Ponta Delgada, the capital of the island of São Miguel, the largest island of the Azores, is an excellent base to stay in due to its strategic location that allows you to move to any point of the island (a complete guide to São Miguel here) with relative ease. It deserves that, apart from staying there, you dedicate one or two days to stroll through its buildings, its squares and get to know its markets and, above all, its charming people. In addition, it is precisely in Ponta Delgada where much of the island’s gastronomic offer is concentrated, so there are many options where you can have a delicious dinner just a few steps from your accommodation, before going to sleep after a full day. Also here, in the capital, you can do one of the most sought-after activities in the Azores, a whale-watching tour where, with luck, you will greet several dolphins, whales, and sperm whales in their natural habitat. In this guide, we tell you everything you can (and should) do in Ponta Delgada, where to sleep, and, of course, the restaurants we liked the most to make your trip as amazing as ours was.
- Basic facts for traveling to Ponta Delgada
- Thins to see and do in Ponta Delgada
- Map of the city of Ponta Delgada
- Portas da Cidade
- Largo da Matriz and Igreja Matriz
- Torre Sineira
- São Pedro Church
- Carlos Machado Museum
- Ermida Mãe de Deus
- Mercado da Graça and Rei dos Queijos
- Teatro Micaelense
- Portas do Mar
- José do Canto Botanical Garden
- Stroll by the sea (between Forno de Cal and Forte de São Bras).
- Rosto de Cão
- Whale watching
- Things to do in the surroundings of Ponta Delgada
- Where to stay in Ponta Delgada
- Where to stay in other parts of the island of São Miguel: different experiences
- Where to eat in Ponta Delgada
- Transportation: rent a car in São Miguel
- How much does it cost to travel to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel?
- Useful apps for traveling to Ponta Delgada
- Tips to enjoy Ponta Delgada and São Miguel
Basic facts for traveling to Ponta Delgada
Population: 67,000 (in 2021)
Daily budget: From 70€/day per person (approx.) between flights, rental car, private accommodation for two people (cheapest options), and meals.
Weather: Undoubtedly the best time to visit Ponta Delgada and São Miguel is, in general, in summer due to better air temperatures (and seawater on the beaches and natural pools) and less chance of rain, although winter is not very cold (average temperature of 18º), but it tends to rain more. Spring and autumn are other good options to visit the island, we tell you more (with a table with weather and rainy days per month) here. In any case, the weather in São Miguel (and in the Azores in general) is very unstable so there are no guarantees at any time of the year (it is said that you can have the 4 seasons on the same day).
Accommodation: We stayed in the apartment with a sea view Ladeira Loft (from 60€/night), in the center but there are several options for all tastes and budgets in Ponta Delgada. There are cheaper options like the Nook Hostel (from 40€/night) or the Holy Cow (from 50€/night); the mythical Hotel do Colegio ( 55€/night) in one of the main streets of the capital; the Casa da Graça (70€/night) and the Armazéns Cogumbreiro (from 75€/night) or something more refined like the Azor Hotel (130€/night) with amazing rooms overlooking the Atlantic. More accommodations in Ponta Delgada here
Duration: Minimum 1 day to visit the capital, recommended 2 days if you invest a whole morning in the whale-watching activity
Flights: The cheapest is usually to fly from Lisbon / Porto (with Ryanair, Tap, or Sata), but depending on the time of the year there are also connections with other European and American airports. Ideally, you should be flexible with dates and use price comparators such as Skyscanner and Kiwi.com.
Transportation: In Ponta Delgada you can go to most places on foot, but to get to know the rest of the island the best option is to rent a car. We did it with Autatlantis and we loved it: new cars and the best franchise policy. Find your rental car at the best price in this DiscoverCars comparator. More info on how to get around here
Time zone: UTC +0. The time in the Azores archipelago (Portugal) is one hour behind the Portuguese mainland.
Thins to see and do in Ponta Delgada
Although it is not our favorite Azorean city (Angra do Heroísmo, in Terceira and Horta, in Faial, have earned the positions of our favorite cities of the archipelago) because it seems to us a city not thought to the human scale (cars are the undisputed protagonists of the city, where several sidewalks are not wide enough to walk and explore), its beautiful historic center, fantastic restaurants and views of the Atlantic Ocean make that even after a day full of walking around the island, there is a desire for more.
Many people confuse Ponta Delgada with São Miguel: São Miguel is the island, and Ponta Delgada is the capital of the island of São Miguel (and also the name of the island’s airport). If you are looking for information on what to see in São Miguel, in this other link you have our complete guide of the island.
Below you have a map and all the places of interest in Ponta Delgada.
Map of the city of Ponta Delgada
Here is a Google Maps map with all the points of interest in Ponta Delgada included in this guide, including restaurants. You can take it with you in your Google Maps app to consult it during your visit to Ponta Delgada:
Here you have also a PDF map of the island including a tourist map of Ponta Delgada.
Portas da Cidade
The Portas da Cidade (City Gates ) is one of the most important places in Ponta Delgada. This set of three arches was built in the 18th century and is one of the city’s postcards. Different events are held in the square where they are located, such as the Espírito Santo festivities or Christmas decorations.
Largo da Matriz and Igreja Matriz
Behind the Portas da Cidade is the imposing Igreja Matriz and the square where it is located with several terraces and restaurants, Largo da Matriz. This square is the nerve center of the city where there is always a hustle and bustle of tourists and locals looking for a place on one of its terraces or passing through one of the many restaurants in the surrounding streets.
The Matriz de São Sebastião Church was under renovation when we visited the capital and, in fact, from the 18th century when it was created to the 20th century, it has already been remodeled several times. Its Manueline and baroque porticoes and the gilded wood carving that covers its naves, chapels, and altars stand out. In addition, inside it hides pieces of sacred art, statues, gold, and vestments of high value.
As a curiosity, tell you that the clock on top of the church tower was given by a wealthy merchant from Ponta Delgada who offered it to the city in the nineteenth century.
Torre Sineira, also built in the 18th century (more specifically in 1724) is part of the Ponta Delgada City Hall building (or as it is called in Portuguese: Cámara Municipal). It is more than 30 meters high and has 106 steps that you can climb to have a panoramic view of the city, totally free of charge. Below, enjoy the square in front of it which is quite photogenic.
São Pedro Church
We were particularly struck by its location, as the church is located on top of a small hill of the same name. The church of São Pedro is from the 18th century, from the Portuguese baroque period, a period visible in the entrance portico, the columns, and the gilded wooden altar. If you can get inside, all the walls of the church are covered with paintings, including the ceiling.
Carlos Machado Museum
Also known as the “Museu Açoreano” (Azorean Museum), the museum created by Dr. Carlos Machado in 1876 was initially a school museum to arouse the curiosity of the younger people about natural history but, little by little, it awakened the interest of the scientific community and is, today, an interesting and complete museum where you can learn about the ethnographic history and natural history of the Azores. The Museu Carlos Machado is open from 10:00h to 18:00h in summer and from 9:30h to 17:30h in winter. Admission is 2€ and it is closed on Mondays.
Ermida Mãe de Deus
If you’re a fan of panoramic views, you’ll want to climb up to see the views of Ponta Delgada from the Ermida da Mãe de Deus. Climb the stairs, walk through the garden around the chapel, and approach the panel where you learn about what you are seeing with the locations closest to the hermitage, as well as its geographic and geological information.
In addition to the views, this chapel has many stories to tell. Although initially a 19th-century chapel, during World War I, in 1915, the chapel was demolished so that it would not serve as a target for German submarines. Reconstruction began in 1925 and was still unfinished when, in 1942, during World War II, it was occupied by Portuguese troops to facilitate surveillance of the city’s port. It was not until 1947 that it completed what we see today, a 20th-century hermitage of neo-baroque Renaissance religious architecture.
Mercado da Graça and Rei dos Queijos
Something we always like to do when traveling is to visit the local markets and also, when we stay in an apartment, take the opportunity to buy local fruits and vegetables, so the Mercado da Graça in Ponta Delgada could not be different. If you visit the island in summer you can try to buy Meloa (cantaloupe melon) that comes from the neighboring island of Santa Maria and pineapples that are grown in greenhouses near Ponta Delgada with a unique method in the world.
In addition, in the market, there is a very special store, the Rei Dos Queijos, with cheeses and butter from all the islands of the archipelago (if you can, try the “Rainha do Pico” butter, from the island of Pico, or the one from the island of Flores, although the latter is not always available due to its artisanal production in small quantities). They also have bread (you cannot leave the Azores without trying Bolo Lêvedo) and other local products. Another similar option to buy cheeses and butter is Principe dos Queijos, right in the center, which we liked even better.
With more than 70 years, inaugurated in 1951, the Teatro Micaelense is the largest cultural promoter of the city. Here you can find plays, film series, dance shows, poetry gatherings, and various cultural programs. It hosts part of the events of Walk & Talk, one of the best arts festivals in the Azores, which is usually held during July.
Portas do Mar
The Portas do Mar (Doors of the sea) is a newly built area with restaurants, parking, stores, etc., intending to be a stopping point for cruise ships. It is not our favorite area but if you are looking for an area with a lot of restaurants, where you can walk in front of the sea or even take a dip in summer in the heart of the city, this is your place.
José do Canto Botanical Garden
The Jardim Botânico José do Canto is a botanical garden with different species from all over the world and endemic species, a church, and a waterfall. The garden was started by its owner, José do Canto, in the 19th century and can be visited since 2014 (4€/person), from 9 am to 7 pm in summer (April to September) and from 9 am to 5 pm in winter (October to March).
Stroll by the sea (between Forno de Cal and Forte de São Bras).
We think it’s a good plan to walk from the center, with tranquility, between Forno de Cal and Forte de São Bras. If you prefer, you can do it by bike with the Atlantic Bikes app.
Near Forno de Cal is the restaurant where you can taste the best (or maybe the best) “bife à regional” of the island, in O Galego. If you can, do as we did: after visiting the “Galego” nothing better than a walk to the center of Ponta Delgada to burn a small part of the calories ingested…
Rosto de Cão
This islet (so called because it is connected by land and is, therefore, a peninsula) is so called because they say it resembles a dog (although we rather see the head of a shark) What do you see?
If you pass through Rosto de Cão hungry, do not hesitate to have lunch/dinner in one of its restaurants (O Galego, Cais 20…).
One of the activities not to be missed in São Miguel is whale watching (dolphins and whales) in their habitat, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The most important thing is to make sure that you go with a company that respects the rules of sustainability and animal protection (a safe distance from the boat to the cetaceans, etc.). I did this activity in Ponta Delgada the first time I visited the island of São Miguel in 2013 and my hair stands on end every time I remember seeing that gentle giant, a Blue whale, over 20 meters, passing by our boat, peaceful. This year, on the island of Pico we were lucky enough to see 3 “sardinheiras” whales, no more and no less than the third largest whale in the world, and several dolphins (we will tell you more about it in the Pico island guide). The Azores are a paradise for whale watching so you know, reserve a morning in your trip for this activity.
In Ponta Delgada we recommend the excellent rooms at the Hotel do Colegio ( from 55€/night), the Ladeira Loft apartment (from 60€/night) or in the beautiful Armazéns Cogumbreiro (75€/night), all in the center. More accommodations in Ponta Delgada here.
Things to do in the surroundings of Ponta Delgada
Very close to Ponta Delgada, there are beaches, natural pools, pineapple plantations, trails parallel to the sea, the largest lava tube on the island,s and even a unique experience for gin lovers! Here are some ideas for things to do near the capital (for everything else, check out our complete guide to São Miguel Island):
- Praia das Milicias and Praia do Pópulo are the two closest beaches to Ponta Delgada and are very popular with locals due to their ease of access, water quality, and services. We visited Milicias beach in the middle of July and were pleasantly surprised.
- Lagoa: another option to cool off in the Atlantic near Ponta Delgada is Lagoa and its natural pools. There are two main areas: the “Complexo Municipal de Piscinas” (which has natural pools, an artificial pool, pools for children, and all kinds of services) and the “Zona Balnear do Cruzeiro (Poças de Atalhada)” (wilder, unattended, with natural pools of crystal clear water). While you’re here, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Observatório Vulcanológico e Geotérmico dos Açores ( be careful, it is only open from 14:30 to 17:30), where you can learn more about the seismic/volcanological activity in this area of the Atlantic.
- Plantação de Ananás (Pineapple Plantation) and Ananases Arruda: the pineapple (ananas, in Portuguese) is one of the symbols of the island (the method of cultivation in greenhouses in São Miguel is unique in the world, in glass greenhouses, trying to reproduce the climatic conditions of where the fruit came from, South America) so a walk through one of the pineapple plantations of the island (and taste the famous pineapple liqueur) is another great plan that you can do near the capital. You can even swim in a heated pool in a pineapple greenhouse at the Senhora da Rosa Tradition & Nature Hotel.
- Gruta do Carvão is the largest lava tube on the island with an extension of 1912 meters spread over three sections of which only the northern section – Paim – is open to the public. Geologically, the Gruta do Carvão is part of the Picos Volcanic Complex and is between 5,000 and 12,000 years old. Inside you can observe a wide variety of geological structures such as stalactites and stalagmites of lava and stalactites of secondary amorphous silica. If you want to visit this huge lava tube inside it is essential to make a reservation (by phone(+ 351 96 139 70 80) or by email (email@example.com) and the entrance fee is 5€. Be careful! Not to be confused with the famous Algar do Carvão, a unique volcano in the world that can be visited inside and that is located on the island of Terceira (and we tell you all about it here).
- Relva: if you feel like hiking near Ponta Delgada, in Relva you can hike a trail parallel to the sea. The trail is the PCR20SMI (official brochure), a linear trail (round trip) of 5.5km (3h00) in which you will visit a “fajã detritica” (so-called “fajãs” formed by the crumbling of part of the cliff), down to sea level and with the possibility of taking a dip if the weather and the sea allow it. Another curiosity of this trail is that you can book lunch/dinner (essential to book before going) at the Lapsa Garden, a house/farm that has a beautiful terrace facing the sea, where the owners prepare private dinners to appreciate, for example, the sunset (more info here).
- If you are a fan of gin, you cannot miss the largest gin library in the world, located very close to Ponta Delgada. Nothing more and nothing less than 480 bottles of gin. At Solar Branco, the project where the “Gin Library” was born, you will find a bar where you can learn a lot about gin and where you can taste gin and tonic (you can even try two local gins: Baleia and Rocha Negra), an orchard where many of the spices and botanicals used by Ali and Caroline to create the spectacular gin and tonics that you taste on their terrace are born and even a local accommodation with six independent units that you can book here.
Beyond Ponta Delgada and its surroundings, the island of São Miguel hides the most beautiful lagoons of the entire Azorean archipelago, steaming volcanic furnas where sulfur-scented stews are cooked, natural hot springs in the middle of nature where you can relax and breathtaking viewpoints. We tell you everything you can see on the island with specific itineraries for 3, 5, or 7 days in our complete guide to São Miguel:
Where to stay in Ponta Delgada
We stayed at the Ladeira Loft (from 60€/night), a very spacious one-bedroom apartment in the center of Ponta Delgada (very close to the Graça market) and overlooking the Atlantic.
With more affordable prices, the Nook Hostel (from 40€/night), in the historic center, has apartments with 2 rooms, private rooms and dorm beds. Also among the cheapest options is the Holy Cow (from 50€/night) a hostel with rooms with private bathrooms and dormitories.
The Hotel do Colegio ( 55€/night), a beautiful hotel in a 19th century building, with swimming pool, in the center of Ponta Delgada, was the hotel where my mother, my sister and I stayed the first time we visited the island and we loved it.
Our friends Catarina and Ricardo visited São Miguel recently and loved staying at Casa da Graça (rooms from 70€/night), a hotel managed by the charming Vânia and Sergio who make you feel at home in Ponta Delgada, apart from the great rooms (and breakfasts):
If you want to treat yourself to a gin and tonic in a jacuzzi overlooking the sea without breaking the bank, then you’ll want to stay at the Garoupas Inn (from 75€/night):
The Armazéns Cogumbreiro was the largest commercial establishment on the island, in a building from 1913, renovated, in the center, with spacious and bright rooms, also from 75€/night.
If you want something more exquisite, the Azor Hotel (130€/night) has incredible rooms with views of the Atlantic.
See more accommodations in Ponta Delgada here
Where to stay in other parts of the island of São Miguel: different experiences
If you want to combine your stay on the island with something else besides the capital, here are some different suggestions for accommodation in other parts of São Miguel in case you want a couple of special nights:
- Sleep in front of the sea in the surf capital of the island, at the Santa Bárbara Eco-Beach Resort (120€/night), Santa Bárbara (Ribeira Grande):
- Sleep in front of the sea and enjoy one of the best sunsets of the island from the terrace of the Sensi Nature and Spa, a rural tourism with 20 rooms, outdoor infinity pool, indoor pool, in Mosteiros:
- Sleeping in a mill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean: at Moinho da Bibi (minimum three nights at €100/night, Sete Cidades) or at Moinho das Feteiras (minimum two nights at €180/night, Feteiras, near Sete Cidades):
- Sleep among pineapple plantations at the Senhora da Rosa Tradition & Nature Hotel (120 €/night), near Ponta Delgada. 33 rooms with a terrace in an 18th-century estate surrounded by greenery and, above all, pineapples! Here you can take a dip in the heated pool in the pineapple greenhouse – with all the stimulation for the senses that entails – and several trails where you can stroll after a relaxing swim in the open air.
- Sleep in Eden of São Miguel Island (as it is known by some travelers) Sul Villas & Spa (180€/night), in Lagoa. Here the panoramic views of the Atlantic from the villas and the outdoor saltwater pool are privileged:
- Sleep in the largest gin library in the world at The Cottage: A Gin Lover’s Countryside (from 100€/night), with incredible views and right next to Ponta Delgada:
- Sleep in the Pink House if you are 4 or 5 people (from 200€/night for 5 people), near Ponta Delgada. Downstairs are the bedrooms, upstairs the huge kitchen and living room:
- Sleep in one of the nine most exclusive suites on the island at the White Exclusive Suites & Villas, in Lagoa, located in a bay of volcanic rock and traces of ancient Azorean architecture (from 320€/night):
- Or sleep in the heart of Terra Nostra Park, in Furnas, and have exclusive access to the hot springs pond at any time of the day and night, something only possible staying at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel (110€/night):
Where to eat in Ponta Delgada
If there is something that Ponta Delgada is not lacking in restaurants and gastronomic variety, from the most traditional to fusion food. Here are some recommendations of restaurants that we liked:
- Tasquinha Vieira: expensive but very very good, fusion food (they have a tasting menu option 30€/person). The rice we tried was spectacular. We paid for 2 courses, a bottle of wine, and dessert 56€.
- A Tasca: BBB option (good, nice, and cheap), but they do not accept reservations so you have to wait in line (in summer it is usually long). In our opinion, it’s ok but don’t stop making plans around the island to queue for the restaurant, there are other options. If you decide to try it, you have to leave your name and stay close by as they keep calling (we had a beer while waiting at the next-door place, Canto do Aljube).
- Õtaka: Nikkei fusion restaurant. They have several tasting menus (from 30€/person) or you can order a la carte. It is a bit expensive, but worth it if you are looking for a different option (we were looking for it in the last week of our two months in the Azores).
- Alcides: one of the most legendary traditional restaurants in Ponta Delgada, where you can taste the famous “bife à regional”. Reservations are essential. We paid 50€ for two, with a starter, two courses, a bottle of wine, a dessert, and coffee in 2015 (on this last trip we did not go).
- Adega do Mestre André: We did not get to go but it is on our list for when we return to the island. They only spoke wonders about the place: their “steaks” and above all their service.
- Cais 20: a mythical in Ponta Delgada because it opens until very late. Recommended for tapas, seafood, and fish.
- O Galego: it competes with Alcides and Associação Agricola for the best “bife à regional” in São Miguel but, in our opinion, it is the best. We paid 42€ for a starter, two courses, two beers, and two coffees.
- Mar e Serra: Renowned restaurant and seafood restaurant on the island, very good but has been swinging with the prices lately.
- Rotas da Ilha Verde (vegetarian): we didn’t get to try it but it is one of the few vegetarian restaurants on the island and several people recommended it to us.
- Ta Gente: recommended for tapas, although the prices are somewhat expensive.
- Forneria São Dinis: very good pizzas in a wood-fired oven. We paid 42€ for a starter, two pizzas, a bottle of wine and water.
- Amphitheater: in the heart of Portas do Mar in Ponta Delgada, here you can taste traditional dishes with contemporary touches prepared by students in training.
- Suplexio: If you’re craving burgers, look no further. Here you’ll find artisanal burgers and, best of all, a bar with Portuguese craft beer. What more do you want?
- To buy cheeses: Rei dos Queijos or Príncipe dos Queijos. They also sell both sometimes Flores butter (one of the best) and “Rainha do Pico” butter.
- Raíz Bar: for a drink with live music. On Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 pm, there are usually blues, jazz, rock, folk, or African music concerts.
Transportation: rent a car in São Miguel
Although in Ponta Delgada you can move on foot to most places of interest, as in all the islands of the Azores, in São Miguel we consider it essential to rent a car to make the most of the island, take advantage of the time, and visit all the places recommended in our guide at your own pace.
We rented the car with Autatlantis, both in São Miguel and in the rest of the islands, and everything was perfect: the attention upon arrival was fast and effective, the car (a Citroen C3) was as good as new and we had no problems. Practically all the companies include an excess in the insurance, and Autatlantis is one of the ones with the lowest excess (700€, compared to 1300-1500€ of other companies).
The prices of rental cars in São Miguel rarely go below 25€ per day and, especially in summer, we recommend booking well in advance to avoid running out of vehicles or that the few that are available have prohibitive prices (in some summers they reached 100€ per day and we know several people who did not manage to rent a car because they left it to the last minute).
If there is no availability with Autatlantis, you can check and compare other companies with availability for your dates in comparators such as DiscoverCars. Remember to check the rental conditions of each company (excess, insurance coverage, fuel policy, reviews…) and not only the price.
Parking in Ponta Delgada: although in general in the Azores you will not have to worry too much about parking spaces, Ponta Delgada is the exception because if you are staying in the center there may not be free parking available. Be well informed when you book your accommodation, to find out if it has free parking and/or if it has free public parking areas nearby.
Another option if there are no rental cars available or if you are out of budget, is to rent a scooter, although we sincerely do not recommend it due to the long distances to be covered in São Miguel and the unstable and changeable weather in the Azores.
There is also the option to move around São Miguel by public transport: there are 3 bus companies that connect some of the points of the island, you can see the schedules here. Connections and frequencies are quite limited, but if you are traveling on a low budget it can be a valid option to visit some of the main points of São Miguel.
How to get from Ponta Delgada airport to downtown (and the other way around)
Ponta Delgada airport (or Aeroporto São João Paulo II (PDL)) is very close to the city center, so if you don’t rent a car, it is very easy to move between the airport and the city center. Here are the different options:
- Book a transfer: you can book in advance a transfer with a private vehicle that will be waiting for you upon your arrival (or your return to the airport), the price per vehicle is 25€ (up to 4 persons).
- Cab: you will find cabs outside the airport, and the fare between the airport and the center of Ponta Delgada is 10€.
- Aerobus: The ANC Aerobus is a shuttle service between the airport and various points in Ponta Delgada that operates from 7:00 am to 00:00 am. The fare is €4.50 per person (or €6.50 round trip). You can see more information about the route here
How much does it cost to travel to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel?
As always, giving a generic budget is very difficult as it depends greatly on your style of travel. What we can do is give you an orientation of prices and that you calculate with them your budget for your trip to the whole island (not only to the capital):
- Flights: You can find flights for 50€ (round trip from Lisbon) to Ponta Delgada but it depends on how far in advance you book and your dates (in summer it is more difficult to find cheap prices).
- Car rental: from 25€/30€ per day for the cheapest car (depending on the company and the number of days). In summer prices go up and it can be difficult to find a car at short notice.
- Accommodation: from 50€/night for a room with private bathroom or apartment with kitchen, centrally located.
- Restaurant meals: between 10 and 25€ per person per lunch/dinner in a restaurant
In total, as a guideline, a one-week trip to São Miguel with a rented car can cost between 500€ and 750€ per person (with the cheapest options of car, lodging and restaurants).
Useful apps for traveling to Ponta Delgada
We recommend some applications that will be useful for your trip to Ponta Delgada and São Miguel:
- SpotAzores:(Android / iOS / Web): here you can see all the existing webcams in different parts of the islands to check the weather. Because the weather is very changeable and it can be raining in one area of the island and bright sunshine in another, this app is the fastest way to make sure and avoid unnecessary trips. Note: The camera of Lagoa do Fogo is located at a fairly high point, so even if the camera shows cloudy, it is possible that the viewpoint can have a view of the lagoon. We were alerted to this by our friends Ricardo and Catarina who were enjoying the island recently.
- Windy(Android / iOS / Web): essential app in our trips, even more so in the Azores. It allows you to see forecasts for rain, clouds, wind, etc. to help you plan your days based on the weather (as there are places that lose a lot depending on the weather). Obviously, the forecasts are not 100% reliable. It also shows the available webcams
- Google Maps(Android / iOS): is the one we use to save/classify all the places we want to go/have gone and as GPS in rental cars. You can see other people’s opinions of the places, photos, restaurant menus, telephone numbers to contact them, etc.
- Maps.me(Android / iOS): an application similar to Google Maps but works better offline (although Google Maps can also work online) and in many cases has information that Google Maps does not have, especially trails. Useful whenever you are going to do a trail, to orient yourself, download the route from the official Azores trails website (click on Downloads->GPS), etc.
Tips to enjoy Ponta Delgada and São Miguel
- In the whale-watching activity, respect the behavior indicated by the center and be suspicious if it does not involve measures such as the prohibition of swimming with dolphins; the reduced and constant speed of the boat and a minimum distance of 50 meters from the animal; avoiding the presence of several boats within a radius of 150 meters around the group of cetaceans and do not stay more than 10 minutes with the same animal.
- Do not allow the disturbance, pollution, and destruction of seabird nesting habitats. The “cagarros” (shearwaters, in English) are a migratory bird that nests in the Azores and that on your trip will sound to you by their particular song of “awa awa” as if they were singing the chorus of the song Video Killed by Radio Star. To avoid situations where young shearwaters are captured or run over on the road, the Government of the Azores annually promotes the SOS Cagarro Campaign , which we recommend you know when you arrive in the archipelago.
- Never try to touch or feed an animal – don’t be an accomplice to animal abuse!
- Do not buy handicrafts made from sea animals or extracted from the sea (e.g. dolphin teeth, turtle shells, shark jaws, sperm whale ivory, …). The ivory trade, currently the only valuable product of the sperm whale, is still an argument for hunters. Buy local handicrafts made from alternative materials such as wood, stone or vegetable ivory.
- Respect other people and the island: don’t play your music loudly on the beach (if you want to listen to music, wear headphones), don’t leave trash, don’t throw cigarette butts, etc. Leave the beach better than you found it (if you find plastic, pick it up).
- In some natural pools bathing is dangerous due to strong currents. Do not be brave.
- Always travel with travel insurance: medical expenses, theft, or problems with your plane on a trip can cost you a lot of money, so the ideal thing to do is to take out travel insurance. We always use IATI and we recommend it. If you purchase your insurance through this link you have a 5% discount.
If all this is what awaits you in Ponta Delgada, imagine what awaits you on the whole island of São Miguel! We tell you everything you need to organize an incredible trip around the green Azorean island on our complete island of São Miguel.
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If you liked our travel guide and was helpful planning your trip, you can support us and save money in your travel bookings using the following links:
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