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    Car hire in Ponta Delgada with Auto Europe

    With a car hire in Ponta Delgada you have the freedom to tour the stunning islands at your own pace, Auto Europe makes this possible. Since services began in 1954, pick up points have grown to over 24,000 locations and 180 countries across the world. Offering superior customer service as well as competitive pricing.

    Ponta Delgada hosts many beaches, lakes, hiking spots and stunning architecture. A stunning island for a relaxing holiday or for someone looking for a peaceful adventure there is plenty to see here. Find hidden gems such as the beautiful village of Furnas with its natural hot springs and mud springs, or the Gruta do Carvão a large tube carved by lava from the volcanoes leaving one of the islands most interesting wonders. You could even take a flight over to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon and hire from one of our pickup points and carry on your journey in the capital. Auto Europe makes this possible without the hassle due to our fantastic customer service team. Our car hire reviews in Ponta Delgada section have been left for you to see what past customers have thought of our service.

    How is the traffic in Ponta Delgada?

    As Ponta Delgada is relatively small city traffic isn’t much of an issue. Traffic is heaviest in areas of higher population, but generally traffic jams are quite rare as the roads are very often quieter than in the larger cities. Other drives also seem to be careful, you don’t tend to get others overtaking or tailgating which can cause traffic issues. Find out more about driving in Portugal on our driving page.

    Where can I park my car hire in Ponta Delgada?

    Parking in Ponta Delgada is known to be relatively straight forward, there are numerous places to park your car rental in Ponta Delgada including underground parking off the seafront road, which costs around 9 euros for the night. There are underground parking garages in the town centre. It’s around 10 euros per day and can be parked on overnight. There is free parking on downtown outskirts and lots of parking on the roads along the seafront; these are charged by the metre although they are free at night. When parking in residential areas charges begin at 8:00am prompt the next morning although you can purchase a permit the night before which allows parking until 10:00am. There is an official town centre parking in Rui Castilho which is secure and staffed 24hours a day and has reasonable pricing. Around 8 euros for 18 hours parking.

    Ponta Delgada airport

    Ponta Delgada airport also known as João Paulo II Airport is around 2km from Ponta Delgada city centre and is the main airport on the Azores Islands. The terminal was built in 1995 and hosts domestic flights as well as international flights, out to all the other Azores islands as well as the mainland and places such as Europe and North America. The airport runs with one terminal which is split into two levels. The ground level hosts the arrivals, Departures and check in areas whereas the first floor level hosts restaurants and family restrooms.

    Address: Sao Miguel Island, Ponta Delgada, Azores, 9500 749, Portugal
    Phone: +351 29 6205400
    Airlines operating at Ponta Delgada airport: Azores Airlines, Delta Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryan Air, SATA Air Acores, TAP Air Portugal, TUi flyBelgium, TUi flyNetherlands.

    What to do in Ponta Delgada

    It’s easy to enjoy Ponta Delgada, with a wide assortment of must see wonder’s to visit you won’t be short of things to do along your journey. Some not to miss are;

    • The Church of Sao Jose: The church of Sao Jose is a 17th century church located in Faja Grande. The chapel was built in 1755 and consecrated in 1757. The church was then expanded in 1847 concluding in 1849 with the then consecration being held in 1950. Its stunning gilded woodwork and huge nave along with a beautiful barocco ceiling make for picturesque viewings. The church holds antique statues of several saints and was first opened as a convent. A wonderful place to visit with a calming and elegant feel.

    • Lagoa das Sete Cidades: Happens to be a twin lake which has developed over time in the crater of a dormant volcano and although the lakes are connected, one is blue and the other green. Legend states that the two lakes were created from the tears of a princess and a shepherd who fell in love but were banished by the king from seeing each other again. On their last visit the tears from the shepherds blue eyes and the princesses green eyes are said to have formed the two lakes. The two lakes can be crossed from one another by a bridge over the connecting narrow strait. The lakes hold breath taking views both in themselves and also of the ocean. The most popular viewing spots are that of Vista do Rei and Boca Inferno as well as Miradouro do Cerrado where the lakes can be viewed side by side.

    • Furnas and the Caldeiras das Furnas: The village of Furnas is one of the main tourist attractions as it is so extraordinarily different to the rest of Portugal. There is a major lack of beaches but the sunny weather is guaranteed as well as much more on offer. The village is famous for its hot springs and the Terra Nostra gardens with their many geothermal pools but mainly their thermal water pool which was built in 1780 but enlarged in 1935, the pool is a highlight to most visitors as a way of relaxation in the orange pool, the orange colour of the water is due to a high iron content. Furnas also has several boiling water and mud springs gushing out the ground throughout the area and although it may not taste very pleasant the mineral water is drinkable.

    • Gruta do Carvão: Which translates to grotto of coal, is an ancient lava tube situated in Ponta Delgada. The tube is thought to be around 5,500 feet long although some reports suggest it is in fact longer than this. The cavern walls are home to structures such as lava benches, lava balls, stalagmites, spongy lavas, tree moulds, glaze, columns, branching galleries and lateral benches. You are shown a video before entering then given an informative guided tour through the accessible areas in the lava tube.

    • Dolphin and Whale Watching: Take a trip onto the Atlantic Ocean and see some of the most breath taking marine life on the Azores islands. You will look out for common, bottlenose, rissos, spotted and striped dolphins, turtles, seabirds and mink, sperm, pilot, blue, fin and sei whales as well as other species of the wildlife. You will begin with a briefing by a marine biologist who will provide commentary with detailed explanations throughout the tour. The boat will also tour around Princess Ring Islet for up close volcano views and the accompanying wildlife in this area.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Ponta Delgada

    The town of Ponta Delgada is a stunning area and travelling around to each area with your car hire in Ponta Delgada could be seen as day trips in themselves with the beautiful views of greenery and ocean, however if you would like to journey delve deeper into the more unknown adventures in the area you will find some listed here;

    Forte de São Bras

    Is an official military building known as the Sao Bras Castle. It is an important part of the 16th century military architecture and was used in the defence of the ships which were in port, against pirates and buccaneers which was rife in the Atlantic Ocean around the time of its construction. The fort now currently serves as headquarters for the Azores military zone and is home to a military museum containing weapons, transport vehicles and war paraphernalia which tells you much about the history of the place. Take a beautifully scenic stroll along the waterfront to reach the fort and take in the views of the harbour from the top of the fort.

    Pico do Carvão

    Translating to “Peak of the Coal” is a stunning lookout point located in Sete Cidades created by an elevation of volcanic origin on the island which at its highest point is around 813 metres. It offers beautiful panoramic views on the seven cities massif mountains, the northern and southern coasts, the surrounding lakes, lagoons and also the Atlantic Ocean. It also hosts an amazing aqueduct stretching across all the wonderful greenery.

    Lagoa Empadadas

    Is a lagoon situated in a volcanic surrounded by stunning forests and greenery. Many visit here as it is a popular tourist spot for peaceful nature trips, hiking and bird watching. The hike is around 5km long with spectacular views and features many vibrantly colourful wild flowers and vegetation to see along the way.

    Pinhal da Paz

    It is a recreational park and forest reserve situated in the centre of the Picos Region in Sao Miguel. It was originally a rocky and volcanic area of land until it was inherited by Antonio do Canto Brum who vegan to plant wild pines and exotic plants as well as eucalyptus plants and huge ferns. It became a popular tourist area and was attracting many until the upkeep costs became overwhelming and eventually returned to wild brush until a commission was nominated to implement measures to conserve the park. The park is now host to picnic and barbeque areas as well as hedge maze, children playground and animal paddocks containing species such as deer and ducks. There are also miniature replicas of the local buildings so as to entertain children.

    Arruda Açores Pineapple Plantation

    The Azores islands were once famous for their popular oranges and citrus fruits until it was decided there was a need for change therefore the idea to grow pineapples came to the islands. As the islands are not home to a natural tropical sun they have implemented around 6,000 greenhouses to raise the pineapples from flower to fruit which takes around 2 years. The plantation also sells pineapple cakes, jams, liqueurs and garnishes as well as other generic souvenirs. You can take a self-guided tour through the greenhouses and see the impressive display of urban agriculture, where the workers are on hand to answer any questions you may have

    Geographic information and history

    The Azores, known officially as The Autonomous Region of the Azores is one of Portugal’s autonomous regions made up of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. The nine islands consist of Flores, Corvo, Graciosa, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico, Failal, Sao Miguel, Santa Maria and finally the main city of Ponta Delgada. With industries such as, livestock, fishing, dairy farming and tourism. The population of Ponta Delgada is around 70,000 and is located within the magnificent island of Sao Miguel. It covers two structures of volcanic area, which are the Picos Region and Sete Cidades Massif. It is home to the ancient Agua De Pau Massif volcano which last erupted around 500 years ago. Although there is currently no activity, the active status of this volcano is still being debated by scientists. The island of Sao Miguel had been populated since 1444 with Vila Franca do Campo being the main settlement at the time, until 1522 when an earthquake and landslide devastated the capital with many of the residents being killed and several buildings being destroyed. Leaving Ponta Delgada as the only centre with the infrastructure to support the Azorean bureaucracy and therefore being elevated to the status of city in April 1546. The rise in the importance of happened during the 19th century as it became one of the most influential Portuguese cities due to the export of citrus fruit, the fishing industry and the settlement of tradesmen. Many homes and estates were then constructed as well as new roadways and relocation of markets making the economy flourish.

    How to get around Ponta Delgada

    There are numerous ways to get around when not using your car hire including on foot as the town is relatively small but please find some examples of alternate transportation listed here;


    Taxis in Ponta Delgada can be useful because of the short travel distances, as the island is relatively small it takes less than 5 minutes to travel downtown from the airport should you choose to use a taxi. Taxis can be found at the airport terminal, along the main avenue and at all major locations throughout the island.

    Car Rental

    When you rent a car in Ponta Delgada it makes travelling much easier. You can tailor your own journey without relying on the restraints of public transport and you can also make your way around the other Azores islands with ease. Find all major car rental companies at the airport arrivals desk or pre book online.


    Buses cover almost the entire island and can also be very quick and cheap. They aren’t extremely crowded even considering the high amount of tourists in the area. There are small in town service buses and also larger touring community buses. They can be accessed at the airport, along the main avenue and at all major areas within the city with schedules being found at each bus stop.


    Using boats you can travel from Ponta Delgada to the other Azores islands. Cruise ships are in regular passing through Ponta Delgada and can transport you around the islands for around 35 euros per round trip.

    Useful links

    Official Tourism