São Miguel, the green island
The island of São Miguel is the largest in the Azores, forming the Eastern Group of the Archipelago together with the island of Santa Maria, 81km away.
Its settlement began in 1444 in Povoação and then Vila Franca do Campo, the island’s first capital, which was later moved to Ponta Delgada, currently also the seat of the Regional Government of the Azores.
Overlooking a natural bay, the city of Ponta Delgada has a rich history and architectural heritage. The Portas da Cidade (City Gates) are the perfect starting point for exploring the city. They are quickly identified by their three arches that link the sea front area and the Praça da República. Note the typical architecture that emphasises the contrast between the white walls and the details in basalt, embellished with lacy iron balconies. Its most iconic monuments include the 15th century Church of São Sebastião, the Church of São José and the Church of São Pedro, and the Convent and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Esperança (it is here that the image of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (the Lord Christ of Miracles) is worshipped), the former Jesuit College, the Palace of Sant’Ana (housing the Presidency of the Regional Government), the Carlos Machado Museum, the Fort of São Brás, the Town Hall, and also the renovated Micaelense Coliseum and well preserved Micaelense Theatre.
A walk by the sea to the Marina will take you to the "Portas do Mar" where in addition to the cruise ship pier, you can enjoy an ocean swimming pool and an area with several bars, all providing some very pleasant moments of leisure.