Things to do in
Ponta Delgada

Explore the Azores' capital and find Gothic churches, narrow winding streets, and charming buildings.

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Top activities

Our most recommended things to do in Ponta Delgada

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

3. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, at the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

4. Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. Bathe in the natural pools in the stunning Lagoon of Lagoa do Fogo. Start your trail on a short dirt road, that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Bathe in the pools of Lagoa, in the thermal baths of Caldeira Velha, or in the grandiose waterfall of Salto do Cabrito. Get stunning panoramic views of Lago do Fogo and the north coast of the island of Sao Miguel while traveling along “Cumeeira Norte”. Pass through several small streams surrounded by incredibly green and untouched forests, before reaching the characteristic pumice-stone beach of the lagoon. Enjoy a pleasant picnic lunch of regional products. Return to the starting point while enjoying another perspective of the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the bathing zone of Caloura, or Agua D’Alto Beach, where you can practice snorkeling.

Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

5. Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

Unwind at the hot thermal springs of an active volcano on an evening tour from Ponta Delgada. Head to the volcanic complex of Furnas in Povoação and bathe in the warm waters of Poça da Dona Beija.  Go for a guided nature walk to discover the beautiful surroundings and get plenty of opportunities to take souvenir photos of the dramatic landscapes. End the evening with a traditional stew from the region, cooked beneath the ground using the heat from the surrounding thermal springs.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

6. São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on a guided tour by van. Discover the hot springs at Furnas, the waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, as well as the remote rugged beauty of the Nordeste region. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the northern coast of the island until you get to the Santa Iria Lookout, with a spectacular, ample view of the north coast in both directions, before continuing to Furnas. Find yourself in Furnas and admire a spectacular panoramic stop to gaze over the lake and town. Descend where you will be given the choice of visiting the geothermal fields and tasting the sparkling waters, or bathing in the hot springs, for an additional fee. Next, discover a traditional way of cooking as your lunch of cozido (stew) is pulled from the warm volcanic soil. In the afternoon, continue the journey eastward, with a stop at the charming waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.  Explore Nordeste, the most unexplored and rural part of the island. Visit two amazing lookouts over the high cliffs that characterize the East coast of São Miguel, before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

7. Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

Depart Ponta Delgada and journey along the south coast of São Miguel before heading towards the Furnas Valley to experience its dramatic volcanic landscape. Stop at the village of Lagoa en route and visit a traditional pottery. Marvel at the former capital of the island at Vila Franca do Campo. Upon arrival in the Furnas Valley, go to the lake to enjoy a lunch of authentic cozido na caldeira (traditional Portuguese stew) cooked using the heat of the volcanic soil. Savor the ingredients characteristic of this typical dish. Next, go to the belvedere of the Pico do Ferro for a panoramic view of the valley. Return to Ponta Delgada via the island's north road, and stop at the site of Europe's only tea plantations and tea factory.

Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

8. Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Explore the volcanic landscape of the Sete Cidades, and the mountain scenery of the Lagoa do Fogo on a full-day sightseeing tour from Punta Delgada. Following a pick-up from your hotel, drive along a scenic road to the Vista do Rei viewpoint. Enjoy panoramic views of the blue and green waters of the two lakes in the crater of the Sete Cidades. Then, continue to different viewpoints before getting close to the banks of the twin lakes. Go to the Mata do Canário, and marvel at the unique flora of the natural park. Drive along the Pico do Carvão road past numerous small lakes, including the “Empadas Lakes.” Get multiple perspectives of the north and south shores of the island of São Miguel. Break for a lunch of typical Azorean food in a local restaurant in the city of Lagoa. Next, explore the city of Ribeira Grande with its unique historic center that dates from the 17th to 19th centuries. Ascend the Pico da Barrosa mountain at the end of your tour and discover the protected natural landscape of the Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Marvel at the thermal pools, waterfalls and different types of endangered plants of the area, before your return transfer to Ponta Delgada and a drop off at your hotel.

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

9. Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

After either gathering at the meeting point or being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to Parque da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, located in the north-east part of the island. It takes around 45 minutes to drive from Ponta Delgada. The half-day tour takes approximately 3 hours. During this time you will have the possibility of doing rappels, jumps, slides and rock slides. The highest rappel will be 15 meters, with the highest jump being around 6 meters. There will be some time for the equipment distribution with the help of your guides, before you take a short hike in order to approach the stream followed by a security briefing. On average it is about a 20 to 35-minute hike, depending on the pace of the group. Throughout the full-day option you will stop for a picnic, later finishing the tour by returning back to town by car.

From Ponta Delgada: Full-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

10. From Ponta Delgada: Full-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

Your tour starts at Ponta Delgada with a briefing about the vehicles and how to manage them. Then, set off to the lakes. During the climb there are amazing viewpoints from both sides of the island. Stop at Lagoa das Empadadas, for views over the volcanic cones to Ribeira Grande.  The adventure really begins at the off-road trail in Cumeeira, with amazing views over the volcano, the mountains, and the ocean. For lunch, enjoy a regional buffet and take some time to explore the village. The tour continues around the green and the blue lakes, with some explanations from the guide about area. Then it's time to go up to the mountains to enjoy views over Lagoa do Santiago, Cerrado das Freiras, and Vista do Rei. For those who just want to drive an all-terrain quad, and for those who want to explore the natural beauty of this region, you will certainly find the adventure you are looking for.

Frequently asked questions about Ponta Delgada

What top attractions are a must-see in Ponta Delgada?

Planning Your Visit

  • When should I go?

    In May, the island of Sao Miguel comes into full bloom. If you absolutely can't miss the whales, then the summer months are the best time to go.

  • How can I get around the city?

    The main form of public transportation is bus. However, these may vary in terms of regularity, so if you can, it's best to rent a car. A taxi from Ponta Delgada airport to the city center should cost around 15.00 EUR.

Good to know

  • Language
    Portuguese
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-01:30)
  • Country Code
    +351
  • Best time to visit
    The summer months, July through September, offer the nicest temperatures, with the least amount of rainfall, and also the benefit of great whale watching!

Other Sightseeing Options in Ponta Delgada

Want to discover all there is to do in Ponta Delgada? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,329 reviews

Edwardo had a wealth of information to share with us. The dinner was good. I do not eat meat and even though they asked on the reservation, they were unaware at the restaurant . I should have had more than a salad for the price

Absolutely amazing from beginning to end. Breathtaking views. Our guide Filipe was extremely knowledgeable, he knew everything about the Island and was very friendly and helpful. This tour is an absolute must!!!

One of the Best Tour driver that being on, Rui Tome is a super star. He was always helpful, easy to talk to and explain very well

Tour was amazing and Ruben was the most excellent guide. Would love to do another tour with this company and guide.

Amazing views, plenty of off road excitement! Would definitely go again!