After 7 straight sea days, our first port visit was in Ponta Delgada, Azores. Neither one of us had been here before and were anxious to explore the immediate vicinity on foot. Alas, Liz must have eaten something the night before that didn’t agree with her, so she opted to stay onboard while I went ashore. I I had heard that there was a “farmers market” nearby and I wanted to check that out and I wanted to see the City Hall, Three Arches area as well. Before leaving the ship I checked out Google Maps and got a feel for the street layout and set off.

Going to the Farmers Market was a good decision. While there a trio of older men, eager to practice their limited English, told me that nearby the City Hall was the Cafe Central and I should stop there and get a sampler plate of several types of local sausages and try some of the local beer. When I got to Cafe Central I found a table in the shade and placed my order, WOW, it was all wonderful including one of the sausages that looked a little dangerous.

Ponta Delgada is located on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago that rises from the deep blue of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Lesser-known and with fewer crowds than their Atlantic neighbors of the Canary Islands and Madeira, the Azores offer a more remote feel, with plenty of off-the-beaten-track experiences to discover. The nine volcanic islands of the Azores—lying almost 1,000 miles from Portugal’s mainland—share similar characteristics of glistening lakes, volcanic beaches, steaming hot springs, and cliff-hugging roads that weave through dense green forests.

Ponta Delgada, the Azores’ charming capital, has a dazzling dining scene, owing to the island’s plentiful natural bounty. Ponta Delgada is compact enough to explore during a day trip, with historic landmarks and a pretty waterfront, but it’s also the perfect base from which to seek out some of São Miguel’s more dramatic natural attractions.

Mercado da Graca leading to the farmers market.
Pineapples at the market.
Pineapple plant at the market.
Harbor View
Road to City Hall
City Hall and statue of Cabral
The infamous Three Arches.
Cafe Central
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