Why go to Ponta Delgada?
Natural attractions such as Sete Cidades and Furnas are the island's crown jewels
Beaches are limited to a few small, rocky areas of sand; locals mainly go to seawater pools
The island is not only beautiful but also affordable (by European standards)
Ponta Delgada Cruise Port Facilities?
From the main terminal building's exit, a row of outdoor/indoor restaurants stretches along a promenade to the right. To the left, cafe bars, some with free Wi-Fi (if you purchase a drink or snack), and shops lead the way to town.
Good to Know?
Pedestrians should cross roads at designated crosswalks and be aware of fast-moving cars on one-way streets. If driving, note that the secondary roads are narrow and twisty, and driving up into the clouds requires caution. But otherwise, motoring is a pleasure, as the island is so beautiful, and it's very hard to get lost since the sea is your guide to finding the coastal road back to Ponta Delgada. Watch out for turnoffs that lead to a viewpoint and a short hike down to the sea or along a cliff.
Taxis are available at the cruise terminal and outer breakwater. Minibus routes serve Ponta Delgada's outlying residential districts, and standard-size buses link the rest of the island. You'll find stops along Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique; just pay the driver when boarding. You can rent cars at the terminal through Autatlantis, which offers rates with unlimited mileage plus taxes. Car rental is a good touring option, as traffic is generally light, though roads beyond the city are curvy and narrow, especially when climbing into the hills. Additional auto rentals are found left along Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
- Portuguese is the official language. English is spoken at the main tourist destinations but less so in towns and the countryside outside Ponta Delgada.
- The currency is the euro; for the current exchange rate, visit http://www.oanda.com. ATM's are positioned near the exit to the cruise terminal and outside banks along the Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique. (Head left when leaving the terminal complex.) Barclays Bank is at No. 33. All designated Multibanco have English language options. Change some money into euros for drinks and snacks and inexpensive lunch places.
Where You're Docked?
Terminal Maritimo, the principal cruise facility, is conveniently located just a five-minute walk from Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique, the main street running along Ponta Delgada's harborfront. In addition, some ships may berth at the more remote outer breakwater. Depending on how far out on this arm the ship is docked, it can be a longish 10- to 20-minute walk into Ponta Delgada. If you're docked on the outer breakwater, you won't find any services until you pass through the security gates into town.