Strung out in the mid-Atlantic, 1500km off the coast of Portugal, is a chain of nine breathtaking islands. These are the Azores, a volcanic archipelago thrust up from the seabed at the intersection of the Eurasian, North American and African plates.

Home to around 250,000 people, the lush islands hide glassy lakes, towering waterfalls, bubbling hot springs and flower-filled meadows. If you're looking for natural beauty, you can't ask for much more.

The unhurried pace of life here is one of the biggest draws, but adventure can be found, too. Inland you can cycle, canyon or hike or while offshore there's whale-watching, dolphin-spotting and surfing.

Need more convincing? Check out our video of the week below from Portuguese filmmaker .

"We found one of the most beautiful places we've ever been right here, in our own country", he says.

Azores - Moving Mountains from João Monteiro on Vimeo.

Top image © bayazed/Shutterstock

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