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Levels of difficulty:

1 = Easy cheesy
2 = Easy
3 = Difficult in some places
4 = Intense
5 = Do not even think of it
* = Only with a guide

Suggestions for other walks

The Midj ma Fjon
Santiago + São Vicente + Santo Antão
8 days - difficulty: 0
The Romeo & Juliet
Santiago + São Vicente + Santo Antão
8 days - difficulty: 0

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The Bolaxa

Circuit


Discover the different sides of Cape Verde, from Mindelo the festive (in São Vicente) to São Nicolau the discrete, both with different attitudes, lifestyles and contrasted level of development.

But everywhere you'll be overwhelmed by the same friendliness that reigns over the mountains of São Nicolau, the fishing port of Tarrafal and the colourful streets of Mindelo.

STAY
INFO
PRICES

Type of stay :
Circuit

Island(s) :
São Vicente
São Nicolau
São Vicente

Localities visited :
Mindelo, Ribeira Brava, Tarrafal

Length : 8 days

Maximum difficulty : 0

Visit two sister islands and their common history, whose fate was often linked with one another in the past; if Mindelo in São Vicente was able to develop, it's thanks to the support of the people from São Nicolau - where every family has at least one relative living in São Vicente.

More agricultural, less elegant and more isolated than its neighbour, some areas of São Nicolau seem to have stopped in time. The inhabitants of Mindelo like to return from Tarrafal or from Ribeira Brava with the impression that they were, for a limited time, back in the Mindelo of the past.

Impressive panoramas, beautiful colonial architecture, a lively and desirable quality of life, surprising beaches: São Nicolau is like a secret shared by close friends - make the most of it!
Regions covered : click

Departure
Tour designed for passengers of TAP direct flight to São Vicente.

Day 1
Mindelo is not just about Carnival and parties. There's its majestic bay protecting ships from around the world, the colourful façades, its vendors - with a bucket balanced on their head, selling fish or the vegetable of the day. It's about its youth who meet every evening around the main square. Mindelo is also the home of Cape Verde Trekking. Transfer from the airport to our hotel and night in the historic heart of Mindelo.

Day 2
Transfer by plane to São Nicolau, the archipelago's well-kept secret, only known by insiders. The island seems to be forgotten, yet it generously provides us with a variety of breathtaking landscapes. We discover the Dracaena Draco, scientific name of the Dragon Tree - a centuries-old tree with a distinctive shape, so special it can only be found in Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Madeira. Its sap of bright red colour (called Dragon's blood) is used as a natural dye. Night in a guesthouse in Vila de Ribeira Brava.

Day 3
Listing the names of those who shaped Ribeira Brava is the best way to tell its story: the Cathedral, its first high school run by priests and seminary... The city was once an important, if not essential actor in the development of the archipelago - until other cities, such as Mindelo, Praia and Santa Catarina expanded and took over. The Carnival in Ribeira Brava may not be famous, but it's the only one truly able to compete with the one in Mindelo. Night in a guesthouse in Vila de Ribeira Brava.

Day 4
Transfer to Tarrafal. We can either hop in or choose to only send our luggage while we enjoy the landscapes of this pure, authentic and fascinating island by hiking, at your own pace. Night in a guesthouse in Tarrafal.

Day 5
The real gateway to São Nicolau is to be found on the Western side of the island, in Tarrafal - also the home of the few economic activities of the islands, such as the famous tuna cannery. The black sand of a nearby beach is said to have therapeutic properties. Night in a guesthouse in Tarrafal.

Day 6
Return to Ribeira Brava (called Stancha in Creole). São Nicolau is intimately related to Chiquinho, the work of art, emblematic of Cape Verde, written by Baltasar Lopes da Silva, himself a native of the island - founder of the Claridade intellectual movement, the one that later spawned the independence movement (that reached its goal in 1975).

Day 7
Every family has at least one relative living in São Vicente: no wonder, after spending five days in São Nicolau, that someone asks us to bring back a few gifts to São Vicente for somebody they know. Let's go to Laginha today! It is Mindelo's beach, full of athletes, womanizers, bodybuilders, children; it's also the hottest spot to exchange gossips. Laginha is the ideal place to have a drink in front of a pink, yellow or orange sunset - depending on the time of the year. Night in the historic heart of Mindelo.

Day 8
Last breakfast, Cape Verdean style. Transfer to the airport. Slowly and insidiously, we might feel the first signs of the famous sodade or nostalgia that Cesária Évora sung about. And do you know what? The song was written in São Nicolau and says: “nostalgia of my far away country, sodade for my land of São Nicolau...”

Info
The Bolaxa (pronounced Bola-sch') is a traditional biscuit: made from wheat flour, both the elaboration and taste of the bolaxa d' trig are simple, but don't judge too quickly: it will eventually seduce you by the end of a long walk, and you'll be more than happy to have one.

It is not sweet like other biscuits, although it is devilishly energising; it's a tiny bit stodgy but happens to be the best snack between meals. Besides, they come really handy in a country with a fragile economy - they are not expensive at all!

The bolaxas from Mindelo have a very good reputation, especially the one invented last century by the patriarch Matos, whose gigantic bakery is fought over today by its heirs. The people of São Nicolau and Santo Antão never return from Mindelo without a big bag full of the good bolaxa d' Matos!

Included
All transfers Airport - Hotel - Airport
Round-trip inter-island flights São Vicente - São Nicolau in class T
7 nights in guesthouses/hotels
Transfer Ribeira Brava - Tarrafal - Ribeira Brava
Tourist tax

Price per person

378 € based on two people sharing a double room

359 € based on four people

Price info

Single room extra charge: 77 EUR per person

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