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The island of Flores is located in the Western Group of the Azores archipelago, on the North American Plate being the largest of the islands that make up that group. It occupies an area of 141.7 km², mostly consisting of mountainous terrain, characterized by large ravines and gigantic cliffs.
The highest point of the island is the Morro Alto, at 914 meters of altitude. The resident population is 3 793 inhabitants (2011), divided by the municipalities of Santa Cruz and Lajes das Flores.
It is the westernmost point of Portugal (in the Islet of Monchique) and often considered as the westernmost point of Europe (if it is considered part of Europe, although based on the North American Plate). It is one of the most beautiful of the archipelago, covering thousands of hydrangeas of blue color, that divide the fields along the roads, in the banks of the streams and lagoons.
Like the other islands of the archipelago, the climate of Flores is temperate oceanic. The Atlantic and the Gulf Stream function as temperature moderators - maritime - giving the island and the archipelago in general a small thermal amplitude. Rainfall is distributed regularly throughout the year, although it is more abundant in the cool season.
In winter, as well as the other islands of the archipelago, it is ravaged by strong winds that blow predominantly from the southwest, while in the summer they move to the North quadrant. The sky is generally cloudy, which causes variable sunshine.
This island was included on 27 May 2009 in the list of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves Network, joining Graciosa Island and Corvo Island which also already include the list.
This fact is relevant for the protection and enhancement of the environment in the Azores. This decision to include Flores Island in the list of sites of environmental relevance was taken by the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Program at a meeting held in Jeju Island in the Republic of South Korea.
UNESCO stresses that this reserve includes the entire island, and that this fact is due to the fact that this island presents aspects of a well preserved nature where there is a great abundance of forest characteristic of the Laurisilva forests typical of the Macaronesia, a landscape, geological, environmental and cultural centers of great importance, as well as adjacent marine areas. The UNESCO document also refers to the peculiarities of the exceptional interest of the new classified site, namely the existence of "high cliffs that dominate most of the coastline, which is dotted by small islets".