World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Portugal > Azores > Ponta Delgada

About Ponta Delgada

Principal port and touristic heart of the Azores is the archipelago’s capital, Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel island.

First settled six centuries ago by fisherman attracted by the sheltered harbour, Ponta Delgada is nowadays a modern and cosmopolitan city, but retains a tranquil island feel and many architectural testaments to its past.

The Azores are largely unspoilt, and a great whale-watching destination.
Mysterious and remote, to those who haven’t experienced them, the nine Azores Islands lie 1,500 km (950 miles) west of Portugal in the mid-Atlantic, and as such form a popular port of call for cruise ships sailing between Europe and the Americas.


While away the hours in the historic centre of the former fishing village of Ponta Delgada, which boasts narrow streets, attractive whitewashed houses and a waterfront promenade.

The northern suburb of Fajã de Cima is famous for festivals, so if the timing is right, it’s worth a visit. And it’s also a good idea, having explored the city centre on foot, to take a short trip out into the stunning and lush natural surroundings that typify the rest of São Miguel, not least the nearby Sete Cidades mountains and lake.

• Santana Palace
• Carlos Machado museum
• António Borges Gardens
• City Gates
• Igreja do Colégio (former Jesuit College)
• José de Canto gardens
• Day trip to Furnas hot springs and tea factory

Tourist information:

Delegação de Turismo de São Miguel
Avenue Infante D. Henrique, 9504-769 Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores
Tel: +351 2962 85743.

Shopping introduction:

While shopping isn’t the prime attraction of the Azores, there are malls, the largest being the Parque Atlântico. A smaller shopping centre, Sol-Mar, is situated in the city centre, while numerous smaller shops and boutiques line the city centre streets. Locally made linens and woollen goods, lace and pottery make good buys, as do the local brandy and hand-rolled cigars.


Plenty of restaurants and cafés are there to tempt the cruise visitor to Ponta Delgada. Food is Portuguese style with a local twist. Local specialities include seafood, shellfish, beef stews and cheese.

When to go:

The Azores benefit from a temperate, maritime climate with mild winters (average daytime temperatures range from 12-15ºC/54-59ºF) and warm summers. Humidity is reasonably high and the wettest months are October to March.

Nearest destination:

Ponta Delgada.

Transfer distance:

1km (0.6 miles).

Transfer time:

5 minutes.