Ponta Delgada in the Azores
The Azores cannot come up with large cities – much of this archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean has a rural character. After all, Ponta Delgada has blossomed into an economic and tourist focus. 65,000 people live here, and the former fishing village got its name from its geographical location on a headland. The translation of Ponta Delgada is: “Thin tip”. The old town of Ponta Delgada with its old villas and beautiful balconies is particularly attractive to visitors from Europe and North America. Numerous yachts sway to and fro on the harbor quay, and an evening stroll along the promenade is one of the most beautiful habits of the islanders.
Port of transshipment for oranges
The city looks back on a long and varied history and was founded in 1499 by the Portuguese King Manuel I. Earthquakes, pirate attacks and the plague stood in the way of economic growth for a long time. That only changed in the 19th century, when Ponta Delgada became a major port of transshipment for oranges. Jewish families and wealthy English merchants shaped the city, and the numerous mansions still bear witness to the prosperity of this era.
Boat trips to see whales and dolphins
Arcades surround the central square, Largo de Goncalo Velho Cabral, which bears the name of the island’s first administrator. From Cafe Mascot you have a beautiful view of the remains of the former old port. The three arched city gate Portas da Cidade is the most photographed attraction of Ponta Delgada. It dates from 1743 and is the city’s landmark. The baroque town hall on Largo da Republica is also worth seeing. In the Carlos Machado Museum the visitor learns interesting facts about the history of the city and its history. It is also considered one of the best starting points for observing whales, turtles and dolphins in their ancestral habitat. Boat tours are offered regularly in the harbor.
Lagoa das Furnas
Furnas is a small town in the municipality of Povoação on the island of São Miguel in the Portuguese Azores. Furnas offers holidaymakers the most important things for an exciting holiday: thermal water, crater lakes, volcanoes and hearty food. The small town, part of a dormant volcanic massif, offers many exciting activities for a day trip.
Hiking in Furnas
Nothing beats starting the day in Furnas with an easy walk around Lake Lagoa das Furnas. The neo-Gothic chapel of Ermida da Nossa Senhora das Vitorias, the fumaroles and hot mud pools in the northern part of the lake are attractive curiosities during the hike. On the weekends, tourists can watch the locals cook their stews in the mud pools. A hearty cozido das furnas cooked in steam vents can also be enjoyed at many restaurants around town and is the best meal to take to rest from activity.
Bathing in the Furnas hot springs
The hot springs are the perfect afternoon schedule in Furnas! There are two different ones in town: Poca da Dona Beija and Terra Nostra Garden. Admission to the last named source also includes a visit to the Botanical Garden, one of the “most beautiful parks in Europe”. The view from the pool area of the green mountains and the relaxing effect of the hot water have a therapeutic effect on the body and after the visit you will certainly feel reborn.
Lagoa do Fogo
The Azores island of Sao Miguel is still a real insider tip for many Portugal tourists. Anyone who is out and about here should not miss the Lagoa de Fogo in particular. The so-called “Feuersee”, which is surrounded by numerous lava mountains, is one of the most beautiful excursion destinations on the island. The lake is a bit away from the hectic tourist flows in the middle of a highland at an altitude of 600 meters.
Laurel forests, rare birds and sandy beaches
Around the most beautiful crater lake in the Azores, a beautiful, uninhabited nature reserve has developed in the past few decades, in which especially lovers of rare animals and plants get their money’s worth. While numerous rare birds breed on the southern shore of Lagoa de Fogo, various amphibian and fish species live in the water. There are also some large laurel forests, junipers and St. John’s wort around the lake. Beach holidaymakers from all over the world get their money’s worth on the wide sandy beaches and in the clear water when the weather is nice, as do water sports enthusiasts and anglers. There are also some narrow hiking trails around Lagoa de Fogo, on which the natural and fascinating region can be explored extensively.
Angra do Heroismo
Angra do Heroísmo, commonly known as Angra, is a city on the island of Terceira in the Portuguese autonomous region of the Azores. The city with its population of 35,000 forms the southern half of Terceira, with the north belonging to Praia da Vitória. Together with Horta on Faial and Ponta Delgada on São Miguel, Angra is one of the three regional capitals of the Azores. The city was founded in the second half of the 15th century. Angra served as a place of exile for Almeida Garrett during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1830 to 1833 it served as a refuge for Queen Maria II of Portugal. In 1983, Angra was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Worth seeing old town – UNESCO World Heritage Site
The historic center of Angra is on the south coast and includes the medieval city and fortified citadel that forms the volcanic cone of Monte Brasil. Angra is dominated by the Old Square. It was one of the first Portuguese squares to be specially designed as an open space, connecting two of the main arteries of the old town. Angras Platz is a wide and orderly stone paved with Portuguese paving (made of white limestone and black basalt). Throughout its history, this main square has had various functions: on Sundays it was a chicken and cattle market and during the fighting during the Liberal Wars it was the site of public executions. The well-planned and beautiful square in Angra owes its character to the influence of the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, which led to a rebuilding program that affected many cities and villages in Portugal. The old square (which reached its final shape in the late 18th century) reflects this new way of thinking and approaching urbanism and transport. After the 19th century (especially 1879) it served as a central meeting point for concerts by the military band of the 10th Chasseur Regiment, whose barracks were located in the Fort of São João Baptista.