The Azores is an autonomous region of Portugal far out in the Atlantic, nearly one third of the distance to America. They are volcanic and, like Iceland, Ascension Island and St. Helena, part of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. There are nine inhabited islands.
==== THE AZORES – ATTRACTION
The Azores is not the first choice for sun loving people who want to spend their leisure time on sandy beaches. Most travelers to the Azores more appreciate the very beautiful landscape. Daylong walks can be made in many places along mountain ridges or crater lakes with numerous breath-taking views.
The flora is related to the other Macaronesian islands and contains many endemic plants (i.e. plants not found elsewhere), but the indigenous vegetation is highly threatened by planted conifers and also by intruding garden plants. One of these is the Hortensia that is planted everywhere along the roads. This is a plant with beautiful flowers but it becomes a nasty weed in the natural vegetation where it out competes indigenous species.