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Travel Guide > São Vicente > Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada

The “Court of the North”

Ponta Delgada civil parish was described by the Portuguese writer Agostina Bessa Luís as the «Corte do Norte» (Court of the North), because of the level of cultural sophistication and nobility of its population. It seems the promontory upon which it is situated will try to detach itself from the island and float away into the ocean. In fact, the land, the birthplace of the departed Madeiran writer Horácio Bento de Gouveia, is made up of a large fajã (a landfall at the base of a cliff, forming an area of reasonably flat land), and an upper level plateau called lombadas (brows), comprising the 1st, 2nd and 3rd lombadas.
Agostina also described the beauty, the climate and the hospitable population of this village.
Ponta Delgada civil parish belongs to São Vicente municipality and covers an area of 8.8 km2. The parish’s economy relies particularly on agriculture, small retail businesses and services, and tourism.
Ponta Delgada is surrounded by Boaventura parish, on the east, and by São Vicente (Chief Town of the Municipality), on the west .
The climate is very pleasant in this civil parish.
uring the winter, the temperatures do not usually drop below 14ºC (57ºF), and in the summer they average 29ºC (84ºF). In fact, Ponta Delgada is one of the hottest civil parishes within the São Vicente municipality.
Regarding the origins of its name, and according to Gaspar Frutuoso in his book “Saudades da Terra”  (nostalgia for the homeland) Ponta Delgada owes its name to being a “this thin stretch of land, fading away into the sea, in deep contrast with the cliff that had crumbled down beside it».
According to some sources, Ponta Delgada became a civil parish in 1552, after the settlement that took place towards de end of the 15th century, when donations of plots of land to aristocrats are known to have been made. Amongst the parish’s settlers were people from Minho, Alentejo e Algarve.
How to Get There
To get to Ponta Delgada from Funchal you must follow the freeway towards Câmara de Lobos - Ribeira Brava. At Ribeira Brava, you must follow the Estrada Regional 101 (regional road) towards the high mountains, away from the houses, heading towards São Vicente. You can take the fast route via the tunnel, or you can go via the old road.
After having arrived at São Vicente, as soon as you get to the sea, you must turn right towards Ponta Delgada.
You can also get to Ponta Delgada through Santana, on the other side, passing São Jorge, Arco de São Jorge and Boaventura, through Estrada Regional 101 (regional road).

How to get to Parishes

  • Como chegar à Ponta Delgada

  • Historical Facts about the Parishes

  • História de Ponta Delgada

  • About the Parishes in Madeira Island

  • Caracterização da Ponta Delgada

  • Museums and Exhibitions in Madeira Island

  • Casa do Ladrilho/Casa Museu Horácio Bento Gouveia (House of Tiles)

  • Natural Pools, Streams, Waterfalls in Madeira Island

  • Ribeira da Camisa (Stream)
  • Complexo balnear da Ponta Delgada

  • Civil Defence - Emergency Service in Madeira Island

  • Serviço Regional de Protecção Civil da Madeira (Madeira Regional Civil Defence Service)

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