Ponta Delgada is the largest city in the Azores archipelago. It is on the island of São Miguel, and was home to 69,000 people in 2011. It is an an important administrative, industrial and agricultural centre, and the home of the University of the Azores.
Ponta Delgada, the city in São Miguel island, is not to be confused with Ponta Delgada, the rural civil parish on the north coast of Flores island.
Major carriers serving Ponta Delgada Airport include:
- Azores Express (US tel: ☏ , Portugal: ☏ ) connects New England with the Azores, mainly on the Boston-Funchal route. The carrier is part of the SATA Group, which connects the Azores with mainland Europe.
- SATA Azores is an airline and a tour operator based on the Azores. It connects the Azores with major European hubs like London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris; Gran Canaria, and several other European destinations.
- TAP Portugal's flag carrier, also has direct flights from Lisbon to the islands of Funchal, Terceira, Fayal and Pico. The airline also flies between Porto and Terceira islands.
- Easyjet connects Lisbon to the most populous island of São Miguel three times a week for €50 and up.
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 2 marina has a cruise ships’ quay, a pavilion, and a hallway of shops. The marina also has pools, including a big natural pool.
There are taxi services at the airport.
There is an airport bus that sells only roundtrip tickets (€5).
Buses 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.
It's possible to walk into town from the airport but it's not fun if you have much luggage.
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.
- 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- Town Hall.
- Santa Catarina Palace.
- 2 Fort Sao Bras.
- 3 Parish Church of Sao Sebastiao.
- 4 Church of Sao Jose.
- At the Ponte 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.
- Watch football, i.e. soccer, at CD Santa Clara, who play in Primeira Liga, the top tier of Portuguese football. Their home ground is Estádio de São Miguel (capacity 13,000), 3 km east of town.
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.
- Ponta Delgada is known for its pineapple harvest, so trying fresh pineapples from a local market is a must.
- Mercado do Peixe serves excellent local seafood.
- Corisco is known for scrumptious Continental cuisine.
- Osaka has great variety and serves generous portions of sushi.
- Skippers Tavern is a great place to stop for a delicious sandwich.
- San Miguel Park Hotel has a restaurant that serves international, regional, and vegetarian dishes.
- Casa Marisca is a great small restaurant with good seafood, friendly service, and a nice atmosphere.
- 1 A Tasca, R. do Aljube 20, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tapas bar and restaurant.
- 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.
- 1 Bombom Bihlares. This nightclub is a great place to hang out, especially on rainy days.
- 1 The Lince Azores Great Hotel, Conference, Golf & Spa, Avenida Dom João, 29, ☏ . 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.
- Hotel Marina Atlantico in the centre of Ponta Delgada overlooking the harbor and marina. Sauna, indoor pool, steam bath, and spa.
- Vila Nova Hotel centrally located in Ponta Delgada, 800 m from the Convento da Esperança. Indoor pool, air conditioned rooms, fitness centr3. Complimentary breakfast every morning. The hotel bar serves exotic cocktails and snacks all day long.
- Royal Garden Hotel, center of St. Miguel Island, 4 km from the airport. Turkish bath, outdoor pool, tennis court, fitness center.
- Hotel Avenida. Four-star hotel right by the beaches, 50 m from the main avenue and shopping areas. Fitness centre, indoor pool, sauna, and spa.
- Hotel Ponta Delgada in the heart of the city. Indoor pool set on an elevated terrace overlooking the town with a great view of Ponta Delgada.