· The archipelago of the Azores is situated one third of the way across the Atlantic between Portugal and New York, uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered it in 1427.
· Sao Miguel is the largest, famous for its crater with two adjoining lakes of sapphire blue and emerald green. Special soups and stews are cooked in sealed pots sunk into the ground at thermal springs. Its capital, Ponta Delgada, boasts wonderful 15th and 16th century churches with incredible Baroque interiors. The hand painted ceramics of Lagoa are typical of the many local handicrafts that you can buy here. Spectacular lakes fill extinct volcano craters, geysers and hot mineral springs steam from the rock, fields like patchwork quilts cover the ground. Villages of dark red roofed, white-washed houses punctuate the landscape. Boats of all shapes and sizes jostle in the ports.