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About Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada is the capital of the Azores Islands. The city is located on the beautiful island of São Miguel which is the largest and most populous in the archipelago. In the very interesting city of Ponta Delgada, you can explore and experience the culture, history, unique architecture and great local food and wine.

The best part about Ponta Delgada is its amazing nature and beautiful scenery. All the Azores Islands have a spectacular nature characterized by coarse volcanic lava that mixes softly with green vegetation and the blue sea, and Ponta Delgada is no exception there! You can do all kinds of outdoor activities, such as go hiking, surfing, dolphin and whale watching and walk through an agent lava tunnel. Just 40 minutes away by car you will find the hot springs and geysers of Caldeira das Furnas.

Basic info and car hire in Ponta Delgada

  • Location: The Azores Islands (São Miguel)
  • Population: 68,809 (2011)
  • Official language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Weather: Ponta Delgada has a subtropical climate with high humidity and frequent weather fluctuations. Ponta Delgada enjoys pleasant temperatures all year round with mild winters and warm summers.
  • Holidays in Ponta Delgada: Ponta Delgada is an ideal place to spend a holiday, and thanks to the good and stable weather, you can enjoy Ponta Delgada all year round.
  • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes offer Wi-Fi.
  • Road conditions: Ponta Delgada has no highways, but the main roads are in good condition. Other roads that pass through small towns and villages are not all paved and some of them can be narrow and even have animals on the roads. 
  • Car hire in Ponta Delgada: Hiring a car at Ponta Delgada Airport with Orbit Car Hire gives you plenty of freedom to travel around the island of São Miguel. With a wide range of vehicles to choose from, you can be sure to find the one that suits your needs and gives you the most benefit on your trip. Find your cheap car hire in Ponta Delgada today! 

 Driving in Ponta Delgada

Background information: Driving in Ponta Delgada Driving on the roads of Ponta Delgada is extremely easy and relaxed. Driving is on the right side of the road. There are no tolls, and parking can be found all over town. Gas & Parking: Gas costs around 1.70€/ltr., while daily parking can be found everywhere around town for about 2-3€/day. Car Hire: It's very easy to hire a car in Ponta Delgada and there are many different companies with offices both at the airport and downtown. If you'd like to book your rental car while you're still in your home country, we recommend looking at our offers where we work with the best local car hire companies as well as well-known brands. 

And it's always good to book a car in advance so it does not sell out (which can happen, especially in high season).

  • Age limits: The age limit is between 21 and 25, depending on the car hire agency. Many agencies will either charge a young driver fee if you are under this age or not allow you to rent the car at all. 
  • International Driving Permit: Yes, if your driver's license is not clearly identifiable as Driving License, for example, if it is written in a non-Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). 
  • Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driver's license, and valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to take out insurance with the car rental company in case your policy does not cover you when driving in France). 
  • Additional requirements: Warning triangles, spare wheels and a hands-free kit with hearing aids are required if you are talking on the phone while driving.
  • Children in the car: All vehicle occupants must wear a seat belt. Children under twelve years of age or over 5 feet tall may ride in the front passenger seat. 
  • Driving side of the road: Right.
  • Lights: Headlights must be on at all times (day and night). 
  • General speed limits: 80 mph / 130 km/h on motorways, 49 mph / 80 km/h on main roads outside built-up areas and 31 mph/50 km/h inside built-up areas.
  • Parking suggestions: Almost all car parks are metered, with the average price per hour being around GBP 1.90/ € 2.20.

Car Hire in Ponta Delgada

Most popular car hire at Ponta Delgada

The most selected hire car in Ponta Delgada is the Fiat Panda, with the Seat Ibiza and Renault Grand Scenic also being a popular options. The most popular car types in Ponta Delgada are Mini and Economy car hire categories. 

Popular Driving Routes

One-Way car hire in Ponta Delgada

The Azores are nine different islands in one archipelago and it sounds very exciting to navigate between the islands and even start the journey on one island and end it on another. 

You can travel between all the Azores Islands by ferry and the ferries can all take a car on board. However, not all car hire companies allow you to take your car to another island. If you want this option, you will need to get permission from the car hire company you are working with. Therefore, it is common and often the best option for travellers to simply hire a "new" car on each island.

What to see in Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada is one of those amazingly charming towns with narrow streets, cosy restaurants and unique architecture. All of this, mixed with the incredible natural surroundings, makes it a memorable destination. Surprisingly, however, not so many tourists come to the Azores, so you can enjoy the city without crowds at the main monuments and squares of the city. You can also read our ultimate holiday guide to the Azores

One day is enough to explore Ponta Delgada on foot, as it is quite a small city. Car hire is therefore optimal to explore other sights and places that the island of São Miguel has to offer, especially the hot springs!

The Old Town Center is the austere centre of Ponta Delgada. Here you can enjoy a stroll through the pedestrian streets with the beautiful whitewashed houses. The most important part of the Old Town is the Praça de Gonçalo Velho with the City Gate, an 18th-century arch and the Church of St. Sebastian, a 16th-century church with the tallest clock tower in Ponta Delgada. You can see the tower from many places in the city. The Town Hall offers a beautiful view of the red roofs and the port area of the city. If you want to get more information about the Azores, there is a tourist office right next to the square in a nice building near the promenade.

West of the main square (a 10-minute walk) you'll find the Conceicao Palace, which dates from the 19th century, a seat of regional government that has recently been painted blue and is one of the few buildings that looks so different in Ponta Delgada. Next to the palace, you'll see nearby the Convent of Our Lady of Hope and the adjacent Church of Sao Jose, both dating from the 16th century. Praca 5 Outubro, a nearby square, is full of original trimmed trees and makes this place somehow unique. Right on the promenade, in front of Praca 5 Outubro, you can see the Military Fort of Sao Bras, which houses a military museum.

From the marina, you can walk north to the Hermitage of the Mother of God. This 16th-century church is located on a hill and offers a magnificent view of the city. On your way back to the old town via Calle da Mae de Deus, you should visit the impressive museum Carlos Machado, where you can see historical exhibitions about the Azores. The last church on the list is the nearby College Jesuit Church. The façade of this 16th-century church is a little different from the others, it is not whitewashed but clad in basalt bricks and decorated with some carvings.

Visit Ponta Delgada

Where to stay in Ponta Delgada

Most hotels are in the centre of town, within walking distance of churches and museums, and the harbour where boats leave for whale-watching tours.

The most upscale accommodation in Ponta Delgada is the Azor Hotel, with large rooms, many of which have balconies overlooking the marina. Guests can enjoy the rooftop pool and the included buffet breakfast, which offers a wide selection of dishes. The hotel is just a short walk from the attractions of the historic centre.

The Hotel Marina Atlantico also overlooks the marina, and the spacious rooms on the upper floors have good views. The included breakfast buffet offers a wide selection of dishes.

In the city centre, close to restaurants and shopping, São Miguel Park Hotel has a wellness area with a sauna, jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor pools and a Turkish bath.

Located about a 10-minute walk from the city centre, Lince Azores Great Hotel features a pool and free underground parking. This, along with the hotel's easy access to main roads, makes it a good choice for visitors renting a car to explore the island. The marina and town centre are within easy walking distance or a reasonably priced minibus.

The balconies of Grand Hotel Acores Atlantico offer views of the marina and the sea and are close to the town centre. The hotel has a pool, sauna and fitness area.

Overlooking a tranquil garden, Art Deco Hotel Talisman is located in the heart of the old town, close to restaurants and attractions. The rooms are large and the included breakfast is substantial.

The balconies of the modern Hotel Canadiano surround a quiet courtyard, and guests can park for free. The historic centre and seaside restaurants and attractions are within a 10-minute walk.

Hotel do Colegio is set in a historic building in an excellent location in the city centre and has an adjoining restaurant. The staff is exceptionally accommodating and happy to arrange transport from the airport.

Where to eat, drink, and party in Ponta Delgada

After a long day of walking, you'll probably be hungry and want to hit up a good restaurant. If you love seafood, you have to try A Tasca. It serves high-quality fish and is located in the Old Town. It is better if you book the table in advance because if you arrive without a reservation, you will probably have to wait.

Another great restaurant is Boca de Cena, but be on your guard because the entrance is very discreet. The owner, Ricardo, is a real one-man band, so you should not eat here if you are in a hurry. But your patience will be rewarded with the best contemporary Portuguese cuisine on the island: crispy octopus, fresh tuna, slow-cooked Iberian pork and homemade pineapple tart. Ditch the menu and just ask Ricardo for his recommendations, you will not be disappointed

If you want an evening away from large portions and in search of good wine, check out one of the island's hidden gems: Reserva Wine and Tapas Bar. Local cured meats and cheeses, chestnuts and tomatoes roasted in honey - paired by owner Bruno with premium wines from all over Portugal. 

If you are looking for a cafe for coffee and cake, soups at lunch, or wine and snacks in the evening, then you should go to Louvre Michaelense. The original shop was a milliner and haberdasher importing French fabrics in the early 1900s, and the interior of the building is reminiscent of a beautiful pre-war Parisian grocer's shop. No reservations are taken, so you may have to wait a short time for a table if you experience a rush at lunchtime

As for the nightlife on Ponta Delgada, Ponta Delgada and all Azores Islands are not exactly known as party islands. On the contrary, the islands are very safe! There are a few bars and clubs on Ponta Delgada, but not many. However, if you want to let loose for a night, you should visit Ibiza Club. It is located in the Portas do Mar complex, a mixed-use outdoor area with restaurants and clubs. Ibiza is only open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and when it is, the dance floor is usually filled with the youth of São Miguel. The music is usually a mix of local DJs spinning Brazilian techno, house, IDM and basically anything that will get you dancing. Like many clubs in the Azores, the doors stay open until sunrise, but they usually open late.

Ponta Delgada Car Hire

FAQ

What you need to know about renting a car

faq
What do I need to book a car online for the Azores?

credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not clearly identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. In many European Union countries, a National ID is sufficient. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.

How old do I need to be to rent a car there?

The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old and with some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. Young driver surcharges may apply for renters between 18-20 years old. This information is visible in the search engine with Orbit Car Hire.

Do I need car rental insurance in the Azores?

Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in Azores islands with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.

Do I need a credit card to rent a car and book online?

In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit Car Hire you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.

Do I need an international driving license when renting a car in the Islands?

An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not clearly identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements.

How do I find the cheapest car reservation in Azores Islands?

You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit Car Hire. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can raise the closer to the travel period gets. You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Toyota Aygo, VW Polo and Fiat Panda often provide the best prices. 

What is the best car rental company in Azores Islands?

You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Ilhaverde, Micauto, ANC Rent a Car, Enterprise rent a car, Ace Rent a Car and Europcar. 

What types and makes of rental cars deals can I find in Azores Islands?

You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are VW Polo, Fiat Panda, Toyota Aygo, Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris. 

Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I rent a car in Azores Islands?

Most car rentals in Azores Islands offer unlimited mileage in their offers

What is Premium Coverage and how does it work?

Premium Coverage is an optional service by Orbit Car Hire which, if accepted, covers your financial accountability for damage or theft to the hired vehicle. This is not insured with a car hire company that reduces the excess amount, but a cover that refunds you in case the car hire company charges you for damage or theft. With this option, you will be reimbursed up to 3000 EUR. For more information, you can read the Terms and Conditions or contact us.

Are there any hidden fees in the Azores Island car hire?

There are no hidden charges! All mandatory surcharges and fees are presented in the 3rd step of the booking process and in our Terms and Conditions. Please note that additional charges may apply for some rentals in case of:

  • Out of hours surcharge (when picking up the vehicle out of office hours),
  • One way fee (when returning the vehicle at a different location),
  • The service charge for fuel (prepaid fuel policy),
  • Young/senior driver fee (this condition is set by the car hire company and is usually not in relation to the regulation of the specific country),
  • Excess and deposit amount (before hiring you to need to make sure your credit card limit is high enough for the deposit amount to be blocked which usually equals the excess amount or higher).

We advise our clients to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before the rental in order to avoid any unexpected surprises. Our knowledgeable customer service agents will gladly help you with any questions via phone, email, or live chat during our opening hours.

Car Hire Locations in Ponta Delgada 1 location(s) found

Find The Best Car Hire Companies In Ponta Delgada

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  • Ilhaverde
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