Ponta Delgada is a town on the island São Miguel in the archipelago of the Azores. It's the administrative capital of the autonomous Portuguese region The Azores. The town has a pretty historical center with among others three churches worth seeing: Matriz de São Sebastião, São Pedro and São João.
The city has over 45,000 inhabitants.
Ponta Delgada is located on the south coast of São Miguel. The Sete Cidades Massif lies northwest of the city. This massif is known for the crater lakes Lagea Azul and Lagea Verde (the Blue and the Green Lake respectively).
Ponta Delgada is the touristic heart of the Azores so tourism forms an important source of income. In addition, pineapples are grown right near the city, which are exported via the airport. As the city is also the administrative capital of the Azores, the government also creates employment.
The airport of Ponta Delgado is situated west of town, right on the coast. João Paul II International Airport is easily reachable by rental car. From the center of Ponta Delgada you follow the Rua Direita Santa Catarina which turns into the Rua Direita Ramalho. The highway north of the city (2nd Circular) also leads to the airport. The route to the airport is clearly signposted.
Public transportation in Ponta Delgada is arranged by minivans. There are three lines, with which you can easily reach all attractions in the city. From the large bus station on the Avenida Infante D. Henrique (the promenade along the harbor) larger busses leave for other places on São Miguel.
Traffic and Parking
Ponta Delgada's center consists of narrow, often one-way, streets. It can therefore be difficult to find your way around. It's best to park your rental car on one of the parking lots or in the large parking garage near the harbor and explore the city on foot. To visit the rest of the island a rental car is ideal. Keep in mind that many mountain roads are narrow and winding. Fog can also set in suddenly on São Miguel.
Being the touristic heart of the Azores there is no shortage of accommodation in Ponta Delgada. There are guesthouses, rooms in private houses, youth hostels, midrange hotels and luxurious four star hotels. If you like peace and quiet you can rent an old farm in the rural area around Ponta Delgada. A rental car is then a prerequisite. The Azores are a popular holiday destination. Therefore book your accommodation well in advance.
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