P&O Cruises now offer a selection of cruises that include the city of Ponta Delgada in the Portugal Azores as a Port-of-Call.
A strong Portuguese influence pervades Ponta Delgada from the stylish colonial architecture to the food and wine served in its restaurants. But that should really come as no surprise as this is the main Portuguese Azores cruise port even if these remote Atlantic islands are 760 miles distant from their parent country.
The capital of Sao Miguel, the largest of the nine mountaineous, thickly-forested Azores islands, Ponta Delgada is probably the most spectacularly beautiful, too. It certainly has the most dramatic attraction:Sete citadades.This is a 15 square mile extinct volcanic crater in which two separate lakes have formed – one deep blue, the other emerald green. They make a remarkable sight, not to mention a great photo-opportunity.
There is also a chance to bathe in the volcanic streams and therapeutic sulphur springs where locals come to picnic, burying their stewpots and sweetcorn so that they are cooked by natural heat.
A full list of the P&O cruises that feature Ponta Delgada as a Port of Call can be found here:
P&O Ponta Delgada Cruises also feature a fantastic selection of shore excursions. We’ve listed a few of the most popular excursions below. Please check the P&O Ponta Delgada Excursions page for a complete list of current excursions.
This tour provides a rewarding introduction to the Azores, with its historic maritime capital, green fields and dramatic scenery.
Driving past lush meadows bordered by hydrangeas to nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, you’ll reach the extinct Sete Cidades. A giant crater 8 miles in circumference, where they say at the bottom were once ‘Seven Cities’. From the edge of the crater, you’ll see there are now lakes, the 2 largest of which, will particularly attract your attention. One is bright blue, reflecting the colour of the sky, and the other is bright green reflecting the vegetation of the crater walls.
Your next stop will be at the famous Antonio Borges Botanical Gardens. Planted in the mid-19th century, the Botanical Gardens are a peaceful haven with exotic trees, wooded groves and lush lawns.
Afterwards, you’ll continue to the suburb of Abelheira and enjoy a short stop at the Pineapple Plantation. Discover the various growth stages of the pineapple, which can take up to 2 years to grow, before returning to Ponta Delgada.
Fire Lake and Mountains
Visit the oldest town in the Azores, Ribeira Grande, then drive up to the summit of Pico da Barrosa for the views of Fire Lake.
Leaving Ponta Delgada, you’ll head northwards along pleasant country roads, bordered by flowers. Green meadows stretch away into the distance until you reach Ribeira Grande. This is one of the oldest towns in the Azores and the only one of any size in the north coast. You’ll have time with your guide to admire the pretty little town square and the church, or do some independent sightseeing. Notice the interesting architecture, typical of the island; buildings constructed in basalt with original windows and decorations.
Pico da Barrosa is in the centre of the island and the Fire Lake occupies the crater of an extinct volcano, from where you’ll have magnificent views. Surrounded by some of the original vegetation of the island, this is an enormous lake with transparent waters, located in an atmosphere of great calm and beauty.
A short stop will be made at the Pineapple Plantation for you to witness the various growth stages of the pineapple.
Countryside and Wine Tasting
This scenic tour visits one of the oldest villages on Sao Miguel where traditional lifestyles are still retained.
Under the Miradouro da Vista do Rei, from which point King Charles I of Portugal contemplated this impressive panorama in 1901, lie 2 volcanic lakes – the Green and the Blue Lake, separated by a narrow bridge. Together the two lakes cover an area of 482 hectares and they are 60 feet deep at their greatest depth. You’ll have the opportunity to admire these lakes from above.
On the shores of the Blue Lake is the village of Sete Cidades; enigmatic in its own name (Seven Cities) and surrounded by the dark forest-covered walls of the Caldeira. The impressive Caldeira of Sete Cidades dominates the entire region of Sete Cidades, which with its 7 miles diameter, is the most spectacular volcanic scene in the Azores. A brief stop will be made for you to admire the Santiago Lake, inaccessibly situated at the bottom of an extinct crater and unique for its rare beauty.
You’ll be served a selection of the best Azorean wines and cheeses in a leading hotel in Ponta Delgada. The hotel veranda overlooks the harbour bay and offers pleasant views of the city’s port and marina. You’ll have the chance to shop for local handicrafts at the hotel’s gift shop.
The pleasure of being off-road and relaxing near crystal-clear streams will make this trip one of your most memorable.
Discover the island of San Miguel in vehicles best suited for the terrain. The journey will take you into the mountains, leaving the town behind and reveal to you lesser-known areas. The ruggedness of the high mountains, covered with trees indigenous to the area, hydrangeas and other varieties of vegetation, contrasts with the softness of the valleys, sparkling clean streams and small villages that you pass.
Vast farmland guarantees richness to the population and travelling through these areas will bring you into contact with the nature and friendliness of the local people.
Furnas Valley and Hot Springs
Furnas Valley is one of richest hydrological areas in Europe with over 22 thermal springs; a truly breathtaking site.
Heading out of Ponta Delgada towards the North east, you will see roads lined with Japanese Cedars, Hydrangeas and Ginger Lilies until you reach Ribeira Grande, a unique city with a strong feeling of Portuguese influence.
Heading further north towards a wonderful lookout point, Pico do Ferro Belvedere spectacular views over the Furnas Valley. Descending the Valley, you will have time to explore the Terra Nostra Gardens. Developed over the centuries, the Gardens have an extensive selection of trees from all over the world, as well as a serpentine canal, grottoes, camellias, ferns and cycas.
With over 22 hot springs, Furnas Valley in the area of San Miguel, is where volcanic nature still remains an important part of the island’s culture. Locals still make use of the Caldeiras (hot springs) for cooking a kind of stew called “cozido” using the natural steam venting along the shores of Furnas Lake.
On your return to Ponte Delgada, you’ll have a short stop at Vila Franca do Campo, the former capital of the island.
You will find the full and current list of P&O Ponta Delgada Shore Excursions at
Book online and qualify for P&O online booking discounts.
All P&O Cruises to Ponta Delgada are fully bookable online at P&O Cruises.Share