The Azores archipelago is made up of nine islands of volcanic origin divided into three geographic groups: the Eastern Group, the Central Group and the Western Group.
The region was recently recognized by the Earthcheck certifier as a sustainable tourist destination, a distinction only awarded to 13 regions worldwide. Thus, it also became the first region in the country and the first and only archipelago in the world with this certification.
The island of São Miguel is part of the Oriental Group and this is where the city of Ponta Delgada is located, which is the economic capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores and the largest city in this region. With more than five centuries of existence, it is a flat, modern and cosmopolitan city and the one with the greatest diversity of facilities in the Azores.
The island of São Miguel is the largest of the islands in the Azores archipelago and the largest of all the islands in the territory of Portugal. With an area of 746.82 km², it measures 64.7 km in length and 8 to 15 km in width, and has a population of 137,699 inhabitants (2011). It comprises the municipalities of Ponta Delgada, Ribeira Grande, Lagoa, Vila Franca do Campo, Nordeste and Povoação.