Type of stay :
Trek with guide
Localities visited :
Cha de Igreja, Fontainhas, Paúl, Ponta do Sol, Monte Trigo, Tarrafal, Mindelo, Sal Rei, Praia
Length : 14 days
(included 7 of walking)
Maximum difficulty : 4*
Here, the luxuriant vegetation seems to overflow the valleys - there, sand dunes hide stranded wrecks. Here, mango, almond and dragon trees unite to colour the sky - there, selfless palm trees provide a generous shade along endless beaches with white sand.
14 days to have a bite of the archipelago, meet contrasted landscapes and the ever-smiling inhabitants of Cape Verde. A four islands
tour that will turn you upside down, stir you and finally satiate you.
Regions covered : click
For experienced hikers
The statue honouring the deceased barefoot diva Cesária Évora greets us as soon as we set foot on the island of São Vicente. Transfer from the airport to our hotel in Mindelo - our bedroom opens onto a wonderful bay, and the view from the terrace allows us to get acquainted with the country's second biggest city.
Day 2 (Hike: 5 hours - level 3)
A short ferry ride brings us to Santo Antão, where our driver awaits us to take the old road through the island - which offers breathtaking views - to the starting point of today's hike, a plateau. We don't just notice the warmth and friendliness of the inhabitants but also the deserted areas and red stained landscapes - but also the wonderful taste of the local goat cheese. It's time for us to trade the aridity of the plateaus for a green valley, and meet our host family for the night.
Day 3 (Hike: 4 hours - level 2-3)
It's time to cross two wonderful valleys today. While we're at it, why not learn some words of Cape Verdean creole. It will allow us to exchange more than smiles with the local farmers we encounter. Once we reach the village, perhaps after we played ouril (oware) with locals on the square or ran errands at the local merceria (grocery store), we meet our family for tonight, and enjoy a delicious homemade dinner. Simple, human, typically Cape Verdean.
Day 4 (Hike: 6 hours - level 2-3)
Let us not miss a second of this spectacular hike, one of the most beautiful of Cape Verde: the one along the coast. We're not alone: to our right, the base of steep, if not vertical cliffs, to our left, the endless sea. Small paths used by shepherds take us through exceptional landscapes, each curve revealing new surprises. We conceived this tour as the most beautiful of the island.
Day 5 (Hike: 3 hours - level 2-3)
Today, we'll have a much closer encounter with the greenest and most tropical valley amongst the whole archipelago, the divine valley of Paúl.
Free day in Paúl, the valley of thousand hikes. On today's agenda: relax! The following days will require some energy, so kick back and enjoy this little break amongst enchanting green sceneries.
Day 7 (Hike: 5 hours - level 2-3)
Let's head back to Porto Novo to meet our guide - he brought the picnics we'll later gobble down. After a short ride to the centre of the island, from which we sort our luggage to only take what we need for the following 2 nights, we start today's hike that will take us through an astonishing moonscape, typical of this side of the island, and through the crater of an old volcano... The contrast with the Riberia de Paúl is striking. A host family welcomes us for the night, the delicious and nourishing homemade dinner helps us gather our strength...
Day 8 (Hike: 8 hours - level 4*)
...because we give an early start to one of the longest and loneliest hike the island can offer. But the landscapes, the silence and the peaceful atmosphere are worth the trouble... We enjoy our dinner in the canteen of a primary school, and a room overlooking the sea will be our shelter for tonight.
Day 9 (Hike: 3 hours - level 2-3)
Last stage before reaching heaven - the view upon the sea and a rocky trail will be our only fellow travellers today. Green sceneries will soon replace the former moonscapes - we've reached our goal. Let's celebrate our reunion with our luggage by spending the rest of the day by the ocean, perhaps even by dipping our feet in the water or dozing off in the sun.
Back to civilisation. Another early start allows us to enjoy the beautiful landscapes illuminated by the morning sun, as we drive through a somewhat rough road back to the harbour. We bid our guide farewell and board the ferry back to Mindelo.
Time to leave São Vicente and greet the famous diva a last time - we're off to Boa Vista, the sand island. Our little residence on the seaside feels like home, far away from the massive hotels that sprouted on the island.
Let's just do nothing and enjoy idleness - we deserved it! Boa Vista is perfect for that: endless beaches, smooth sand dunes, astonishing oasis, postcard colours... Our telephones are unplugged; nobody, nothing can disturb our time off.
We wanted to solve all of the world's problems, to determine if there is an infinite number of regular primes; we wanted to translate Hamlet in SMS language and to investigate the meaning of life. But finally, no, none of that. Let's live through yesterday exactly the way it went. And if we're reckless, we'll have pineapple instead of kiwi in our caïpirinhas - life is all about taking risks.
White sand, turquoise water, palm trees, idleness - we have to share all that. Which means, sadly, make room for others... We leave Boa Vista and return to the capital city of Praia, in Santiago.
The Plateau is the historic centre of Praia; although the architecture is quite similar, its atmosphere is different than the half Mediterranean, half Caribbean Mindelo. Praia is distinctively more African, as its central market can attest. Praia, the only place in Cape Verde where one can find red lights - and sometimes, they even work. Let's have a last catchupa in one of the numerous cafés of the pedestrian zone, before we head back to Europe after these exotic 2 weeks. But let's not think about going home. Let's focus on that second catchupa we've just ordered...
A few nights without luggage
ferry tickets Sao Vicente > Santo Antao > Sao Vicente
domestic flights Santiago > Boavista > Santiago incl. taxes
14 overnights with breakfast, incl. overnight tax
Included meals: 4x lunchbag, 3x lunch, 8x dinner
program as described: 3x hike with englishspeaking guide, 4x hike with roadbook
All airport-, harbour- and other transfers mentioned in the program
our 24/7 emergency service
Not included services:
Visa for Cape Verde (25 EUR)
Not mentioned meals and all drinks
All services that are not mentioned
Price per person
1359 € based on two people sharing a double room
1149 € based on four people in double rooms
Single room extra charge (Day 1, 4-6, 9-14): 180 EUR per person