THE Azores have been ranked as the world's most sustainable tourism destination.
The volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic achieved a score of 8.9 out of ten in a survey by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The survey looked at 100 tourist destinations worldwide, rating tourism policy, nature, environment, society, culture, and green economy.
The Azores makes effective use of renewable geo-thermal energy, and its main industries are agriculture, dairy farming, livestock ranching, fishing, and tourism.
Only around 5% of the Azores is urbanized.
Wildlife options including whale and dolphin watching, swimming with wild dolphins and blue sharks, scuba diving for pelagic fish and marine turtles, bird watching, big game fishing and horse riding. Outdoor activities include hiking and cycling on well-regulated volcanic trails, kayaking, rock climbing, paragliding, surfing, golf, and sailing.
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Picture Credit: 'SMA VPO 20090827 SantoEspirito poolMaia' by Ruben JC Furtado (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons; "30 ilha de são jorge, açores" by José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa via Wikimedia Commons.