Type of stay :
Trek with guide
Localities visited :
Cha de Igreja, Figueiras, Ribeira da Cruz, Norte, Tope de Coroa, Monte Trigo, Tarrafal
Length : 8 days
(included 7 of walking)
Maximum difficulty : 4
Slightly challenging, this combination of hikes will take you through wonderful and isolated valleys - as some are only accessible by foot. Along with your guide, your calves will help you to reach the summit of the island (the highest after Fogo's peak, no less!), where you'll enjoy a wonderful view upon the western side of the island, before reaching the ocean and one of the most beautiful bays of Cape-Verde.
- the hospitality of the host families
- the little coastal villages
- the moonscape
- the ascent to Tope de Coroa
- Off-the-beaten-path valleys
- well-deserved rest in the bay of Tarrafal
(Please note that the pictures have been taken during the dry season - usually the landscapes are much greener)
Regions covered : click
Day 1 (Hike 4 hours // level 2-3 // + 600 m / - 350m)
Let's start by driving up the old road that goes through the island, the one with the amazing panoramas - we'll pass by an ancient crater and a pine tree forest. It's wonderful - and it's only the beginning of the journey!
We start our wanderings through two beautiful valleys. Learning some words of Cape Verdean creole allows us to exchange more than smiles with the local farmers we encounter. Once we've reached the village, we meet our host family for tonight, and enjoy a delicious homemade dinner. Simple, human, typically Cape Verdean.
Day 2 (Hike 7 hours // level 4* // + 1200m / -700m)
Today we'll test our own strength during this beautiful, yet slightly challenging hike that few lucky people know. Early in the morning, we walk along the coast and our smart guide teaches us the famous rule of the 7 waves. Once on the other side, we start going up, then down, then up again. Our destination is a valley that is only reachable by foot, where we'll sleep in the elementary school. The amenities are more than simple, but the place and the people are so friendly that we'll feel like kings (night without luggage).
Day 3 (Hike 5 hours // level 3 // +800 m / -600m)
This trek we do for fun - others do out of necessity. Let's keep this in mind as we hike this beautiful and easier path. We walk along the coast until we reach a cliff: perhaps the nicest place to enjoy our picnics and rest for a bit, before going the other side. In a beautiful rural region, we spend the night in the wonderful holiday house of a local family, living in Mindelo. The family living in the village will take good care of us, so good we'll probably want to stay longer (night without luggage).
Day 4 (Hike 4 hours // level 3 // + 1100 m / - 300m)
At first, the hike is a bit disappointing, the landscape has nothing special - did the guide fool us? But against all odds, after a curve, we stand before a beautiful green and lush valley (and suddenly, our guide is our BFF again). The state of the path shows how little it is used: we definitely are far away from mass tourism. Few tourists reach this part of the island. On a high plateau, we finally enjoy a view upon all the valleys we crossed. The few goats we encounter here and there are unmistakable signs that we are getting closer to our next stop. Night in the rustic home of a family.
Day 5 (Hike 7 hours // level 4* // +1300 m / -1300m)
After a nice cup of tea at dawn, we start to climb the highest mountain of the island: Tope de Coroa (literally: the top of the crown), which peaks at 1979 metres (6493 feet) - the second highest point after Fogo's Pico Grande. On our way, we realise
having a guide wasn't a bad idea after all, since there are many little paths to reach the summit... He will not fail to bring us safely to our kind host family.
Day 6 (Hike 7 hours // level 4* // +600m / -1700m)
Another early start today, because we have the longest and loneliest hike the island can offer ahead of us. But the landscapes, the silence and the peaceful atmosphere are worth the trouble! What a beautiful spectacle that is the sight of the wild and untamed nature before us. Finally, we enjoy our dinner in the canteen of a primary school, and a room overlooking the sea will be our shelter for tonight (night without luggage).
Day 7 (Hike 3 hours // level 2-3 // +300m / -300m)
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 practicing our Creole with local fishermen.
Back to what is called 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.
Accommodation for 7 nights: guesthouse, school, homestay
7 days of hikes with guide
All transfers according to the program
Luggage transfer (except D2, 3 and 6)
Possibility to add a few days in Tarrafal to this hike, in order to enjoy one of the most beautiful sites of the archipelago - just ask for it !
Price per person
805 € based on two people in one double room
530 € based on four people in two double rooms
Single room extra charge: 12 EUR