Composed of 9 volcanic islands, the Azores islands in the mid-Atlantic are of extra-ordinary beauty. The ocean around the islands is a feeding and mating ground for several kinds of whales. Plankton and krill attract hugh schools of fish. Deeper down is an amazing garden of soft corals. On the islands, the craters of the volcanoes are a winter home to birds from the Arctic and North America, with exotic flowers and plants growing everywhere.