Two cities in the Azores:  Ponta Delgada and Praia da Vitoria

2023 HAL World Cruise

Thursday & Friday, May 4-5, 2023   

The Azores is one of two autonomous regions of Portugal (the other is Madeira.)  There are nine major islands that compose the Azorean archipelago in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic.  The largest city is Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel.  The next largest city is Praia da Vitoria on the island of Terceira.  We visited both on this journey.

Ponta Delgada was settled in the 1400’s but did not reach its economic high until the 1800’s when the citrus industry boomed with exports to the United Kingdom.  The resulting growth of foreign-owned businesses increased the population and brought ornate homes, large roadways, gardens and parks, and the founding of the University of the Azores. 

Here are some photos:

We arrived in Ponta Delgada on a cool, dark, and drizzly morning.
We had been here before and knew it was possible to find food, drink, shopping, and entertainment right at the dock.
But we also knew it was a pleasant walk along the promenade, skirting the yacht harbor, to the charming city center.
So, we bundled up and set out to enjoy the day–even in the rain!!!
Our plan was to view the city gates, the church, clock tower, and statue of Gonçalo Velho Cabral (the explorer who brought Portuguese settlers to the Azores in 1427.)
And so, we entered the city gates…..
…..walked the wide, beautifully paved streets…..
…..visited the Church of St. Sebastian (built in 1533)…..
…..and the lovely City Hall (built in the 17th century.)
Even on a dreary day, Ponta Delgada is charming. (This is another view of St. Sebastian Church)
After working up an appetite, we stopped at Len’s Pizzaria & Exotic Food. And no, we did dive into the exotic…..
…..we had a really, really good pizza…..
…..with beer and wine.
The beer was from the Melo-Abreu brewery and is the only commercial beer produced in the Azores. It was quite good!!!
At this point, as the sun began to appear, we walked back to the ship.
We had a lovely day in Ponta Delgada.

And then we sailed to our final port on this adventure:

Praia d Vitoria, on the island of Terceira, is the second largest city in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores.  Originally settled in the 1400’s, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1614.  Reconstructed, the city suffered another, less destructive, quake 1841.  But the residents, once again rebuilt, adding an airport and Portuguese Air Base; they expanded the port; and promoted the industrial center. 

And here are the photos:

Oh joy, on our final port day, we arrived in Praia da Vitoria to a warm, dry, and mostly sunny morning!!!
This is our first visit to the island of Terceira and we are looking forward to exploring Praia da Vitoria.
The shuttle dropped us off just outside the city center area.
We are walking along the Rua de Jesus. It’s a pedestrian street. And we wondered how it got its name because there’s something comforting about following the way of the Lord!!!
So we ambled along, shopping for souvenirs and enjoying the ambience.
We passed an inviting park with gardens, benches, statuary,…..
…..and a coffee shop!!! Now, how charming is this!!!
Moving on, we came to the city market.
What a pleasant place to shop.
And there’s even a café!!!
Our final destination was the Garca Restaurant positioned under the amazing “Stair to the Gazebo Torch” monument. No, no we did not climb to the top!!!
But Garca was full so we walked down to Zodiaco instead. We had the usual French Fries and beer and then, because they had never tasted them, ordered Pasteis de Nata for our tablemates. If you go to Portugal; you must sample the national pastry!!!
The Pasteis de Nata are on the left. and yes, they are very good!!!
As we admired the view from our table, we reminded ourselves it might be time to return to the shuttle and get back to the ship!!!
We passed the imperio, Espírito Santo dos Marítimos, on the way. It was built in 1877 for the brotherhood of the Divine Holy Spirit. An imperio is the small private chapel of a specific group. They seem to be unique to Portugal.
And then we boarded the shuttle for our return to the ship and departure for home. Tomorrow, we start thinking about packing up!!!

And now, this adventure comes to a close.

We will spend six days at sea as we return to Ft. Lauderdale and our normal lives.  This has been an amazing journey and we thank you for sharing it with us!!! 

If you have signed up to receive email notices of our postings, you’ll automatically be sent the posts for our future adventures.

See you then!!!