What you should know before hiring a car in Ponta Delgada
|Ponta Delgada city centre|
|João Paulo II Airport (PDL): 3 km from city centre|
Where is there to rent a car in Ponta Delgada?
Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island, is the capital of the Portuguese Azores archipelago, in the North Atlantic Ocean. Ponta Delgada is both a popular destination and a great base from which to explore the Azores. Ponta Delgada João Paulo II Airport (also known simply as Ponta Delgada Airport) is the point of arrival for those traveling to the island by air: it is also home to a number of car rental companies, such as Europcar, Sixt, Keddy, Goldcar Rental and Alamo Rent a Car. From Ponta Delgada Airport, the city center is just 3.1 miles away – a journey easily made by car! Alternatively, there are taxis and an airport shuttle bus service available to transport visitors to the center of Ponta Delgada.
Driving in Ponta Delgada: parking and other tips
A small city with a population of around 70,000, Ponta Delgada is nonetheless the largest city on the Azores archipelago. Filled with charming cobblestone streets, driving around Ponta Delgada is perhaps not the most practical way to travel. Exploring the city on foot is by far the most enjoyable way to see all it has to offer, and given its small size it is an easy way to see the sights. If you plan to rent a car in Ponta Delgada, it may be best to park it at your accommodation while in the city. There are a number of paid underground parking lots across the city and, while street parking can be found, it can also be challenging to maneuver into due to Ponta Delgada's narrow streets!
Road trips from Ponta Delgada
The true benefit of renting a car in Ponta Delgada can be seen when exploring São Miguel Island itself. As a small island with no rail service, driving in São Miguel Island is both easy and the main way to travel. There are a number of road trips to be taken on the island.
Lagoa do Fogo
Around a half hour from Ponta Delgada by car, the breath-taking crater lake of Lagoa do Fogo is accessible by beautiful mountain roads, which take visitors through some of São Miguel Island's most stunning natural landscapes. Upon arrival, travelers are greeted by a number of view points from which to see the lake in all its splendour. Park your rental car in the parking lot at Lagoa do Fogo before hiking around its perimeter.
Gorreana Tea Plantation
Europe's only tea plantation, the Gorreana Tea Plantation is a popular attraction and a short drive from Ponta Delgada. A drive of around 30 minutes from the city, visitors can check out a museum and taste tea grown on the plantation itself.
Around São Miguel
São Miguel Island is small enough that anyone wishing to explore all its best sites and attractions can do so in one trip. Stunning lakes such as Lagoa das Sete Cidades and Furnas Lake; hot springs at Ponta da Ferraria; and beautiful gardens such as Terra Nostra and Jardim António Borges are all worth putting on the itinerary for a memorable road trip in the Azores' largest island.