Ponta Delgada

Portas da Cidade’s triple arch
The imposing Forte de São Brás
The Santuário do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres

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Ponta Delgada/Azores

Luxuriant nature

Luxuriant nature

In Ponta Delgada , as you will realize when you arrive to the island of São Miguel during your holiday to the Azores with MSC Cruises, the wind is always blowing and white clouds quickly alternate with brilliantly blue skies.

Ponta Delgada, the port city that welcomes MSC cruise ships, is unmistakable.

While still on board, you will be able to admire the imposing Forte de São Brás, dating to the 1300s, which overlooks the docks. Once disembarked, you will have the chance to get a closer look at it. The centre of Ponta Delgada boasts two must-see places of worship, the Church of Sao Jose and the cathedral Igreja Matriz de Sao Sebastiao (began during the Renaissance but with 18th century interiors), and a curious triple arch nearby called Portas da Cidade (1783). This gate is all that remains of the defensive wall that protected Ponta Delgada up to the early modern age.

The facades of the main buildings and the street furniture of the city centre have elaborate black and white decorations. The cobblestones in some of the squares, for example, trace elegant figures along your path. Other must-see places are the Museu Carlos Machado, housed in a former convent, and Convento da Esperança, a massive square tower four stories high that is in use to this day. Adjacent, stands the venerated Santuário do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres.

During an MSC Grand Voyages cruise to Ponta Delgada, it is possible to go on an excursion to Vale das Furnas, about 50 km from the city. The green lake occupying part of this ancient caldera seems like a scene from a fairy tale, while the entire town of Furnas, where you will be able to visit an enchanting botanical garden, is surrounded by flowers.

Must see places in Ponta Delgada

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    Golden beaches and coloured azulejos
    Golden beaches and coloured azulejos

    Five hundred years ago, the Portuguese set off from Lisbon towards the unknown in fleets of wooden ships pushed forward not by motors but by wind and oars.

    Some landed in the Black Continent, others on the shores of China, yet others, in South America. Colonization permanently modified the developmental course of the populations that these bold navigators encountered during their explorations, influencing their habits, customs and even languages. In fact, it is no accident that the official language of a country as immense as Brazil is Portuguese. And just as those fearless explorers of the past, with an MSC cruise to Portugal, you will set off from Lisbon, turning your back on the charm of its old city, an up and down of characteristic streets, wave goodbye to the Belém Tower, from which the explorer Vasco de Gama set off, and begin a transatlantic voyage towards Brazil and Argentina.

    MSC Grand Voyages will take you on a discovery of the colours and rhythms of Rio de Janeiro, the pastel houses of Racife and the great Baroque churches of Salvador de Bahia.