As May begins, the weather forecast in Ponta Delgada starts to get a whole lot brighter. The air temperature starts to warm in preparation for summer. The threat of the downpours experienced earlier in the year diminish. And the entire region takes on a much lighter outlook.
The threat of cloud cover also starts to recede, meaning the chance of having a cloudy day in May in this part of Sao Miguel reduces to just 13%. Even the chance of a windy day in the region declines, ensuring there are plenty of fine days to be had.
Though traditionally, winter in Ponta Delgada is rather wet, by May there is a lot less rain around. During this month, only 56mm of rain are expected to fall throughout the entire time. And with only 12 days expecting any form of precipitation, there are far more dry days than wet ones.
Temperatures in Ponta Delgada in May have reached up to 23°C, with the warmest ever day recorded in 1990. However, even in a normal year, average highs of 19°C are commonplace in May, with average lows still a very mild 13°C.
This is the ideal time to visit Ponta Delgada if you want to enjoy the best of the weather, without the high volumes of tourists that start to arrive in June and July.
Even the sea starts to warm up in May, with average temperatures reaching approximately 18°C. And though the start of the month may see water temperatures slightly below, it does mean that the closer to June you get, the greater chance there is of the sea temperature reaching the 20°C predicted in the sixth month of the year.
Where to Stay
Enjoy a true home away from home feel at the Hotel Canadiano. From the very friendly welcome you receive at reception to the attentive manner of the staff, everything is done to ensure you enjoy your stay. The rooms are basic, but very spacious. Make the most of the May sun by booking accommodation with a balcony. Or enjoy sitting in the communal areas. The hotel is just a short walk from the centre of town, with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. And with very affordable prices throughout the year, a visit to Hotel Canadiano is never going to disappoint.
You really do get the personal touch when you stay at Casa de Ilha. Nicolao, the owner, takes your happiness personally, which means he will do everything he can to make sure you enjoy your stay. From ensuring the cleanliness of your room to suggesting places to visit, the friendly nature is what makes this accommodation so special. The city centre is just a 20 minute walk away, which is easy along the coastal boulevard. And while the Casa does not provide food for its guests, there is a small kitchen where you are free to prepare your own meals. Opt for a garden room and you get your own table and chair set outside. Or choose a terraced room to enjoy the views. Everyone at the Casa de Ilha wants your stay to be perfect.
For something far more tranquil, opt to stay at Quinta Das Acacias Rural Accommodations. These beautiful holiday cottages in Ponta Delgada are set in their own well maintained gardens, protected by secure gate and walls. The out of the way location does mean you will need a car to access the local supermarket, shops and the centre of town. But with this much peace and quiet on offer, you really won't mind at all. Book the entire set of cottages for a group trip or simply hire one for yourself. The staff are truly accommodating, the setting is idyllic and the wonderful location makes it the perfect base to explore the Azores.
Restaurants and Nightlife
For a great evening with great tapas, head down to Reserva Bar. If you want a table for dinner, then booking is essential. But if you just want a drink at the bar with some delicious tasting accompaniments then a reservation is not required. Be warned, in May the Reserva Bar becomes very popular, and will stay that way throughout the summer. This high quality wine bar has a fabulous selection of wines to compliment every palate and it's a great place to meet up with friends. Definitely in vogue and always worth a visit, Reserva Bar may be a little difficult to find, but when discovered, you will feel like you've struck gold.
Enjoy outstanding food served with a smile at Restaurante Gastronomo. This friendly Portuguese restaurant, is bright, open and always full of guests. But the friendly staff will do their best to find you a table, even if you haven't booked. The menu is varied and full of choice, but the fish of the day is always a good bet. And at the end of the meal you will even be invited to savour some of the local liqueurs as recommended by your waiting staff. It's the perfect way to enjoy an incredible meal at a real little treasure trove in Ponta Delgada.
Great steak and no frills is always on the menu at Casa Do Bife O Galego, making it the perfect place to go for a no-nonsense meal. The chefs at Casa Do Bife O Galego have been serving the same meals for years, so you know exactly what you will get from this quirky restaurant. But what you can expect is top quality every time. The décor in the restaurant is not the most attractive, but it is always spotlessly clean. The staff are helpful and you can always opt for the takeaway hatch round the front if you want to enjoy the same delicious meal at home. There are plenty of alternatives for those that don't want steak. And the children's menu is as good as the standard menu. Casa Do Bife O Galego is the kind of place that you go once, and are then lured back over and over again.
Things to Do
May is the time for the largest religious festival of the year in Sao Miguel, which is held in Ponta Delgada. The Festival of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres takes place five Sundays after Easter and is the Portuguese dedication to the miracles performed by Christ. People will come from all over the world to parade down the streets of the town behind the image of Christ. The streets are decorated with flowers and many residents will garnish their homes to reflect the festival. Even if you do not join in with the religious aspect of the day, it is a wonderful time to be in Ponta Delgada.
Whatever the weather in May, it is the perfect time to go hiking in Ponta Delgada. Pure Azores Tours will adjust your tour depending on the climate and the preferences of the people on your tour to ensure you all get to see exactly what you want. And because you'll be on foot most of the time, it's a great way to get some exercise too. Follow the eco trail and regenerate your weary bones in the volcanic hot springs. Or challenge yourself with a climb to Sao Miguel's highest peak. There are hikes for all types of ability to ensure you get to experience a whole different side to this beautiful island.