municipality and city in Azores, Portugal
Europe > Iberia > Portugal > Azores > São Miguel > Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada is the largest city in the Azores archipelago. It is on the island of São Miguel, and was home to 67,000 people in 2021. It is an important administrative, industrial and agricultural centre, and the home of the University of the Azores.

Understand edit

Largo 2 de Março

Ponta Delgada (POHN-tuh dehl-GAH-duh, /ˈpõ.tɐ dɛɫ.ˈga.dɐ/), the city on São Miguel island, is not to be confused with Ponta Delgada, the rural civil parish on the north coast of Flores island.

Climate edit

Ponta Delgada has a mild maritime climate: warm summers, with moderate precipitation, and mild, wet winters. Much like the rest of the Azores, the city is shaped by the Gulf Stream, and consequently has a narrow temperature variation. Mean temperatures vary between 14.5 °C (58.1 °F) in the winter to around 22 °C (72 °F) in the summer and daytime highs vary between 17 °C (63 °F) in the winter to 25 °C (77 °F) in the summer. Temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F), or below 4 °C (39 °F) have never been registered.

The Gulf Stream also contributes to unstable weather that varies greatly during autumn and spring, making weather forecasting on a daily basis difficult. Winters are generally milder and summers are generally humid when compared to those of continental Portugal.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Ponta Delgada Airport (PDL IATA, João Paulo II Airport). The main entry point to the Azores. There is unlimited free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal areas.    
Major carriers serving Ponta Delgada Airport include:

From the airport to Ponta Delgada edit

  • There are taxi services at the airport. The fixed price is €8-12 (Jan 2024) depending on where in the city you want to go to and if you have luggage.
  • It's possible to walk into town from the airport 4 km (1 hour) but it's not fun if you have much luggage.
  • Or you could walk 1.3 km (15 min) to the old terminal's 2 bus stop Antigo Aerogare and take a city bus for €0.50 (Jan 2024) from there to Ponta Delgada. The serving city bus line A operates M-F 07:30-19:30. Alternatively from that bus stop, regional buses to the city for about €0.90 (Jan 2024) operate as well.
  • ANC Aerobus. Since November 2023 the shuttle to the city for €8 does not operate anymore.

By boat edit

Sao Pedro marina

Several cruise lines make Ponta Delgada a waypoint when journeying across the Atlantic. Some cruise ships spend a day at the port, often as they reposition themselves between cruising Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

  • The 3 marina has a cruise ships’ quay, a pavilion, and a hallway of shops. The marina also has pools, including a big natural pool.

Get around edit

Map of Ponta Delgada

By bus edit

PDL Minibuses run the main avenue and are conveniently accessible from major sites in Ponta Delgada. In-town bus services are handled by smaller mini-buses with the larger touring buses handling community-to-community travel on the island. Both services are accessible along Avenida D. Infante Henriques and can confuse the unfamiliar traveler. Schedules are available at bus stops and the tourist office. One ride in the minibus going around Ponta Delgada is €0.50 (Jan 2024). The app of PDL Minibus shows the upcoming departures of a bus stop.

On foot edit

Visitors can best experience the city on foot, as travel distances are relatively short. For day trips to other parts of the island, consider buses, taxis, or a rental car.

See edit

Câmara Municipal (town hall)
  • City tours are based along the Avenida where visitors can find several services to sightsee, including horse-drawn carriage, panoramic bus tours and the Lagarta Tourist Train that travels along the streets.
  • 1 Carlos Machado Museum, Rua do Dr.Guilherme Poças 65 (in the Convento de Santo Andre), +351 296 20 29 30, . It portrays the scientific mentality of the 19th century. Most of the information is by naturalists of the second half of the 19th century after the publication of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the Oceanographic expeditions.
  • 2 Town Hall (Paços do Concelho de Ponta Delgada). Built in the 17th century, rebuilt in the 20th century.    
  • 3 Forte São Bras, R. Eng. Abel Ferin Coutinho 10. M-F 10:00-18:00. A 16th-century fort that was in use until World War II. You can walk on the ramparts, explore the tunnels, and view a variety of old military equipment in the military museum. Adult €3, senior €1.
  • 4 Parish Church of São Sebastiao.
  • 5 Church of São Jose.

Do edit

  • There are boat tours from the marina for see the island's coastline, and for whsle-watchong, available from offices at the marina.
  • 1 Ponta Delgada Marina. Visitors can go speedboat racing and big game fishing here.
  • Organised whale- and dolphin-watching from small boats operating out of Ponta Delgada is increasingly popular. Also whale watching at Blue Talassa.
  • Football: 2 CD Santa Clara. They were relegated in 2023 and now play soccer in Liga 2, the second tier. Their home ground is Estádio de São Miguel (capacity 13,200), 3 km east of town.    
The flower carpet that covers some streets in Ponta Delgada during the Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres
  • Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres. yearly on the fifth Sunday after Easter. One of the many religious festivities held in the Azores. The town of Ponta Delgada is transformed into a town of color and lively celebration, decorated with colourful flowers and decorative bedspreads hung from balconies. The celebration starts with the blessing of the bread and meat, and the distribution of food among the needy. The festival then continues with a procession, music and fireworks.

Buy edit

The islands produce surprisingly good wines and cheese.

Ponta Delgada's locals produce handmade crafts that are sold on the street and in small markets and boutiques along the main avenue. Visitors will find small ceramic bowls or plates, woven jewellery, and other one-of-a-kind items. The most common souvenirs are scrimshaw, wicker products, lace, embroderies, liqueurs, and flags.

  • 1 Mercado de Graça, R. do Mercado 15. Two-storey farmers' market: produce, meat, fish, some souvenirs Open M-Th from 07:30, F Sa from 07:00, closing time varies but it's as early as 14:00.

Eat edit

Ponta Delgada is known for its pineapple harvest, so trying fresh pineapples from a local market is a must.

Budget edit

All these are in the city centre:

  • The supermarket Pingo Doce offers fresh baked goods, sandwiches and main dishes.
  • 1 Casa de Pasto Tavares, R. do Melo 74. Authentic Portuguese restaurant. Humble and tasty food. Great authentic location.
  • 2 O Giro, R. Diário dos Açores 35. Cool atmosphere with great tasting food. The place looks really fancy. Well manniered waitress.
  • 3 Lan's, R. Manuel da Ponte nº41. Very nice pizzeria. It doesn't look that inviting from outside, but surprisingly good food for such a modest, small restaurant.
  • 4 DONDUÉ, Nº, R. do Melo 12. Small cute store that offers many great dishes and drinks. Also very good place for a great breakfast. Vegetarian option cooked with care and served with sympathie.
  • 5 Apito Dourado, Rua do Peru 17 A. Authentic local restaurant. The dishes are a delight.
  • 6 Açores Grill, Rua do Calhau. Restaurant with a brilliant concept: You prepare the food yourself on your own grill. Cozy, chic and simple.
  • 7 Azores Forever, R. do Melo 10. Best fish and chips on the island. Also simple, yet delicious breakfast. Very LGBTQIA+ friendly.

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

Drink edit

  • Ponta Delgada is known for its different types of liqueurs and alcohols, particularly Passion Fruit Liqueur.
  • For unusual drinks, visit Baia dos Anjos, one of the more interesting bars that serves theme-based drinks and food based on local festivals and cultural events.
  • Portas do Maris Marina by the port has a number of bars with live bands almost every night.
  • Another good place for mixed drinks and local wines is San Miguel Park Hotel.

Nightlife edit

  • 1 Bombom Bihlares. This nightclub is a great place to hang out, especially on rainy days.

Sleep edit

  • 1 Azores Dream Hostel, Rua Dr. Gil Mont'Alverne Sequeira 9, +351 934 317 197, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. A more budget-friendly option and LGBTQ friendly. You can share a kitchen and maybe some breakfast. €26-54.
  • 2 Azoris Royal Garden - Leisure & Conference Hotel, Rua de Lisboa, +351 296 307 300, . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. Four-star, 193-room hotel with Turkish bath, outdoor pool, tennis court, fitness center. €62-134.
  • 3 Casa Vitoriana, Rua Dr. João Francisco de Sousa 34/38, +351 296 285 081, . Furnished in original Victorian style but is fully modernised to create a cozy and clean feel.
  • 4 Grand Hotel Açores Atlântico, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique 113, +351 296 302 200, . Check-in: 15:00–00:00, check-out: 06:00. Five-star, 140-room hotel facing the marina. There's a heated indoor pool and conference rooms. €89-178.
  • 5 The Lince Azores, Avenida Dom João 29, +351 296 630 000. Holidays, honeymoon, or business meetings in Azores. Outdoor swimming pool, garden, 24-hr front desk, luggage service, concierge service (newspapers, tours, rental), lobby, gift shop, free parking.
  • 6 Hotel Marina Atlântico, Avenida João Bosco Mota Amaral 1, +351 296 307 900, . Check-in: 15:00–00:00, check-out: 07:00–12:00. Four-star, 184-room hotel in the centre of Ponta Delgada overlooking the harbor and marina. Sauna, indoor pool, steam bath, and spa. €73-157.
  • 7 Neat Hotel Avenida, Rua Dr. José Bruno Tavares Carreiro, +351 296 209 660, . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Three-star, 120-room hotel right by the beaches, the main avenue, and shopping areas. Fitness centre, indoor pool, sauna, and spa. €48-92.
  • 8 Hotel Ponta Delgada, Rua João Francisco Cabral 49, +351 296 209 480, . Check-in: 15:00–00:00, check-out: 05:00–11:00. Three-star, 98-room hotel in the heart of the city. Indoor pool set on an elevated terrace overlooking the town with a great view of Ponta Delgada. €50-159.
  • 9 Quinta das Acácias, Rua Lapinha 74, Livramento (on the West Coast of the island), +351 966 406 127, . It is right near the ocean and Populo beach. Quinta das Acacias offers cottage style living accommodations in the midst of a well-kept flourishing green garden. Each cottage averages an area of 50 m². There are 1- or 2-bedroom units available.
  • 10 Hotel Talisman, Rua Marquês da Praia e Monforte 40, +351 296 308 500, . In the middle of Ponta Delgata near all tourists attractions and nightlife. This hotel has 53 rooms, 5 suites and includes a restaurant, bar, and esplanade.
  • 11 Vila Nova Hotel (My Story Hotel Vila Nova), Rua João Francisco Cabral 1, +351 296 301 600. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Three-star, 102-room centrally located hotel. Indoor pool, air conditioned rooms, fitness centre. Complimentary breakfast every morning. The hotel bar serves exotic cocktails and snacks all day long. €48-117.

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