Geomorphology (Physiography)

The nine islands of the archipelago of the Azores, each with their own distinctive char­acteristics, combine to provide one of the top tourist attractions both nationally and interna­tionally. 

From the highest mountain in Portugal on the island of Pico, which reaches an altitude of 2,351 meters, to the varied coastline that is constantly kissed by the blue ocean there exists a certain mystical beauty that attracts even the most inattentive observer. 

The Azorean landscape is composed of con­trasts. The calm plains known as the “terras do pão” (land of bread) versus the powerful mountains divided by deep valleys and wind­ing ravines convey a scenery of rare and un­forgettable beauty. The violence of the volcanic phenomenon transport us to the time of the great eruptions that gave way to the formation of these primitive islands. In turn, the multi­coloured landscape releases the observer of all day to day tensions.

Remains of the great eruptions are evident on all the islands with the exception of Santa Ma­ria through the existence of hot springs and ex­tremely deep craters that have become today’s lakes. 

The diverse coastline includes sheltered bays serving equally as safe refuge for maritime navi­gators and as recreational swimming areas. The steep cliffs and rock protrusions both guard and decorate the island. 

Numerous islets within the archipelago com­pliment the scenery and provide a natural ref­uge for bird colonies.