Flores Island - Azores

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Flower Island
The island of Flores is the westernmost point of the Azores Archipelago and the European continent, lying about 27.8 km (15 nautical miles) from the Corvo. These two islands make up the western group of the archipelago, the last to be discovered, and differ from the other islands by a morphology oriented north-south rather than east-west. In addition, Flores and Raven rest on the eastern part of the American lithospheric plate. The remaining islands are located in what is known as the Azores microplate, in the junction zone of the African and Euro-Asian lithosphere plates. The island has an area of ​​141 km2 and a population that is distributed by the two main municipalities of the island, Santa Cruz and Lajes.

The island of Flores presents a rugged relief, with basalt petrified in cliffs, vast areas of pastures, water in abundance and a dense vegetal and florid cover in its deep valleys and high peaks, which earned him the epithet "Switzerland of the Azores" . In the beautiful landscape of this island there is also the refreshing tranquility of the lakes flanked by hydrangeas, the cliffs carved by caves, hot springs and remains of ancient volcanoes. The name of the island is due to a great profusion of wild flowers, with predominance for the covers, at the time of the discovery; presently, dominate dense patches of hydrangeas and small species, some of which are endemic.

On May 26, 2009, at the meeting held in Jeju, South Korea, Flores Island, together with the Graciosa and Corvo islands, was included in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves Network. The program aims at preserving biodiversity on the ecological, social and economic fronts, as well as fostering knowledge sharing, research and monitoring, education, training and participatory decision-making between study groups and local communities.

Open to the present, the island still contains elements that make us relive past times: without memory of having once existed windmills, this fertile territory in springs presents the visitor with water mills in proximity to crystalline water courses; similarly, the musical rang of an ox cart cuts the silence of a setting where the white houses perched on the green slopes complete the image of the island like a garden floating in the ocean.
Tourism
The Rock of the Bordões - Imposing prismatic disjunction of rock formation, characterized by enormous columns of vertical basalt, that have the aspect of great borders.

Águas Quentes - Small hot springs of sulfurous boiling water.

Picos de Sete Pés, Burrinha e Morro Alto - elevations that offer breathtaking views.

Sete Lagoas - In the central part of the island, this set of seven lagoons integrated in the caldera of an old volcano presents a magnificent landscape, especially the Funda Lagoon;

The Ribeira Grande Waterfall, in Fajãzinha, with hundreds of meters, shows several waterfalls. Along the coast of the island of Flores many other falls of water descend directly on the sea;

The Grotto of the Enxaréus, a huge cave, about 50m long and 25m wide, situated by the sea, can be enjoyed during a boat trip;

The Bay of Alagoa - In the tranquil waters of the bay, small islets emerge, creating a unique scenery.

A Fajãzinha - A characteristic village by the sea, with picturesque ruins of water mills.
Gastronomy
Besides the meat and fish recipes, common throughout the archipelago, Flores also offers some local specialties such as cress soup, pork cooked with vegetables, bent, yams with tasty sausages, beans with pork head and pasteis of Marine Herbs.

The tasty cheese, produced in Flores, the soft creamy butter and delicious honey, which has the scent of flowers, always present on the island all year long, complement the meals. Not forgetting, of course, the crabs, barnacles and limpets found in the rocks, constantly bathed by the sea.
Climate
Like the other islands in the archipelago, the climate on Flores Island is influenced by the Gulf Stream. The anti-cyclone acts as a restraining force on the islands, keeping temperatures between 14 ° C (57 ° F) and 27 ° C (80 ° F) throughout the year. The location of the Flores in the Western Group makes the island more subject to Atlantic storms, with strong winds and high precipitation during the winter.

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