Ponta Delgada is an all-season destination thanks to a fairly mild climate so you can visit any time without needing to pack for cold weather. During the cooler months of November through March you’ll need a light jacket. The peak season in the city runs from June through October, with those aforementioned cooler months being slightly less popular. You may have better luck with cheaper flights if you book a trip outside of the high season.
Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel is the largest city on what happens to be the largest island in the Azores. San Miguel is known as the “green island” due to its lush landscape, which means there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors when visiting Ponta Delgada. The city itself has lots of charm and character and makes an ideal place to spend a few days exploring. A plethora of cafes, bars, and restaurants await the hungry traveller, and there is no shortage of places to stay. Beautiful architecture, interesting shops for souvenir hunting, churches, cobblestone streets, and beaches within 2 to 3 miles (3-4 km) from the city give visitors a wide variety of things to see and do.
The Azores are known as a good whale watching destination and one of the best places to book a whale (and dolphin) watching expedition is from Ponta Delgada. Anyone staying more than a few days will also want to look into touring some of San Miguel’s other natural attractions like the Caldeira das Sete Cidades, twin lakes in a crater of a volcano; Lagoa do Fogo (Fire lake), or the nearby tea plantation (the only tea plantation in Europe). Within the city don’t miss the ornate city gates, military museum, shopping for local pottery, or a walk along the waterfront.
Ponta Delgada is a city that was made for exploring on foot. Avenida D. Infante Henriques is the main road where you’ll find a wide array of shops, restaurants and attractions. This is also a good spot to grab a taxi if you want to explore further afield. There are also minibuses that service Ponta Delgada, which are an affordable way to get around if you don’t want to walk everywhere.
The João Paulo II Airport (PDL) is only a short distance from Ponta Delgada so it’s a quick trip into the city. You can opt for a taxi, which takes about five minutes, rent a car from a kiosk in the airport (but note that it’s not easy to find parking in the city so if you plan to rent a car make sure your hotel has parking), or you can take a shuttle bus. The shuttle runs approximately every 20 minutes and tickets can be purchased inside the airport. Taking the bus is cheaper than a taxi by around half so it’s a good budget-friendly option.