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Azores air-hotel packages from Boston start at US $579

BOSTON (October, 2005) -- Portugal's Azores, a chain of nine dramatic islands with volcanic mountains, seaside villages, and steaming geysers, lie just four hours from Boston. Now, for as little as $579 per person (plus tax, double occupancy), travelers can discover this Atlantic treasure.

All travel packages are per person, and include roundtrip airfare between Boston and the islands, six nights lodging, and all breakfasts. Azores Express is offering these packages with Tuesday and Friday departures from October until the middle of June (prices are slightly higher on holidays, and after April 18, 2006).

Additionally, there are packages for $659 with three hotels in historic Ponta Delgada, the Azores' main city on the island of Sao Miguel. Hotels there include the Avenida, Holiday Inn Azores, and Sao Miguel Park. The new Hotel Vila Nova, in the heart of downtown, is just $579.

For just $609 per person, stay at the Art Deco Terra Nostra Hotel in Furnas, the Azores' most famous resort town. The Terra Nostra Hotel is built in a botanical garden next to the spa with 23 different varieties of mineral waters, geyser cooking, and a thermal lake. Nearby are two 18-hole golf courses and the only tea plantations in Europe.

Two new resort hotels on two other islands are available from $779, including connecting airfare between islands. The new seafront Terceira Mar Hotel and Resort on the island of Terceira is available for just $779 per person. As is the recently opened Hotel do Canal on the marina of the cosmopolitan town of Horta, on the island of Faial. Choose a package that combines a stay on Terceira or Faial and Sao Miguel for the same price. Children under 6 pay only airfare. Children under 10 pay just 10% of the hotel rate, plus airfare

Packages are offered until June 15th, 2006.

This fall and winter, Azores Express has expanded its service to offer two weekly flights from Boston to the Azores, every Tuesday and Friday. All prices listed are for Tuesday departures, with Friday departure being just $90 more. For just $160 each way to the Azores, passengers can upgrade from coach to SATA Plus Business-Class.

About the Azores:
The Azores remind visitors of not one place, but of many. The architecture is Portuguese, with a strong local flavor (the local rocks are all black), the landscape is rolling, open, and wild - not unlike Ireland, or Hawaii. The geysers, crater lakes, and ancient lava flowers remind one of a Pacific island. And the mild year-round climate is always fresh and spring like. Even summer is unique in the Azores, often arriving in July and staying into December. Here, you will find the only tea plantations in Europe, Portugal's tallest peak, more bullfights than anywhere else in Europe, 6,000 pineapple plantations, and any and every flower that blooms in the western hemisphere (well, it just seems that way).

Because of its location, Terceira was a very important harbor in centuries past, and the main city of Angra do Heroismo prospered with international trade. Today, Terceira and Angra are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with well-preserved streets and monuments. Set on a bay, the city is a wonderful mix of the cosmopolitan and the traditional. Angra is a lively city full of culture and great shopping. The island has everything from a wild interior, to coastal tidal pools to swim in, to excellent wineries. Terceira is also known for its beef stews, seafood, and bread.

In the city of Horta, on the island of Faial, one can explore one most famous harbors in the world. Yachts from the seven seas call here year-round. The city's colorful main street, which winds along the harbor where the sea walls are painted from top to bottom with the calling cards of the many yachts that have visited Horta. And, the island's central Caldeira offers a vivid view down into the 300-foot crater of the extinct volcano. To the west, the remains of a lighthouse mark the site of a 1957-8 eruption of the Capelinhos volcano. There is a hiking trial to the rim of the dormant volcano.

Azores Express, a U.S.-based tour operator and member of the SATA Group, offers direct flights on wide body A310 aircraft to Sao Miguel, the main island in the Azores archipelago. Connecting flights from Sao Miguel are offered to Lisbon and the island of Madeira. Azores Express has connected New England with the Azores and mainland Portugal for more than 18 years. The carrier is part of the SATA Group, which connects the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, with the world.

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