The Portuguese archipelago of the Azores is one of the most stunning and exciting places on Earth. Made up of nine islands, its volcanic origins have created green scenery in stark contrast to azure waters and unspoiled beaches. Visitors come from all over the world for hiking, diving and whale watching tours.
The Azores were discovered in 1427 by Portuguese sailors, who named them after the mythological island of Hades. This legend has since been linked to the island’s legendary isolation and strong winds.
With easy access to Europe and the Americas via a short flight from Lisbon, with flights lasting under an hour and costing from around £200 return, these islands are ideal for a break.
Flores Island, the largest and most accessible of the Azorean islands is home to a large outdoor market, bustling beaches and a museum dedicated to local history.
The topography of the island is basically a very rugged relief formed by non-active volcanos and lava fields. The highest point is in Pico da Esperança at 1397 meters above sea level. There are some lower highlands and coastal plains. Much of the year is sunny and dry with some severe thunderstorms in the summer. The land area covers about 600 square km with a population of around 3,000 people (in 1864).
The main settlement in Flores is Lagoa which is located on the northern coast. The capital city is Lagoa which is located on the northern coast and is a major center for the many salt pans concentrated in Flores. It has a very developed infrastructure with good road networks, communications and internet access. There is also a passenger ferry service from Sao Miguel island for those who prefer not to book flights or take a sea trip.
East of Lagoa is the village of Sul do Carmo. There are some smaller towns and villages scattered around the island.
In 1571 the Franciscan monks were driven from Portugal due to religious conflicts. In 1917, the islands were forcibly entered in to Portuguese administration and though Spain had claimed sovereignty since 1775, a treaty was signed in 1951 that returned their sovereignty to them (this happened before independence).
Flores Island has a very developed infrastructure with good road networks, communications and internet access. There is also a passenger/vehicle ferry service from Sao Miguel island for those who prefer not to book flights or take a sea trip.
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