are nine volcanic islands set in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between Lisbon and New
York which, as legend tells, are the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis. On two of
these islands - São Miguel and Terceira - there are superb golf courses, surrounded by
great natural beauty.
São Miguel, the largest island in the archipelago, is famous for its enormous
crater with two adjacent lakes, one sapphire blue and the other emerald green. Everywhere
one finds exotic flowers, especially hydrangeas and azaleas. The capital, Ponta Delgada,
has a wealth of churches and palaces built during the 18th and 19th centuries, a period of
economic expansion for the Azores.
It also has forts dating from the 16th and 17th centuries whose function was to
protect the islands from pirate attacks. In the Museu de Carlos Machado (17th century)
there is an outstanding collection of paintings from the 16th century, as well as
sculptures, prints and painted ceramic tiles.
There is no better pastime after a morning round of golf than to enjoy a cozido
(stew) cooked in the hot springs, finishing off the meal with pineapples, grown in the
Azores, which taste unlike those grown anywhere else in the world