Largest place in the Azores and capital of São Miguel
since 1522, Ponta Delgada is a flat town that stretches along a bay on the island´s south coast. Boasting many impressive churches, convents and majestic white houses, visitors are constantly reminded of its wealthy and illustrious past, when the port was a crucial staging post between Europe and the New World during the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Ponta Delgada is a good base from which to make day tours of the volcanic crater lakes and thermal springs in the centre of the island. A short drive north-west of the city is the spectacular setting of Caldeira das Sete Cidades, an extinct volcano which holds two adjoining lakes, one emerald-green and the other sapphire-blue.