. In the Furna do Enxofre you can visit a vaulted cave over an inderground lake. HORTA, Faial Island, is a worldwide famous yacht harbour. Here you can see beautiful tiles and carvings from 17th-18th centuries and also historic monuments. PICO Island owes its name to the 2,351 m high volcanic cone. The CORVO Island is the smallest of all and a peaceful sanctuary. In Caldeirao, an enormous volcanic crater, you can see two lakes with nine small islands, just like the archipelago.
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