-Ponta Delgada-

What you need to know about Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada is the largest municipality (concelho) and administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in Portugal. It is located on São Miguel Island, the largest and most populous in the archipelago. The population in 2011 was 68,809, in an area of 232.99 square kilometres (89.96 square miles). There are 17,629 residents in the three central civil parishes that comprise the historical city: São Pedro, São Sebastião, and São José. Ponta Delgada became the region’s administrative capital under the revised constitution of 1976; the judiciary and Catholic see remained in the historical capital of Angra do Heroísmo while the Legislative Assembly of the Azores was established in Horta.

Area: 233 km²
Population Estimate: 70,849



The image of the Lord Holy Christ of the Miracles: this venerable celebration is the largest and oldest religious event in Portugal. The front façade of the Convent of Our Lady of Hope, in Campo de São Francisco, during the events of The Lord Holy Christ of the Miracles. Ponta Delgada is the traditional centre of the annual religious celebrations associated with the Feast of the Lord Holy Christ of the Miracles (Portuguese: Festa de Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres), from the square Campo de São Francisco (located opposite the Fort of São Brás). This venerable feast day and week-long celebrations, primarily focus on the fifth Sunday of Easter, attracting locals and Micaelense, in addition to peoples from neighbouring islands in the archipelago, the Portuguese diaspora and tourists on vacation. Associated with the Roman Catholic veneration of a Ecce Homo representing Jesus Christ following the Passion (retold in Luke 23:1–25 in the New Testament), a gift to the sisters of the Convent of Caloura in the mid-16th century, the event, as it paralyzes the streets of the city for a day.


Part of the fisherman’s wharf of the Port of Ponta Delgada: a centre of fish catchers in southern São Miguel. The rectory building of the University of the Azores. The municipality of Ponta Delgada presents a glimpse into the divergent economic activities that exist in the Azores. With a strong concentration of service activities, the municipality is an important industrial and agricultural centre. The Arrifes-Covoada basin is the main bread-basket on the island of São Miguel, in addition to all the parishes located around the rim of the Sete Cidades Massif. In 1999, 1039 companies had their operational seats within the borders of Ponta Delgada, roughly equal to 45.4% of the companies of the Azores. Of these companies, 4.4% were in the primary sector, 13.7% in secondary industries and 81.9% in the tertiary service sector. The volume of sales (in 2000) was equivalent to 1,458 million Euros, associated with the service industry, of which banking, computer programming/services, corporate and commercial services, as well as tourism, dominate.


Served by an international airport in the parish of Relva (Ponta Delgada-João Paulo II International Airport), the municipality is the principal port of entry for goods entering and people arriving in the Azores. SATA International and SATA Air Açores have their head offices in Ponta Delgada. Near the harbour of Ponta Delgada a broad gauge railway was used several times to build and enlarge the harbor. The track used a seven-foot gauge, but it is unclear if this was Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 7 ft (2,134 mm) Brunel gauge.


Ponta Delgada has a borderline humid subtropical (Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Csa) under the Köppen classification with strong oceanic (Cfb) influence, due to high levels of precipitation throughout the year combined with less sunshine, and because only one warm month just reaches 22.1 °C (71.8 °F). The municipality’s climate, much like the rest of the Azores, is shaped by the Gulf Stream allowing a small variation in temperatures. Under the Trewartha system it is well within the subtropical range due to its extremely mild winters.