Ponta Delgada is the largest and most visited town in the Azores. Whitewashed houses and buildings, monasteries, and churches from the 17th and 18th centuries decorate its rolling hills.
Cobbled streets and squares are located around the center, where there is also a large boulevard, which is perfect for evening walks by the sea.
Today, Ponta Delgada is the most developed town in the Azores, with fantastic historic buildings, smart restaurants, and excellent hotels that provide comfortable accommodations. It began as a modest fishing community and gained importance in 1522 after an earthquake destroyed the island’s former capital, Vila Franca do Campo.
King João III granted Ponta Delgada the status of a city in 1546. During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the busy port became an obligatory stopover and supply station for ships en route from the Mediterranean, Portugal, and Africa to America. and the West Indies.
Visit Ponta Delgada and Sao Miguel Island, a fascinating part of the Azores.
Igreja de Sao Sebastiao (Church of Saint Sebastian)
Founded in the 16th century, this church is built in the late Gothic style with a beautiful Manueline main entrance. The sacristy is decorated with beautiful blue azulejo tiles, and the fine 17th-century fixtures, fittings and pews are made from Brazilian Jacaranda wood.
Igreja do Colegio dos Jesuitas (Church of the Jesuit College)
With its dark gray basalt and whitewashed Baroque facade, this building looks more like a smart aristocratic townhouse than a former religious institution. This church is also known as the Church of All Saints because its first stone was laid on All Saints’ Day (November 1, 1592). He belonged to the Jesuit order until the famous Portuguese Prime Minister Marquis de Pombal expelled them in the mid-18th century and looted his once-famous collection of treasures.
Museums in Ponta Delgada
Museu Carlos Machado
This museum tells the story of the local farming and fishing communities over the centuries. It is housed in the old Mosteiro de Santo Andre (Saint Andrew’s Monastery) and its many exhibits include some outstanding paintings by local artist Domingos Rebelo (1891–1975). There is also a natural history section with an impressive island model.
Praca 5 de Outubro (5th of October Square)
This square is dominated by the marvelous Renaissance fortress, Fortaleza de São Bras, which was rebuilt in the 19th century. Surrounding this square is the impressive Convento da Esperanca (Convent of Hope), which contains a magnificent choir decorated with 18th-century azulejos.
The Señor Santo Cristo dos Milagres festival, which takes place on the fifth week after Easter, is famous for a large procession, when a statue of Christ, dressed in a red tunic decorated with diamonds and gold, is carried through the crowd. The monastery church houses this famous statue and several other religious treasures that are worth visiting.
Jardim Antonio Borges (Gardens of Antonio Borges)
This romantic garden is one of the largest and most lush areas in Ponta Delgada. Antonio Borges Medeiros was a passionate amateur botanist in the 19th century, interested in introducing new species to the island. His estate became an extremely rich and interesting garden, providing a beautiful walk for those who enjoy natural and peaceful beauty.
The nature in Ponta Delgada
Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Lake of the Seven Cities)
The Lake of the Seven Cities is formed by two large lakes that fill the massive crater of a dormant volcano. The legend tells of a young princess, the daughter of a strict widowed king, who fell in love with a shepherd and was forbidden to see him. The day the princess informed the boy of the king’s decision, they both wept, forming two lakes: one, green, the color of the princess’s eyes, and the other, blue, the color of the boy’s eyes. From Pico do Carvao you can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of Lagoa das Sete Cidades.
Vale das Furnas (Furnas Valley)
Here you will find the Caldeira das Furnas, where you can explore the hot springs or try the Furnas broth. You can also enjoy a beautiful view of a large lake and extravagant vegetation. Descend to Terra Nostra Park, where exotic plants and trees live alongside lakes and rivers with spring water. A natural pool with iron-rich water provides an unusual swimming experience.
Very famous of Ponta Delgada – Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire)
This is the second-largest lagoon on the island of São Miguel. In 1974, it was classified as a nature reserve to preserve its unique and wild beauty. It is located in the center of the island and occupies an extinct volcanic crater. Take one of the hiking trails, which will take you to some of the best viewpoints, and then descend to the white sand beach located inside the crater, surrounded by lush green vegetation.
Some of the sustainable activities you can join are their eco-friendly day trips from Ponta Delgada, cleaning beaches events, or non-polluting biking trips.