Tourist’s guide to Ponta Delgada – main city of the Azores in Portugal

Ponta Delgada – a city in Portugal, which is the center of the eponymous municipality, which is part of the Azores region.

Ponta Delgada - a city in Portugal

Ponta Delgada is located on the south coast of the island of San Miguel, at a distance of 1448 km from the capital of Portugal, the city of Lisbon.

The city covers an area of ​​almost 232 km², with a population of over 46,000.

Ponta Delgada is divided into three large-scale areas: San Pedro, San Sebastian, Sao Jose. The most tourist area of ​​all is considered to be San Jose – here the most developed infrastructure, a large number of hotels and restaurants. The most interesting sights are also in the area.

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Sightseeing in Ponta Delgada

The capital of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, stretching along the southern coast of the island of San Miguel, boasts many interesting places. Among them are graceful churches, ancient luxurious mansions, a colorful city market. But in order to truly get acquainted with the “green island” of Portugal, you will have to examine not only its capital, but also go abroad to meet with nature.

Church of St. Sebastian
Church of St. Sebastian

Locals recommend starting the inspection with the main city church.

St. Sebastian is considered the patron saint of Ponta Delgada, and it is not surprising that the church built in his honor is the main church in the city. It is located next to the central square of the Republic, at Largo Matriz, Ponta Delgada.

Built in 1547, this shrine has a fairly typical architecture for the Azores. Thanks to the skillfully made lighting, the building looks very impressive in the dark.

Visit to the church of St. Sebastian

Church of St. Sebastian is known for its golden tapestries, interior items from rare types of Brazilian wood, carved cedar altar.

You can visit this attraction for free: you can just look at the external and internal design, you can stand in the service.

Very close is another historical building, causing no less interest among those traveling in Portugal and the Azores – this is the Main Gate.

City gate

One of the most iconic monuments and the most popular places of Ponta Delgada for a photo is the city gate located at Praca Goncalo Velho, connecting the Republic Square with the promenade area.

City Gate Ponta Delgada

Portas da Cidade is one of the oldest structures not only in the Azores, but in all of Portugal. It represents three combined arches of snow-white color, on which two coats of arms are depicted: royal and urban.

Church of jose

The large church of Sao Jose rises on one of the squares of the Azores capital – the address of Campo de Sao Francisco, Ponta Delgada.

Church of jose

This shrine was built in a typical Portuguese style: a white facade of an asymmetrical shape with a black edging, decorated with stucco molding and statues.

The interior of the church of Sao Jose

The interior is quite modest, and a stunningly beautiful gilded altar with carved wooden ornaments stands out against its background.

The church is active, there are always a lot of people here – both tourists and local residents. Admission is free for all comers.

Church of the Holy Christ

In Ponta Delgada, like nowhere else in Portugal, there are so many churches that it seems that the most devout people in the world live in this city. At Avenida Roberto Ivens, almost in the center of the Azores capital, there is another interesting shrine: the Church of the Holy Christ. The largest religious festival of the Azores and Portugal is held under the patronage of this particular church.

Church of the Holy Christ

The building is very richly decorated: gold leaf, eighteenth century tiles, luxurious icons were used for decoration.

In front of the entrance to the church is a statue of Christ the Miracle Worker.

Main market

In the center, however, closer to the promenade (address: Rua do Mercado), is the main market of Ponta Delgada. The market is open all days of the week, and it is best to come shopping until 13:00, because from that time sellers already diverge.

Ponta Delgada Main Market

Here you can buy fresh vegetables and fruits, including local pineapples of the Azores. Sellers offer a large selection of regional cheeses, different types of meat. It is interesting to walk through the fish department: there are a lot of rare and unknown marine inhabitants, which the local population is smartly buying up. There are also souvenir shops that sell handicrafts.

Pineapples of the Azores

The place is very colorful: you can try a lot, buy, just see. There is an amazing smell on the territory of the market that cannot be expressed in words: the aroma of fresh pineapples mixed with the smell of tart wines, goat cheese, freshly caught fish. By the way, sellers are very polite, no cheating and body kit.

Pineapple plantations

There is a unique pineapple plantation on the Azores, it is located at: Rua Doutor Augusto Arruda / Faja de Baixo, Ponta Delgada. It is very close to the city, so you can get to it on foot, or you can take a taxi for 8 €.

Pineapple plantations

It will be very interesting to see the plantation, especially since the entrance there is open and completely free, and the visit will not take much time – from 10 minutes to a maximum of 1 hour.

Plantation Arruda Pineapple Plantation has existed in Portugal since 1919, it was founded by Augusto Arruda – it was his bust that was installed in front of the entrance.

Glass greenhouses

Pineapples are grown in glass greenhouses throughout the year. Since plants are planted in different greenhouses at different times, harvesting also occurs at different times all year round. In general, the pineapples of the Azores are considered the most northern of all grown in the world, and their growth time is about two years.

In addition to plantations and greenhouses directly, there is a small beautiful park, a good cafe, as well as a small souvenir shop selling pineapples, pineapple soap, fantastic in aroma and quality, delicious pineapple liqueur, and, of course, souvenirs.

Lake Lagoa das Empadadas

Lake Lagoa das Empadadas is located on the road to the highest observation deck of Seti Sidadish Lakes. It is hidden in the valley, among a wonderful coniferous forest – to get to it, it is advisable to use the Ponta Delgada map.

Lake Lagoa das Empadadas

It is difficult to convey in words the beauty of this place – you need to go here and enjoy the fresh air, amazing views. In this lake, even the fish is not afraid of people – it swims to the shore and waits to be fed! This quiet reserved corner of Portugal is designed for a relaxing holiday and meditation.

Where to stay in Ponta Delgada

As in most resort cities in Portugal, in Ponta Delgada there are hotels of different categories, hostels, comfortable villas. Near the city there is a campsite where you can put up a tent – this option is suitable for very unpretentious youth.

Hotel room Vila Nova Hotel
Vila Nova Hotel

Typically, hotel rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and on the territory of hotels – a pool. Prices for a double room in 3 * hotels start from 110 € – for this amount they offer accommodation in hotels Hotel Canadiano, Vila Nova Hotel. The minimum price for a day in an apartment is within 120 €, for example, a double room for the same money you can rent a room in VIP Executive Azores Hotel. The average cost of a room in an apartment will, of course, be higher – about 190 €. A good option where the price is consistent with quality is 4 * Hotel Marina Atlântico.

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Estimated Food Prices in Ponta Delgada

Can have a bite to eat at McDonald's

In Ponta Delgada, food prices remain at about the same level as in most cities in the Azores.

In a mid-range restaurant for 40 € you can have a good and tasty meal together. In inexpensive restaurants, food will cost two times cheaper. Fans of fast food can meet the price of 5-7 € – this is how much McMeal costs in McDonalds or similar food.

From the good inexpensive restaurants of Ponta Delgada, which offer delicious hearty dishes, you can recommend:

Dinner at Taberna Acor Cafe
Taberna acor
  • Taberna Acor (address Rua dos Mercadores No. 41, Ponta Delgada): Mediterranean and Portuguese dishes, wine bar;
  • Lan’s (address Rua Manuel da Ponte 41 / São Sebastião, Ponta Delgada): pizza, Italian and European dishes, vegetarian dishes;
  • Suplexio (address Rua Pedro Homem 68 / Travessa da Rua d´Àgua): Portuguese cuisine, a pub with a brewery;
  • Acores Grill (address Rua do Calhau 1): Portuguese and European cuisine, barbecue.

How to get to Ponta Delgada

Ryanair plane

The airport closest to the Azores capital is approximately 4 km from the city. But in any case, you need to fly through Lisbon or change trains in any European cities. From Lisbon a couple of times a day there are flights by the national carrier TAP Portugal and Ryanair airlines – travel time is 1 hour 20 minutes, tickets in both directions will cost 50-80 € (without baggage).

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But as a rule, there are no problems getting to Ponta Delgada from the airport:

Airport in Ponta Delgada
Ponta Delgada Airport
  1. The most courageous and extreme tourists who travel light in Portugal and the Azores can easily overcome 4 km on foot.
  2. At the airport, at the exit of the arrival hall, you can order a taxi.
  3. You can rent a car: at level 0 near the exit there are racks of companies offering cars for rent.
  4. Every 3 hours, the bus number 202 leaves from the airport. A ticket costs 1.2 €, the journey takes only 10 minutes.
  5. A shuttle ride is the most convenient option. At the exit from the airport, on the right, there is a ticket office where shuttle tickets are sold. A ticket costs 5 €, regardless of whether there will be a trip in one or both directions. To arrange a return transfer, you must immediately, when buying a ticket, indicate the date and time of departure from Ponta Delgada – the cashier will immediately select the time by which you need to go to the public transport stop. The ticket must be saved: it will be needed for the return transfer!

Prices on the page are for May 2018.

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