Car Hire from Ponta Delgada Airport
Known as “The Green Island”, São Miguel Island in the North Atlantic Ocean is lush and picturesque. There is great surfing in the north and the bustling capital of Ponta Delgada in the south with lots of excellent golf courses and idyllic beaches in between. It’s possible to drive around the island in a day so those who choose to hire a car from Ponta Delgada Airport will get to see almost every inch of its beauty.
Where to hire a car at Ponta Delgada Airport
There are three car hire companies operating at Ponta Delgada Airport. These are Autatlantis, Ilha Verde and Hertz. The car hire desks are located in the main arrivals hall, left as you exit the baggage claim area.
Petrol Stations near Ponta Delgada Airport
Depending on the fuel policy in your car hire agreement you may need to refuel the car before dropping it off at the airport.
The closest petrol station to the airport is located in Ponta Delgada town. It’s a BP garage on Avenida Antero de Quental, just 5 minutes from the airport terminal.
Driving around Ponta Delgada Airport
Ponta Delgada Airport is well connected by local road networks. EN1-1A heads both north west and east from the airport along the coast. The road runs around the entire perimeter of the island making it very difficult to get lost. A number of smaller roads connect to the internal areas of the island.
Roads can be narrow, particularly in towns and villages, and winding, especially towards the north east of the island. However, all routes are well-maintained and traffic is rarely an issue.
Getting to your destination
Many areas of São Miguel are inaccessible unless you’ve got your own set of wheels. With a hire car from Ponta Delgada Airport, the following places are all within easy reach:
Ponta Delgada is the largest town on São Miguel Island. It’s a picturesque place with lush green hills, dotted with white-washed buildings, rolling down to the coast. There are a number of 17th and 18th century religious buildings to visit and a lovely promenade for a stroll along the coast. Ponta Delgada is also famous for its pineapple production, so visitors should be sure to try a slice on their visit to the town.
It’s just a five minute drive from Ponta Delgada Airport to Ponta Delgada town. Drivers can take the R1-1A for a junction before picking up Avenida Antero de Quental into the town centre. It’s a relatively small town so parking up and exploring on foot is the best idea.
As a volcanic island, São Miguel is home to a number of hot springs, the majority of which are centred around the town of Furnas. The smell of sulphur may be a little off-putting at first but visitors can enjoy a warming dip in the thermal waters and see a number of volcanic pools. There are lots of traditional eateries nearby and beautiful parks to explore too.
Furnas is a 45 minute drive from Ponta Delgada Airport, taking the R1-1A away from the airport and then picking up route EN1-1A. There is plenty of parking available at Terra Nostra Park where you’ll find the hot springs and surrounding parkland.
Ribeira Grande is the second largest town on São Miguel. It sits on the north coast of the island. Visitors travel to Ribeira Grande to experience its beautiful old town and the nearby attraction of Lagoa do Fogo, an impressive crater lake. The beaches around Ribeira Grande are popular with surfers and windsurfers and there are some wonderful seafood restaurants to try too.
It takes just 20 minutes to get from Ponta Delgada Airport to Ribeira Grande. Drivers should take the R1-1A away from the airport and then pick up the EN1-1A before heading inland. The old town, with narrow cobbled streets, is difficult to navigate by car. It’s best to park up on the outskirts and walk to the town’s central attractions.