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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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