5 Photos and 12 Fun Facts About the Azores

I'm continuing with my Azores-themed posts this week with a short photo tour along with some fun facts that I didn’t mention in my recent post 10 Things to Know About the Azores. Hope you enjoy!

1. The currency is the Euro.

2. The official language is Portuguese.

3. Vasco Cordeiro has been the President of the Government of the Azores since 2012.

4. Each of the nine islands in the archipelago goes by a different color. Why? I can't find any real answer, but here are the colors :

  • Sao Miguel –The Green Island

  • Pico: The Grey Island

  • Terceira: The Purple Island

  • Faial: The Blue Island

  • São Jorge: The Brown Island.

  • Flores: The Pink Island

  • Santa Maria: The Yellow Island.

  • Graciosa: The White Island

5. Mount Pico, on the island of Pico, is the highest point in Portugal, at 2,351 m (7,713 ft). If you measure it from the base at the bottom of the ocean to its peak, it’s one of the tallest mountains on the planet.

6. There are conflicting stories regarding the origin of the name for the Azores. The first is that it’s thought to have come from the name of a bird that was common at the time the islands were discovered - the goshawk (Açor in Portuguese). In reality, the bird probably never existed in the archipelago. The second story is that it came from the old Portuguese word, "azures," the plural of the word blue, since the island look blue from a distance.

7. The islands weren’t populated until around 1439.

8. While still part of Portugal, the Azores became an autonomous region of Portugal in 1976 - officially know as the Autonomous Region of the Azores (Região Autónoma dos Açores).

9. In 2003, the Azores hosted a summit attended by United States President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar and Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso. The summit occurred just days before the beginning of the Iraq War.

10. The U.S. maintains an airbase on the island of Terceira.

11. They grow tea on the Azores. It’s the only place in Europe that does. Tea was introduced about 1750 as an ornamental shrub. In the mid 19th century, after a virus threatened the orange growing industry, the Azores started to grow tea commercially.

12. They have bullfighting on the Azores. Tourada à corda is a type of bullfighting traditional to the Azores, especially on Terceira. The bulls are released after each event and are given a three week rest before the next fight.

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Welcome to Travleidoscope! Hey, what’s with the name?  Traveleidoscope is a combination of the words travel and kaleidoscope.  While a kaleidoscope creates colorful patterns, it doesn’t ever seem to produce the same pattern twice.  And so, I want my love of travel and outdoorsy activities to be sort of like a kaleidoscope - never really getting the same experience twice!  I’ll share what I’ve learned in my adventures through 60 countries and territories (including the bumps and bruises of it all!).   Hope you enjoy! Thanks for stopping by and here’s to always having a bon voyage! 

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