Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada

Village of Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada Coast
The Coast at Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada belongs to the municipality of São Vicente.  It’s location is about right in the middle of the north coast, 2 km west of Boa Ventura and 6 km east of São Vicente.

History of the village

Ponta Delgada path
Ponta Delgada path

The founder of the village, Manoel Afonso Sanha, died on April 1, 1507, and lies buried in the village church. It was the early founders of the town who established the tradition of dedication to the Lord of Bom Jesus. There is also the patron saint of the village, the Lord of Bom Jesus. The villagers celebrate Bom Jesus on the first day of January. Picturesque Ponta Delgada was once known as the “Corte do Norte” (Court of the North). During the great period of wine export, in the 18th century, some important landowners settled here. Old mansions in the village are reminiscent of this time. Several houses of the old aristocracy still set Ponta Delgada apart. Worth noting are the D. Hilária Freitas Museum and the Horacio Bento Gouveia Museum House. The website of Ponta Delgada tells you more about the village history.

Ponta Delgada today

Ponta Delgada swimming pool
Swimming pool of Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada is best known for its natural landscapes and its beautiful churches and chapels.  But Ponta Delgada also offers pretty walkways and ancient wine presses.
There is a public bathing complex composed of two saltwater pools (adults and children pool), solarium, gardens, changing rooms.   You can sit at the bar or on the terrace.  For information, there is a first aid facility, swimming surveillance and a large parking. Thanks to the construction of a rock wall a small beach was also created.

The village is spread over a vast area, and a real center is hard to find in Ponta Delgada.   However if you explore well you will find three small supermarkets, a petrol station, a pharmacy, and several bars. If you go straight up the road at the petrol station you will reach the village square.

Arraial Senhor Bom Jesus: celebrate in Madeiran style

Araial Senor Bom Jesus
Arraial Senhor Bom Jesus

Every first weekend of September,  the entire village transforms itself in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.  Islanders know the event as the the arraial of Senhor Bom Jesus.   Going back to the 16th century, pilgrims would come from all over the island.   The tradition lives on, even though the religious pilgrims are now a minority.  However, for the celebrations, Ponta Delgada still transforms into a huge open air fair, featuring a mix of food stands and religious events in and around the church.  But that’s not all.   You can hear live traditional folk music and dance, choose a bars, or party into the early hours.  Just for the period of a weekend, the population in the village explodes as thousands of visitors stroll down the streets.

Other traditional celebrations and festivities of Ponta Delgada

Santo Antão is a saint who has many devotees in Madeira. He is the protector of domestic animals and Ponta Delgada celebrates him with a liturgical fest on January 17th. Interestingly, he is also the patron of the parish of Seixal and one of the two patrons of Canico (the other is the Holy Spirit). Mid-January marks the Festa da Santo Antao in the church of Ponta Delgada with a mess and a procession.