Head to Ribeira Grande in the northern part of San Miguel to visit the Arquipelago – Arts Centre and Casa do Arcano museum. In Nordeste, meanwhile, you'll find verdant fields, stunning cliffs, and dramatic waterfalls. The traditional whitewashed buildings with black corners and window frames that the area is known for also make for a pretty sight. If you like quiet coves and bays, drive to Lagoa and spend a few days at Caloura. Enjoy folklore festivals and nautical events or head to Monte Santo Outlook for gorgeous views of the island. A trip to the islet of Vila Franca do Ocampo is also highly recommended. The nature reserve here is ideal for walks and its crystal clear waters excellent for swimming and snorkelling.
Sign-up for a guided cave tour of Gruta do Carvao, an ancient lava-formed cave system with many striking geological formations. Another attraction that you can easily visit when you rent a car in Ponta Delgada is Pineapple A Arruda, a historic pineapple plantation with a gift shop. In town, walk to the Portas da Cidade (City Gate) and admire its historic 18th-century archway in a beautiful public square. Visit the Museu Carlos Machado to look at the various artworks and taxidermy exhibitions and if you're interested in history, don't miss the Forte de Sao Bras de Ponta Delgada, a Renaissance fortress with a military history museum. In need a break after all that sightseeing? Take refuge at the Igreja de Sao Jose church or relax at Jardim Antonio Borges botanical garden. Before heading back to one of the hotels in Ponta Delgada, check out the fresh produce at Mercado da Graca.
Ponta Delgada in the Azores sits on a volcanic area which is composed of the Picos Region and the Sete Cidades Massif. The landscape is lush due to its dense vegetation and pasture lands whilst several lakes complement its beauty. The climate is classified as humid subtropical and Mediterranean with high precipitation levels throughout the year. Being a capital city has its advantages. You’ll find lots of choices when it comes to dining. And because a lot of the food served in Ponta Delgada is produced locally, everything is fresh and delicious. It is said that 50% of the fresh cheese in Portugal comes from the Azores, so you might want to try some during your holiday. Seafood dishes are also highly recommended, including the limpets or lapas in Portuguese. Fried or grilled, these molluscs taste heavenly when flavoured with garlic, butter or pepper.
Flights from mainland Portugal arrive at Ponta Delgada PDL Airport or Joao Paulo II International Airport, the main airport in the Azores. If you choose to rent a car in Ponta Delgada, you can easily pick it up from here. The minimum age to rent a car in Ponta Delgada is 21 years. If you’re under 25 or more than 70 years, you might have to pay a surcharge. You’ll be driving on the right side of the road and overtaking from the left. Note that the roads are narrow in Ponta Delgada so it’s best to respect the speed limits which are 120km/h on motorways, 100km/h on A-roads, 90km/h on B-roads, and 50km/h on built-up roads. Seat belts must be worn at all times and children aged 12 or below must be in a booster seat. Keep in mind that the blood alcohol limit is 50mg per 100ml of blood. Hefty fines and licence suspension are penalties for anyone caught with a blood-alcohol level above the threshold.