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Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada city and Atlantic ocean coast on Sao Miguel Island, Azores
Ponta Delgada city and Atlantic ocean coast on Sao Miguel Island, Azores
The astonishing Lagoon of the Seven Cities

Ponta Delgada, the main town on the island of São Miguel, is the capital of the Azores archipelago of Portugal. The town’s cosmopolitan atmosphere belies its 500 year history, and the surrounding island boasts beautiful lakes, mountains, sandy beaches and the stunning crater lakes of the extinct Sete Cidades volcano.

Ponta Delgada’s fine collection of buildings, narrow cobbled streets and squares, are a firm reminder that this was once a key staging post between Europe and the Americas. Intermingled are cool parks, enchanting squares, a modern marina, restaurants and waterside cafés. Its lakeside, whitewashed houses with terracotta roofs look out to enchanting mountain plains.

The striking, three-arched city gates, Portas da Cidade – which once stood in the harbour and now reside in Gonçalo Velho Cabral Square, were dedicated to the Portuguese navigator who discovered the Azores. The Gothic Church of St. Sebastian and The Convent and Chapel of Our Lady of Hope, which is home to a revered image of Christ, are both worth uncovering. The Carlos Machado Museum offers diverse artefacts of Azorean culture, while Igreja Matriz Church, with its splendid clock tower, is one of many beautifully ornate towers to be found.

The ‘Green Island’ also offers canoeing and other sports activities on lakes located in the craters of its dormant volcanoes. The island’s beauty can also be enjoyed by horse riding or cycling.

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