“Let us simply hope that children born today still have, in twenty years, some green grass for their bare feet, some fresh air for their lungs, some blue water to sail in and the tail of a whale along the horizon to fill up their dreams.”

Jean-Jacques Cousteau

The Islands

santamaria saomiguel terceira graciosa saojorge pico faial flores corvo

The Azores are located in the middle of the Northern Atlantic Ocean, in a strip between parallels 36º 55´43” and 39º 43´02” N and the meridians 24º46´15” and 31º 16´02”W.

Its oceanic position is reflected in the region strong geographic isolation (insularity), for it is roughly at circa 760 mi (1430 km) from the European Continent and more than 2110 mi (3900 km) from North America. The maximum distance between the islands is more than 340 mi (630 km), which is the distance between Corvo and Santa Maria.

With a population of about 240 000, the archipelago consists of nine islands gathered in three distinct groups: the Oriental Group, composed of the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria; the Central Group, with the islands of Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Terceira and Graciosa; and lastly, the Western Group, with the islands of Flores and Corvo.