While the other airports of the archipelago are only designed for national air traffic or flights between the islands or to continental Portugal, the Ponta Delgada airport is mainly used for direct flights from various European countries. The flight from Frankfurt am Main to the Azores capital Ponta Delgada takes about 4.5 hours. The airport was built in 1963 and opened six years later in August 1969, when Ponta Delgada Airport had the same function as the other airports in the Azores: to ensure air traffic to the other islands. You can rent a car directly at the Airport and discoverer the Island by car. On Driveboo.com you can find cheap car rental offers. Just book them online and save money through our price comparison. On our website you can find car rental deals from all major car hire companies.
Subtropical climate and largely balanced temperatures ensure that the Azores, which belong to Portugal, are increasingly becoming the focus of international tourists. The archipelago of the Azores comprises nine smaller islands and is located about 1,370 kilometres west of the European continent. From an administrative point of view, the whole autonomous region belongs to Portugal and is therefore part of the European Union. Since the climate is dominated by the high Azores almost all year round, tourists come to the archipelago in all seasons. The humid climate generates an extremely lush vegetation on all the Azores, which in some regions alternates with comparatively volcanic landscapes.
There are several airports in the Azores, and we will discuss their specific characteristics later in this article. The largest airport is the international airport Ponta Delgada, located on the main island of São Miguel, also known as Aeroporto João Paulo II in Portugal. The airport near the city of Ponta Delgada will probably be your airport of arrival, so you probably want to explore the main island from here with a rented car. The vehicle you rent or reserve ideally with us.
In the following we describe the airport, show you the way to the car rental service and explain at which pick-up point you can get your rental car.
Although flight operations to the mainland began in 1971, there was no car rental service at the airport, where travellers could rent cheaply rented cars to explore the island. The first rental car providers established themselves at the airport in 1995, when the new terminal was put into operation and flights from European countries increasingly landed at the airport. Like other airports in the Azores, the operator is ANA, which is also responsible for developing the airport's future infrastructure. In 2016, Ponta Delgada Airport recorded 7,800 aircraft movements with 1.5 million passengers taking off or landing at Ponta Delgada Airport. Today, the airport has a modern terminal with separate levels for departure and arrival. Its IATA code is PDL.
On our comparison website you will find every car rental company operating at Ponta Delgada Airport. Compare the services and prices of car rental companies on our website. This means that you can not only rent your car at a particularly low price, but also provide it with all the necessary accessories and insurance coverage. If you book in advance, you have the option of choosing the full range of services offered by any car rental company. You will find exactly the right car for your needs and benefit from attractive discounts.
After arriving at Ponta Delgada Airport PDL, you can take a relaxed stroll to the counter of your car rental company and, after completing a few formalities, pick up the car at the provider's pick-up point.
Unlike many European airports, the offices of car rental companies at Ponta Delgada Airport are not located in the arrivals hall. Ideally, you first pick up your luggage from the treadmill and then contact your car rental company by mobile phone. Your provider's staff will pick you up from the terminal, as there is no alternative bus shuttle at the airport.
Every car rental company is located in one of the car parks on the airport grounds, the office is often within sight of the pick-up station. In the office, the rental contract must be checked and signed for completeness, after which the cheaply booked rental car will be inspected at the pick-up station. Before doing so, you should ask the car hire company for the fueling regulations.
You cannot fill up your car at the airport but you will find several petrol stations at the end of the runway on your way to Ponta Delgada. The last stop in front of the airport PDL, coming from the village, is located in the Avenida Principe Do Monaco, operated by Galp and is open from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm.
According to our experience, the rental cars of every car rental company at Ponta Delgada Airport PDL are in mint condition. Before renting, however, you should check the functionality of all controls, especially for lighting or brakes. It is also important to check your rented car for existing scratches. If dents or scratches are visible, they must be noted in a list of defects. Why? Because otherwise the car rental company can hold you responsible for the return. In case of defects that impair traffic safety, please ask your rental car provider for equivalent replacement.
All airports in the Azores are particularly heavily served by Portugal or other European countries during the summer months. At Ponta Delgada Airport, the high number of passengers regularly results in bottlenecks at every car rental company. It's hard to find a car that is cheap to rent, comparison of the suppliers is made considerably more difficult by the distances between each other. Cheap renting is therefore a matter of luck and also involves a lot of work. After you have found a reasonably priced and suitable rental car, you need to make the booking. When doing so, please take into account many important details.
During the high season it can take a long time until the formalities are completed and you can take a look at the rental car at the pick-up point. So always rent your car in advance via a transparent price comparison, you save money and a lot of effort.
You can discover Ponta Delgada and the main island with your cheaply bought rental car, but you must not take it on a ferry to explore the other islands. If you are drawn to the other islands of the Azores, you should ideally fly with an inland ticket to one of the airports there. You will also find car rental companies there and can make reservations with us in advance for security reasons.
As at Ponta Delgada Airport PDL, you must be at least 23 years old to rent a car at any of the other airports. It is also assumed that you have held your driving licence for at least one year.
I would now like to make a brief comment on all the airports in the Azores. In the media, Portugal's airports and especially those in the archipelago are described as dangerous because of the frequent occurrence of so-called shear winds. However, these sudden strong gusts of wind from different directions pose challenges to pilots at many global airports. The phenomenon is handled professionally throughout the world and has not led to any serious incidents on the Portuguese mainland or on the islands in recent years.
In the Azores, the traffic rules of the state of Portugal apply and they do not really differ from those of other European countries. However, the inhabitants often stand out due to their emotional and gesture-rich driving style. Don't let it spoil your mood, enjoy the most well-developed roads of the island with your rental car. After the pick-up station at the airport exit, you will reach the small town of Ponta Delgada five kilometres away in a few minutes, using the motorway EN1 - A1 which runs at the airport.
The town has a population of about 70,000 inhabitants and numerous sights that can be easily reached by car rental at the airport. A car is even necessary, as the individual attractions are often several kilometres apart. Discover the charming beauty of the island of Sao Miguel by renting a car. For example, drive just under 20 kilometres to Lagoa Do Fogo and enjoy the magnificent view at an altitude of 1,000 metres.