A walking tour of Ponta Delgada.
Guests of Solar Branco 1885 are welcome to join a complimentary tour around the centre of town (hosted by Mr B.) For non-residents, the charge is €15 PP. You should allow between 1 -2 hours depending on how much time you spend exploring each stop. Please book by clicking here.
The tour starts at the tourist information office on the main promenade. This is a perfect place to gather some helpful advice and information for the remainder of your trip. Once you’re done having a chat with the friendly staff and picking up leaflets, we will walk around the corner to one of the city’s most significant squares Portas da Cidade – The gate to the city. The three arches you see in the Praça de Gonçalo Velho are part of the original (1783) gates to the city, which once stood by the old harbour wall. The statue is of the man after whom the square is named – supposedly the discoverer of both São Miguel and Santa Maria.
Next up is the Igreja Matriz de São Sebastião / Church of St. Sebastian. Originally built as a very small chapel in the 18th century, it’s since been added to in Baroque style. We will then stop off at the Louvre Michaelense Cafe where we can grab a coffee or tea as we continue on to Mercado da Graça / Grace’s market. Grace’s market is a wonderful place to walk around, admiring the fruits and vegetables and is the best place to pick up an Azorian pineapple to take home.
We then walk past the Museu Carlos Machado, a museum in a former convent that hosts some eclectic exhibits of historical artefacts, art and taxidermy. Not for everyone, we then continue to the Antero de Quental Garden, named after the great romantic poet and thinker, has as its the centrepiece the monument in honour of this poet from São Miguel. From here we will continue our garden theme by exploring Jardim António Borges. This park contains a wide variety of plants and trees as well as tunnels and interesting flowers.
From here we exit the park and walk down through a small park, Jardim Padre Sena Freitas. To the side of this is a beautiful blue government building. We then walk past Igreja de Sao Jose, and São Brás is Praca 5 Outubro – a large square, featuring lines of pollarded trees, that’s often used for festivals. At its core is a huge 140-year old tree that’s been imported from Australia. From here we continue to the Forte de Sao Bras at the harbour’s edge.
We then finish the tour at Cais Da Sardinha. This is a bar just on the harbour front where you can relax over a glass of wine, G&T or cocktail. On a Summer’s evening, both this and the café above are a lovely spot at which to grab a cocktail and watch the sun go down.