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Waiting in the Isles— São Miguel

Preface

They’re sunny, beautiful and safe but Portugal doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. Maybe it’s time to start recognising the potential of the Azores.

Emerging markets, Observatory, Organic farming, Prison, Renewable energy

It’s the middle of nowhere, and it’s closer than you might think. The splendid remoteness of the Azores is just over two hours by air from Lisbon, about three from London, a little more than four from Boston.

The nine islands were discovered in stages in the mid-15th century by a succession of Portuguese explorers. Today, the Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal, home to about 250,000 souls – and possibly the single most under-valued, under-exploited asset in the world.

The admittedly unscientific sample of taxi drivers, shopkeepers and…

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