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Ponta Delgada is the largest city in the Azores and on the island of São Miguel.
The main entry point is João Paul II International Airport (PDL) which handles domestic/regional traffic to São Miguel island, as well as international flights from Europe and North America. Although several European and North American carriers fly to São Miguel, SATA International and TAP Air Portugal are the primary Portuguese air carriers serving the island. Ryanair operates daily flights from and to Lisbon and Porto.
Arriving at João Paulo II Airport, the traveler has access to taxi and rent-a-car services at the terminal. Bus and taxi services are also available in Ponta Delgada, along the main avenue, as well as conveniently accessible from major sites in the city.
Travelers are advised to be aware that in-town bus services are handled by small mini-buses with the larger touring buses handling community-to-community travel on the island. Both services are accessible along Avenida D. Infante Henriques in Ponta Delgada and can confuse the unfamiliar traveler. Schedules are available at bus stops and Tourism delegation.
Bus routes that cover pretty much the entire island are probably the quickest, cheapest, and most eco friendly way to get around the island. They tend to not be too crowded and they are kept very clean for the tourists.
What to see
The sightseeing is normally organized in tours which can last up to 3 hours long.
Lagoa das Sete Cidades Furnas Villa do Nordeste Sightseeing is a major tourist attraction in Ponta Delgada. One of the top places to sight see is Furnas, where you can find natural hot springs and also the Gorreana Tea Factory. The second most popular destination is the Lagoa do Fogo, which are beautiful volcanic landscapes and beautiful scenery of the beaches. This is also part of a nature reserve so its a nature lovers paradise.
Another great place to visit is the Nordeste. This is where you can find the 10th Island of Azores. Here you can find waterfalls, watermills, well cared for Belvederes,ethnography, gastronomy and landscape. It is a breathtaking view and is the highest part of the Island of Sao Miguel.
You may also want to pay a visit to Sete Cidades. Here you will find breathtaking scenery of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul.
The islands produce surprisingly good wines and cheese. The most common souvenirs for tourist are scrimshaw, wicker products, lace, embroderies, liqueurs, and flags. Ponta delgada also had many local civilians making handmade crafts that are sold on the street and in small markets and boutiques by the main avenue. Many people find small ceramic bowls or plates, woven jewelry, and many other items that are specially hand made and one of a kind
Ponta Delgada is known for their harvesting of pineapples, so trying fresh pineapples from a local market is a must! Also, if you are into seafood, pay a visit to Mercado do Peixe. They serve excellent local seafood, and is one of the top seafood restaurants on the island. Another good place to visit is Corisco. They are known for scrumptous Continental cuisine. If you enjoy sushi, a good place to eat would be Osaka, a local sushi bar with great variety and generous portions. If you are looking for a quick eat, Skippers Tavern is a great place to stop for a delicious sandwich. You can also visit the San Miguel Park Hotel which has a restaurant that serves international, regional, and vegetarian dishes. Casa Marisca is a great small restaurant with really good seafood and has friendly service and a nice atmosphere.