Car Rental in Ponta Delgada
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
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Why rent a car in Ponta Delgada?
Ponta Delgada is not only the largest city in the Azores, it is arguably the only one. A logistics hub, it is the location of the archipelago’s busiest international airport and a great place from which to explore all the natural riches of São Miguel. Better yet, it is also a historic and cultural place that’s a worthy destination in its own right.
Top ways to enter Ponta Delgada
- Ponta Delgada Airport: Also known as João Paulo II Airport, it handles about two million travelers per year. The airport has flights by 14 different airlines, including low-cost carriers like Ryanair, and offers flights to such varied destinations as London, Brussels, Geneva, Boston, and Montreal. Ponta Delgada Airport is 5km (3.1 miles) northwest of the Ponta Delgada city center and takes about eight minutes to reach.
- By sea: There is a frequent ferry service connecting Ponta Delgada to other islands of the Azores like Santa Maria and Terceira. Most rental car providers permit bringing a rental car on board, but you should still make sure in advance. Also, ask your rental car provider if they permit you to bring the rental car on a ferry. If you’re arriving in Ponta Delgada by ferry, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Ponta Delgada Port.
- Ponta Delgada has a Mediterranean climate, albeit with strong subtropical and oceanic influences. Like the rest of the Azores, the island of São Miguel is nearly halfway between Europe and North America and also close to the continent of Africa. The island has very warm, relatively dry summers and cool, rainy winters. The average high temperature is 25.3 °C (77.5 °F) in August, the hottest month, and 16.6 °C (61.9 °F) in January, the coolest.
- With a population of nearly 70,000, Ponta Delgada is by far the largest city not only on São Miguel, but in all of the Azores (nearly 30% of all the archipelago’s population live here). Established in the 15th century as a fishing settlement, Ponta Delgada grew steadily and was an important maritime outpost of the Portuguese Empire.
Top destinations and activities
- Carlos Machado Museum. One of the main indoor attractions in Azores, this museum features natural discoveries made by Portuguese explorers, impressive religious art, and different exhibitions related to the history of the islands. The museum is located in a former convent and still has an impressive wooden altar.
- Arnel Lighthouse. Located at the Ponta do Arnel, the easternmost point of the island, this impressive lighthouse on a cliff is one of the most impressive places in São Miguel. It is a challenge to reach it, but those who persevere will be rewarded with truly magical ocean views. Located some 45km (28 miles) from Ponta Delgada, the lighthouse can be reached in 40 minutes.
- The City of Ponta Delgada. A quintessential Portuguese town, you can enjoy wandering through the cobblestone streets among the colorful buildings. Stop at one of the many cafes for a bite to eat, like fresh seafood or a hearty stew typical of the islands. Don’t miss some of the Old Town landmarks, like the Portas da Cidade (City Gates), Praca do Municipio square with the town hall, or Largo da Matriz square with the São Sebastião church.
- Whale watching. European countries like Norway, Iceland, and Ireland are famous for their whale-watching tours, but the Azores, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, offers just as good, if not better, opportunities to see these magnificent creatures. Sperm whales, blue whales, and humpback whales, as well as bottlenose and spotted dolphins, are frequent visitors to the Azores. The whale watching season typically lasts from April to early October. There are many whale-watching tours in Ponta Delgada and the rest of São Miguel that you can join, but keep in mind that it’s a good idea to book your place in advance. Be sure to read more about what you need to know before visiting the Azores.
Traffic and parking
- You can only enter the roundabout after giving way to cars already on it.
- The car documentation and insurance always has to be inside a vehicle.
- Drivers can only use a mobile phone if it is a hands free or an earpiece.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.2 for novice drivers.
- Safety cameras are in use.
- When parking in a street, your car must be parked facing the direction of travel.
There are no toll roads on São Miguel, but some motorways are subject to fees on mainland Portugal. See the official site toll road site for maps and fees.
Ideas for day trips
For more about traveling around the Azores Islands with a rental car, check out our complete guide.
- Lagoa das Sete Cidades. Home to beautiful twin lakes, Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde (or the green and blue lakes), Sete Cidades is a crater and a volcanic complex. Surrounded by impressive mountains, it offers great views of the rest of the island and is one of the most popular tourist attractions on São Miguel. Located in the northwestern part of the island, Sete Cidades is about 50km (31 miles) from Ponta Delgada and takes 50 minutes to reach.
- Lagoa da Fogo. Also known as the Lake of Fire, this volcanic reservoir is even higher up in the mountains than Sete Cidades. Perhaps the most Azores place imaginable, Lagoa de Fogo will fill you with a sense of awe (and your camera with awe-inspiring photos). Located some 33km (20 miles), by road, from Ponta Delgada, the lake can be reached in some 30 minutes.
- Ponta da Ferraria. Located in the northwestern part of the island, the cove of Ponta da Ferraria is the location of famous hot springs. Visited by locals for centuries, it is best visited during a low tide. The water temperature in the springs often reaches and even exceeds 30º C (86 F). The cove is located near a popular spa center. Ponta da Ferraria is 48km (30 miles) from Ponta Delgada and can be reached in about 50 minutes.
- Nordeste. Another popular day trip, the northeastern part of the island is notable for its nature. Made up of rugged beaches, coastal, forest-covered mountains, and green valleys, the area has some of the nicest hiking trails anywhere in the Azores — although you can also just find a place with a stunning view to kick back and relax at. The drive from São Miguel takes about 35 minutes.
- Furnas. As suggested by its name — Furnas means crater in Portuguese — this central area of the island is known for its volcanic formations and geothermal activity. Marvel at the steaming geysers, take a dip in a hot spring, and make sure to try local cuisine that is cooked via the earth’s heat in pots that are dug underground. The trip from the island’s capital takes only about 45 minutes.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in the Azores is the VW Polo, but travelers also pick the Ford Fiesta and the Fiat 500 a lot. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- Important: São Miguel has direct ferry services to two other islands, Terceira and Santa Maria. The ferries are only active during the warmer months of the year, and even then, trips can be canceled because of stormy weather. Most ferry companies permit taking a car onboard, but it’s a good idea to book a ticket in advance (you’ll need a separate ticket for your vehicle). Also, make sure to ask your rental car provider if they permit you to jump between islands. If you wish to reach the other islands by ferry, it’s possible to do so by changing boats in Terceira or even via multiple layovers, but this can take a lot of time. An easier option is to drop off one rental car in Ponta Delgada, take a flight, and pick up a new rental after arriving at your destination.
- Santa Maria. The southernmost of the Azores islands and the one closest to São Miguel, Santa Maria is a relaxed, sparsely populated place. Warmer and more dry than the rest of the Azores, this island of picturesque nature and quaint villages is a great place for a slow, enjoyable holiday.
- Terceira. The island of Terceira is best-known as the location of Angra do Heroismo. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this historic town is home to probably more man-made landmarks and impressive buildings than the rest of the Azores combined. Nature lovers should be excited, too - Terceira is home to truly fascinating volcanic caves.
- Pico. The small island of Pico is named after Mount Pico, the highest point in all of Portugal. An ancient volcano that dominates the landscape, it offers mind-blowing views of the rest of the island and the ocean from the top (it is possible to climb the mountain, but you’ll need to pay a fee of 15-20 euros; it is possible to join a tour and go with a guide).
Car Rental Prices in Ponta Delgada
- Convertibles - from $85 per day
- Station wagons - from $44 per day
- Large cars - from $56 per day
- Medium cars - from $26 per day
- Vans - from $61 per day
- Premium cars - from $105 per day
- Small cars - from $22 per day
- SUVs - from $25 per day
There are ways get a good rental car deal in Ponta Delgada:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Ponta Delgada is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 44% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 67% cheaper than renting a car in July.
Top 8 Cities near Ponta Delgada
31.7 km / 19.7 miles away
Vila do Porto Car Rentals from $31.14 per day96.9 km / 60.2 miles away
Praia da Vitoria Car Rentals from $16.67 per day167.8 km / 104.3 miles away
Angra do Heroismo Car Rentals from $16.67 per day168.9 km / 104.9 miles away
Sao Jorge Car Rentals from $31.14 per day241.5 km / 150.1 miles away
Pico Car Rentals from $31.14 per day258.3 km / 160.5 miles away
Horta Car Rentals from $20.90 per day279.8 km / 173.9 miles away
Santa Cruz das Flores Car Rentals from $31.14 per day511.0 km / 317.5 miles away
Top 10 Locations near Ponta Delgada
Ponta Delgada Airport Car Rentals from $7.80 per day
Downtown Car Rentals from $14.38 per day0.7 km / 0.4 miles away
Ponta Delgada Port Car Rentals from $14.38 per day0.8 km / 0.5 miles away
Santa Maria Airport Car Rentals from $31.14 per day96.9 km / 60.2 miles away
Lajes Terceira Airport Car Rentals from $16.67 per day167.8 km / 104.3 miles away
Sao Jorge Airport Car Rentals from $31.14 per day241.5 km / 150.1 miles away
Pico Airport Car Rentals from $31.14 per day258.3 km / 160.5 miles away
Horta Port Car Rentals from $20.98 per day272.8 km / 169.5 miles away
Horta Airport Car Rentals from $20.90 per day279.8 km / 173.9 miles away
Santa Cruz das Flores Airport Car Rentals from $31.14 per day511.0 km / 317.5 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Ponta Delgada?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Ponta Delgada?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Ponta Delgada?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||6|
|Popular suppliers||Ilha Verde, ANC Azores Holidays.PT, Magic Islands Rent A Car, Micauto, Way2Azores Rent|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$8 per day|
|Cheapest supplier||Magic Islands Rent A Car|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Ilha Verde||Renault Twingo||3||1||Small cars|
|ANC Azores Holidays.PT||Volkswagen Up||5||1||Small cars|
|Ilha Verde||Renault Clio||5||2||Small cars|
|Micauto||Fiat Panda||5||1||Small cars|
|ANC Azores Holidays.PT||Opel Corsa Hatchback||5||2||Small cars|
|Magic Islands Rent A Car||Volkswagen Polo||5||2||Small cars|
|Way2Azores Rent||Volkswagen Polo||5||2||Medium cars|
|Magic Islands Rent A Car||Smart ForFour||5||1||Small cars|
|Ilha Verde||Hyundai i10||5||1||Small cars|
|ANC Azores Holidays.PT||Fiat New 500||3||1||Small cars|
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