Vikings in paradise: Were the Norse the first to settle the Azores?

In 1427, the Portuguese navigator Diogo de Silves first set foot on an uninhabited, Sun-kissed island with white sand beaches, crystal blue bays, and dramatic cliffs, proclaiming it Santa Maria Island. According to a new study of lake sediment cores, however, the Portuguese may not have been the first people to reach the island paradise: Viking seafarers may have arrived some 700 years earlier than de Silves and his crew.

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