Ponta Delgada is the capital of the Azores and is a perfect mix of traditional and modern life. In some parts the streets are tiny with no footpaths while other parts boast impressive squares and architecture. Unlike many capital cities in Europe, Ponta Delgada is not expensive and most things to do are free! All of the items below do not require a car, bus or taxi.
Take a free walking tour
Take a free tour of Ponta Delgada to learn all about its history and gain some local knowledge and tips. You must pay for it through tipping.
Take a scenic walk or cycle to Sao Roque
Sao Roque is a small village right next to Ponta Delgada with some brilliant beaches. It’s about a 30-40 minute walk along the seafront with a specific well-lit path. If you’re sick of walking grab an e-bike (or regular bike) and enjoy the views from the cycle lane right next to the path. Atlantic Bikes is the bike sharing service we used, you must sign up and download the app. Cost: 17 cent /minute.
If you arrive in Sao Roque around 5.30pm you will get to witness hundreds of birds flying to the giant rocks to nest for the night. Stop off at the cocktail bar (Avenida do Mar) for a drink, coffee or even your dinner. It’s incredibly cheap with great food. It’s outdoors so you may need to wrap up warm.
Sunrise Swim in Piscina Oceânica
Enjoy a swim in the natural swimming pool in Ponta Delgada. It’s free entry but you need to pay a very small for the facilities if you use them (changing rooms and toilets). There is a lifeguard but not first thing in the morning. It’s a great spot for catching the sunrise and a refreshing dip. You’ll meet several locals here too.
Visit Jardim António Borges Park
This is a quiet oasis in Ponta Delgada That was built back in the 1850s. There’s plenty of interesting plants to admire in these botanical gardens. Enjoy it with a coffee or juice from the onsite café. It’s quite busy around 3pm when school finishes. Free entry
Visit Mercado da Graça (Farmer’s Market)
Here you can buy fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat and fish. If you’re staying in Ponta Delgada this is the most cost effective way to shop for fruit and veg. The cheese shop is right next to the market, you’ll smell it. If you want to buy fish you need to get there before 11am. It’s open until 6.30pm most days but many stalls wrap up early so try get there in the first half of the day. Unlike many cities, this isn’t a tourist focused farmers market. If you go a couple of times you’ll soon find your favourite sellers and get to know them. Free entry and great bargains.
Plantação de Ananás dos Açores (Pineapple Plantation)
Take a tour of the local Pineapple farm in Ponta Delgada. They offer free guided tours every half hour (but they self-guided in covid times using your phone). You will learn about the different stages of growing pineapple At the end there is a gift shop and cafe. Treat yourself to some pineapple cake and pineapple juice (or liqueur)! This only needs a quick visit 30-40minutes. There is another Pineapple Plantation we visited called Ananases A Arruda but you must drive there.
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