Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel island is an absolute delight to visit. It’s one of the larger Islands out of the nine in the Azores and temperatures fluctuate around the year from 14-23 degrees. Ponta Delgada is a wonderful town with narrow winding cobbled streets and wonderful black and white buildings. There is so much architecture to see. The main one is Sao Sebastiao church, with its decorative frontage as well as the side entrance and the tall bell tower. Then there is St Peters Church which is another must see. In fact there are a lot of churches in this small area. Sao Bras Fort is a great building with 2 guards standing at the main gates, and 2 great old canons stand just along from the gates. There is also a war memorial to those that fell in WW 1. You can casually walk around this delightful town or take one of the horse drawn carriage tours so you don’t miss any of the sights. Your driver will give you all the local knowledge about the area and buildings that are most interesting. After you have explored the town area you must take the trip up to the volcanic craters that sit aside one another. One is filled with deep green waters and the other is a turquoise blue. They are amazing, and the countryside around them consists of lush rolling green hills and is very photogenic.In fact all of Ponta Delgada is. There are lots of other things you can do in Ponta Delgada like go whale and dolphin watching or visit the hot springs, not forgetting the pineapple farms. For families there is a water park and some wonderful parks like “Terra Nostra” and excellent museums to visit too. During the months of June and July there a few festivals that take place, these add to the pleasure of this idyllic place.
There is plenty of shopping to be had in this town with many small shops selling a variety of items and plenty of souvenirs. Walking around the town is a pleasure on its own, with its decorative black and white stone pathways and pedestrian areas. Just outside the centre is a large shopping centre that does increase the shopping potential, but Ponta Delgada is best known for its historic buildings and fabulous landscape not its shopping malls.
There are many fine restaurants dotted around the city selling international and typical Portuguese foods. The prices of a meal are expensive due to the main town being close to the harbour where many of the cruise ships come in to dock, so this trade has inflated the prices. They do have a burger king and pizza hut for those wanting a fast food fix, and the bakeries and patisseries sell some wonderful breads and pastries – you must give them a try.
There are some small beaches in Sao Miguel offering water sports like swimming, diving and surfing in the summer months between June and October, but generally the area is known for its lush green hills and ideal weather for walking and trekking.