Whether you are just visiting the island or you are a resident, there are some great places to see in Ponta Delgada. From the edgy three-arched city gates to the regal cathedral, there are plenty of must-see sights in this quaint town on So Miguel Island.
Pico do Carvao viewpoint
Located on the south coast of Sao Miguel Island, Ponta Delgada is the regional capital of the Azores archipelago. It has a colorful character and distinctive architecture. In the past, it was a significant trading port and is now known for its well-tended gardens. It has a number of attractions, including museums and churches.
The Pico do Carvao viewpoint is one of the most popular places to visit in Ponta Delgada. It is a vantage point for panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Sete Cidades, two interconnected lakes. You can visit the viewpoint in the morning or at sunset.
You can also visit the nearby beaches. Praia do Populo, located on the outskirts of the city, is a surf beach that offers consistent waves. Another great surf spot is Praia do Almoxarife, which is just five minutes from the viewpoint.
Several hiking trails can be taken in the surrounding area. You can reach Salto do Cabrito by hiking from Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande, or you can drive there. The trail is three hours long and there are a few hills. You will also want to visit the Gruto do Natal, a lava tunnel. There are two loops, but the first is the easiest.
Cerrado das Freiras Viewpoint
Located on the Western side of the island, the Cerrado das Freiras Viewpoint is an excellent location for visitors to take in the beauty of the Sao Miguel Island. This view offers a panorama of the lagoon. The point also has views of the Sete Cidades Lakes. The point is not as popular as the Vista do Rei Viewpoint, but both have their advantages.
Another viewpoint is the Lagoa de Santiago. This viewpoint is located to the left of the Cerrado das Freiras Viewpoint. The two viewpoints are connected by a narrow straight. It is possible to drive to the Lagoa de Santiago from Ponta Delgada. This viewpoint is best for natural beauty.
The Carvao Aqueduct was built in order to bring water from lagoons to Ponta Delgada. The lighthouse at the top of the cliff dates back to 1927. It has a red-tiled roof. It is open to the public.
The arboretum is an attractive place to visit. It is home to imposing trees and an old greenhouse. It is open to the public and offers guided tours. The entrance fee is about 2-5 euros. It also has rooms available for visitors.
The Ponta do Sossego is another scenic location. It provides views of the eastern coast of Sao Miguel Island. The viewpoint is also accessible by jeep. The viewpoint is considered one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Sao Miguel.
Lagoa do Fogo
Located on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, Lagoa do Fogo is a volcanic crater that last erupted more than five thousand years ago. The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation and tall mountains. It's also home to endemic plants and birds.
You can visit Lagoa do Fogo in a day trip from Ponta Delgada. The park is a protected natural reserve. There are trails around the lake. The area was approved as a special area for conservation in 2001. Studies suggest that streams of lava once flowed through an underground grotto.
The best way to explore the area is by hiring an organized tour. An hourly guided tour will open up areas normally closed to the public. The tour includes transportation and lunch. The guide has limited foreign language skills.
Another place to visit in Ponta Delgada is the historic pineapple plantation. Many pineapple plants allow visitors to visit their gardens for free. You can also sample pineapple jam and liqueur. A few of the plantations offer guided tours.
If you'd like to see some of the cultural attractions in Ponta Delgada, you can visit the Micaelense Theater. The venue is a combination art gallery and performing arts venue. It hosts a wide variety of performances. It's located across from the Igreja da Matriz.
Cave Gruta do Carvao
Located in the Ponta Delgada city, the cave Gruta do Carvao is a volcanic-origin lava tunnel. It was classified as a regional natural monument. It is also part of the UNESCO Azores Geopark. It has many features that attract tourists and scientists.
The cave is divided into three sections. The Rua do Carvao section is the largest. It is a 1,650-meter long passage. The Secadores de Tabaco section is 701.8 metres long and the Joao do Rego section is 300 meters long.
The cave is a natural wonder that is unique to the island of Sao Miguel. It contains a large variety of volcanic phenomena. The complex is also the home of a number of stalactites. The stalactites are conical in shape and show evidence of different levels of lava flow. They are also whitish. Some of them are smooth while others are irregular.
The complex consists of over 250 scoria cones. It is also a fissure volcanism site. It is located northwest of the water reservoirs of the SMAS.
The cave is open for visitors every month of the year. The maximum number of people allowed is 150. It is best to take a guided tour of the complex.
Carlos Machado Museum
Located in Ponta Delgada, the Carlos Machado Museum is a natural history museum that also features religious art. It was founded by naturalist Dr. Carlos Machado in 1876. The museum's collections range from zoology to geology to religious art. The museum is divided into three parts: the Santo Andre Convent, the Jesuit College Church and the Sacred Art Center. Each site is just a short walk from the other.
The Nossa Senhora da Esperanca Convent was built in 1541 and contains religious art. It also has a gilded Chapel of Holy Christ of Miracles. Among the other religious works displayed are statues and jewels. The convent is still used by nuns of St. Francis.
The Palacio de Sant'Ana is a bright red neoclassical building. It is the official residence of the region's president. The grounds include towering trees and manicured lawns. The garden also includes a pond and greenhouses. There are rooms available to guests.
Another popular site in Ponta Delgada is the Jose de Canto Botanical Garden. It's located on the southern coast of Sao Miguel Island. The plantation is accessible by foot and offers free tours. Visitors can also get free samples of pineapple jam and liqueur.
Ponta da Ferraria
During our visit to the Azores in summer 2021, we spent a day in the beautiful town of Ponta da Ferraria, located in the westernmost part of Sao Miguel. This is the largest island of the Azores and is known as "The Green Island." The scenery here is amazing, with turquoise lakes, hot thermal pools, lush volcanic soil and cows grazing freely.
There are many places to see in Ponta da Ferraria. One of the most interesting is the Gruta do Carvao, which is an underground lava cave. It has stalactites, stalagmites and is unique on the island of Sao Miguel.
The Arboretum is also worth a visit, especially if you're interested in nature. There are several buildings here, including a chapel and a 18th-century manor. There are also rooms for guests. It is a great place to take a break and relax. It is free to enter.
A nearby viewpoint is the Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado, which is a cliff overlooking the sea. The viewpoint is very picturesque, especially at sunset. This is a popular spot for locals to picnic and admire the scenery.
If you want to go swimming, you should visit the natural pool of Ponta da Ferraria, which is one of the most natural hot pools in the Sete Cidades volcanic complex.
Located in the western part of Sao Miguel Island, Sete Cidades is a small town with a few attractions and viewpoints to see. If you are looking for a place to visit while you are in the Azores, you should not miss the opportunity to visit the Sete Cidades area.
Sete Cidades is a great place to spend a day. The area is filled with lakes and lagoons, and there are plenty of hiking trails to explore. You can take a picnic to one of the lakes or to a quiet picnic area. You can also take a half-day tour of the area.
The best time to go to Sete Cidades is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. You will want to make sure you have plenty of clothing on during your visit. The weather can be very windy in some parts, so be prepared.
A great way to explore the area is by taking an ATV quad tour. The half-day tour takes you through the Sete Cidades area, and includes a visit to a pineapple plantation. You can also rent electric mountain bikes to ride along the trails. If you are interested in exploring the entire area, you can even rent a self-guided GPS trail with directions.