General Information

Accommodation

Travel

Food and Leisure

Maps

Azores

General Information

Ponta Delgada is the biggest city of the Autonomous Region of the Azores. It is located on the southern coast of the São Miguel Island. Today, the Ponta Delgada district, with a population of 65,000 inhabitants, is the seat of the Presidency of the Regional Government of the Azores.

The climate is temperate all year, without major variations in temperature. The mean day temperature ranges between 14°C and 25 °C. The mean temperature of the sea, which is tempered by the Gulf Stream, ranges between 16°C and 22°C all year.

Historically, Ponta Delgada was originally a small settlement of fishermen attracted by the sheltered bays. However, it quickly grew to become the main port of the island. In 1546, when it was already effectively the capital of the island, Ponta Delgada received the title of city from King Dom João III.

The city's economic growth continued throughout the following centuries and reached its peak in the 18th and 19th centuries with the exportation of oranges to England.

It was also from Ponta Delgada that the Liberal forces sailed to liberate Portugal from absolute rule, by proclaiming the constitutional charter and acclaiming Dona Maria II as the Queen of Portugal.

During the liberal regime, economic growth was renewed with the construction of the artificial port and the introduction of new crops, such as tea, tobacco and pineapple. At the end of the 19th century, the first steps toward political and administrative autonomy were taken.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Teófilo Braga (born in Ponta Delgada) was elected as the first President of the new Portuguese Republic. That period led to the growth and development of fishing, farming and industry, all of which contributed to the present economic growth.

The city has many magnificent buildings of tremendous architectural value portraying the urban architecture of the 16th to the 19th centuries. The majority of these are presently used to accommodate the various political, administrative, religious and cultural offices of São Miguel and the Azores.

There are several churches which are authentic pieces of art with Gothic structures and Manuelin exteriors, or in baroque style with interiors embroderies in gold thread, in addition to some rare wood from Brazil. Famous paintings are also easily found in Ponta Delgada. We point out the Santo Cristo Church, home to the magnificent statue of the Christ of Miracles, the patron of the largest religious festival held in the Azores.