The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal, an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. The islands are characterised by dramatic landscapes, fishing villages, green pastures and hedgerows of blue hydrangeas.
The islands of the archipelago are divided into three geographical groups: the Eastern Group, comprising Santa Maria and São Miguel; the Central Group, including Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial; and the Western Group, composed by Corvo and Flores.
São Miguel Island, also referred to locally as "The Green Island", is the largest and most populous island in the Azores.
Highlights include: Seven Cities Lake; Europe's oldest and only tea plantation; a pineapple plantation - one of the Azores most important products; the largest cheese factory in Portugal and the Museum of the Holy Christ Treasure.
The Centre of São Miguel is located just a fifteen minute drive from João Paulo II Airport (named after Pope John Paul II).