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Imagine a remote island group sitting in the middle of the North Atlantic with a quarter million people. And imagine it straddling the deeply submerged mid-Atlantic ridge where the Euroasian and North American plates are moving away from each other. That's the Azore Islands.
Top must-see islands
It's the largest and most populated. Sightseeing highlight: Visiting the village Sete Cidades on the crater floor of a huge volcano.
Home to the stunning near-perfect Pico volcano cone that soars 2350 meters (7710 feet). You can climb it.
Other interesting islands include Faial (for a great view of the Pico peak) and Flores (see its Funda Cratar Lake). And from various islands, you can board a small boat for whale and dolphin watching. You can also nature hike through verdant hills.
A San Miguel island specialty is stew cooked in a cauldron set in hot thermal waters.
The Azores are two hours by plane from Lisbon, five hours from New York. The international airport is on San Miguel.
When to come
Mid June to mid October has the best weather. Winter is the rainy season.
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