The Amazing Azores
(Flores, an island in the Azores: azoreschoice.com)
Located in Portugal, the Azores are an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic. They are a series of islands (three of which have been designated as biospheres by UNESCO) known for their underwater mountains, volcanoes (mostly dormant), grottoes, caverns, hot springs, lakes, green pastures, and forests. This is truly a land of extremes and a dream destination! The Azores are known for their amazing wildlife and sheer beauty. One of the most common activities on the islands is whale watching. Some of the most common whales to spot are sperm, mink, fin, and pilot whales. There are also lots of dolphins!
Spartan and the Green Egg
(SGE explorer pin)
“The Azores are made up of nine different volcanic islands in the Portugal region. The islands are part of the North Atlantic Ocean. While all of the islands are volcanic, many of them have not had an eruption in recent years. The islands have a relaxing tropical climate and feature many beautiful forests. One of the islands, Pico, is home to Mount Pico. The top of Mount Pico is the tallest location within Portugal.”
(Gruta das Torres, visitazores.com)
“Geotourism” is a term that relates to geology and those who seek out destinations with awesome geological sights. The mountains, volcanoes, and craters are part of what makes the Azores a famous place for explorers and adventure, but that’s not all. There’s also lava tubes, patches of land covered in lava known as “mistérios,” rock formations, cliffs, and fumaroles.
- What’s a fumarole? A fumarole is an opening in the earth (near or in a volcano) that releases gases and steam.
- How about a lava tube? Lava tubes are caves formed from volcanic vents and resemble tunnels or channels. A tube develops when a lava flow crusts over and is emptied of lava.
- And a “mudpot”? A mudpot is a shallow pool of acidic bubbling water. It’s sort of like a hot spring. They are fascinating to watch and actually can dissolve rock.
The Gruta das Torres or “Grotto of Towers,” is the largest and most famous lava cave in the Azores. Filled with stalactites and stalagmites, the cave is over 5,000 meters long.
Lakes, Pools and Waterfalls
Did you know that the most fertile land on earth was built by volcanoes? After the lava flows and cools, the soil is filled with nutrients.
The Azores are known for their breathtaking botanical gardens, lush forests, and abundance of water. Waterfalls, thermal pools, lakes, and hot springs are just a few things to see in the Azores, and they make for wonderful adventures and sports. Swimming, kayaking, surfing, fishing, and whale watching are just a handful of things to do! One can even swim in a volcanic crater filled with cool water.
For more information on the Azores, collectible explorer pins, and more, visit Spartan and the Green Egg’s website along with the link below:
For more information cited in this blog, check out the sites below:
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