Things to do in Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Ponta Delgada is the largest city of the Azores archipelago and is located on the island of São Miguel. It is a beautiful place filled with stunning views and plenty of activities to enjoy. From water sports and outdoor adventures to cultural attractions and fine dining, there is something for everyone to experience in Ponta Delgada. Here are ten of the best things to do in this charming Portuguese destination.
1. Explore the Old Town
The old town of Ponta Delgada is a great place to explore and discover the history of the city. Here you can find cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and several old churches, including the impressive Cathedral of São Sebastião. The old town also has many shops, restaurants, and bars that make for a great day of sightseeing.
2. Visit the Botanical Garden of Ponta Delgada
The Botanical Garden of Ponta Delgada is a great place to learn about the local flora and fauna. This beautiful garden is home to a variety of plants from around the world, including cactus, palms, and orchids. There is also a pond, waterfall, and several walking paths that make for a peaceful and relaxing stroll through nature.
3. Take a Boat Tour
A boat tour is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of the Azores. You can take a boat tour around the island of São Miguel and see the stunning coastline, volcanic islands, and picturesque towns along the way. Many boat tours also include stops at various points of interest, such as hot springs and caves.
4. Visit Sete Cidades
Sete Cidades is one of the most popular attractions in the Azores. This stunning lake is located in a volcanic crater and has two distinct colors – one blue and one green. Visitors can take boat tours around the lake, hike around the crater, or simply admire the views from the nearby viewpoint.
5. Enjoy the Beaches
The beaches of Ponta Delgada are some of the best in the Azores. From the black sand beaches of Furnas to the golden sand beaches of Mosteiros, there is something for everyone. You can also find great beaches for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.
6. Visit the Lagoa das Furnas
Lagoa das Furnas is a stunning lake located in the crater of an extinct volcano. Here you can find bubbling hot springs, steaming geysers, and boiling mud pools. It is a great place to visit to learn more about the volcanic activity of the Azores.
7. Explore the Caldeira Velha Natural Park
The Caldeira Velha Natural Park is located in the heart of the Azores and is an ideal spot for nature lovers. Here you can find lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and crystal clear lagoons. There are also plenty of hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
8. Visit the Museu de Angra do Heroísmo
The Museu de Angra do Heroísmo is one of the oldest museums in the Azores. Here you can learn about the history of the region and see a variety of artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, and religious items. This museum is a great place to learn more about the culture and heritage of the Azores.
9. Go Shopping
Ponta Delgada is a great place to go shopping. Here you can find everything from souvenirs and local crafts to designer clothes and jewelry. There are also several markets and shops around the city where you can find great deals and unique items.
10. Try the Local Cuisine
The local cuisine of the Azores is both delicious and unique. Here you can try dishes such as cozido, a traditional stew made with local ingredients, or bolo lêvedo, a sweet bread. There are also plenty of seafood dishes to try, such as caldeirada, a fish stew.
Things to Avoid in Ponta Delgada, Portugal
While Ponta Delgada is a great destination for a holiday, there are a few things that you should avoid. Here are five things to be aware of when visiting this charming Portuguese destination.
1. Avoid Tourist Traps
Ponta Delgada is known for its abundance of tourist traps, such as overpriced souvenir shops and restaurants that serve low-quality food. It is important to research any places you plan to visit and make sure they are reputable before spending your money.
2. Avoid Unofficial Taxis
Unofficial taxis can be found in Ponta Delgada, but it is best to avoid them. These taxis are often unreliable and can be dangerous, so it is best to use only official taxis or public transportation.
3. Avoid Swimming in Unmarked Areas
The beaches of Ponta Delgada can be very dangerous, especially for inexperienced swimmers. Be sure to avoid swimming in unmarked areas, as strong currents and rip tides can be dangerous.
4. Avoid the Nightlife Scene
The nightlife scene in Ponta Delgada can be dangerous. It is best to avoid large crowds and stick to well-lit areas. If possible, it is also best to avoid going out alone after dark.
5. Avoid Exploring Remote Areas Alone
Exploring remote areas of the Azores can be a great experience, but it is important to be cautious. It is best to avoid exploring these areas alone and make sure to bring a map and a cell phone in case of an emergency.