The nine islands are divided into three
The Eastern Group (Grupo Oriental) of São
Miguel and Santa
The Central Group (Grupo Central) of Terceira, Graciosa,
São Jorge, Pico and Faial
The Western Group (Grupo Ocidental) of Flores and Corvo.
São Miguel is the largest island
in size and Corvo the smallest having only 4 square miles
of surface. Sao Miguel, Sao Jorge, and Pico are the longest
islands with an average length of about 35 miles. Most of
the islands are from 7 to 10 miles wide.
The islands are irregular in
shape with most of the land sloping upward towards the volcanic
peaks. The sea coast has cliffs that are up to several hundred
feet high. The lower shorelines have coves that serve as harbors.
Horta on the island of Faial has the best natural harbor of the