Over the Easter break, a group of Trinity Lower Sixth Form Geographers travelled to the Azores to further their knowledge of plate tectonics as part of their A Level course.   

The Azores is a group of nine volcanic islands located in the North Atlantic, to the west of Lisbon. The group visited Sao Miguel, the largest of the nine islands where more than half of the Azorean population lives. The trip was a fantastic opportunity to see secondary volcanic activity such as geothermal pools and fumaroles up close. The group also experienced some of the advantages of fertile volcanic soil, such as visiting a pineapple plantation. 

Lower Sixth student Sophie Birch shares her experience, she says, “We set out for our five-day trip to the Azores and after a long day of travelling, were able to spend the following day Tuesday exploring the island.  

“We walked around a lake with a quick trip to a wildlife centre where we learnt all about the effects of eutrophication (a natural process that results from accumulation of nutrients) on the biodiversity of the lake. The next stop was some heated sulphur pools which, despite looking very cool, did not smell amazing so we decided not to stay there for long! Perhaps the most exciting activity of the day was a trip to a beautiful botanical garden where our lovely tour guide Emma taught us about the endemic species of São Miguel followed by a swim in a geothermal pool which was great fun, although its brown colour (due to the high percentage of iron) was initially a little off-putting! We finished the day with a trip to a tea plantation where we enjoyed a cup of fresh Azorean tea.  

“On Wednesday we started with a trip to a pineapple plantation and were surprised to find out that it takes two years to grow one pineapple! With energy from the various pineapple treats we had eaten, we set out on a hike, ending with a quick swim in a beautiful waterfall for those who wanted to brave the cold. After enjoying lunch on a black sand beach, we set off to our destination of the day – a collection of heated pools surrounded by jungle-like vegetation which was an incredible experience.  

“On our last day of exploring the island we completed a six-kilometre hike, walked through some caves which had been carved out by lava and ended the trip with some bowling. We were blessed with lovely weather throughout the whole week making the trip an amazing experience for us all.” 

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