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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 Considerable
Santiago + Fogo + São Vicente
14 days - difficulty: 4*
The Essential
São Vicente + Santo Antão
7 days - difficulty: 3

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The Great Escape

Trek in group

Walk across Santo Antão from end to end - the best way not to miss anything from this beautiful and still secluded island. A journey through sugar cane fields, along the coast, along impressive mountain ridges or at the bottom of green valleys.


Type of stay :
Trek in group

Island(s) :
Santo Antão

Localities visited :
Porto Novo, Paúl, Pombas, Chã d'Igreja, Tarrafal

Length : 13 days
(included 11 of walking)

Maximum difficulty : 4*

With this journey across Santo Antão, you'll see everything and walk everywhere, from East to West, from luxurious sceneries to arid landscapes, from beautiful and popular areas to more isolated, if not totally unknown regions.
Regions covered : click

For experienced and well-trained hikers

9: 00 in Porto Novo

Day 1(Hike: 5 hours - level 2-3)
In Porto Novo, we meet our companion for the following 12 days: our guide. Together we take the old Road of the Rope, from which we enjoy the spectacular view - from there, we descend the valley of Paúl, one of the most fertile and greenest valleys of Santo Antão. It's in the mountains that we spend the night in a small hotel: the dinner is simply delicious.

Day 2 (Hike: 4 hours - level 2-3)
We leave our hotel in the morning, bent on the quest of the valley of Paúl. It might include rambling through green sceneries, greeting numerous smiling inhabitants and, if we are in a biologist mood, we can try identifying tropical plants. An invigorating picnic lunch among sugar canes inspires us to be on the lookout for dragon trees.

Day 3 (Hike: 6 hours - level 2-3)
We give an early start to one of the most spectacular hikes of Cape Verde: the one along the coast. Trails built by shepherds, right above the ocean, lead us through exceptional landscapes - it goes up and down, each curve revealing new surprises. Encountering local people, courageously enduring the harsh living conditions, enables us to improve our Creole. We finally reach the small village of Chã d'igreja, where we meet our host family for the night.

Day 4 (Hike: 4 hours - level 2-3)
A nice cup of tea at breakfast gives us the energy to cross two superb valleys: there, we attend a symphony of colours and fragrances; the variety of the flora is astonishing. An adorable Cape Verdean family hosts us tonight - and we fall asleep to the sound of frogs croaking, further down in the valley.

Day 5 (Hike: 4, 5 hours - level 2-3)
We follow our guide along a little path through green valleys, sugar cane and terraced fields - and numerous grogue (rhum) distilleries. Later, a car collects us and brings us back to our hotel.

Day 6 (Hike: 5 hours - level 3)
Today, we're heading back South: we need to leave the valley where we spent the night in order to reach a plateau, from which one can distinguish the contours of the Southern coast. Vast and impressive: it's on this plateau that we eat and bivouac tonight.

Day 7(Hike: 4 hours - level 3-4)
After thanking our cooks for the lovely dinner, the breakfast and the picnic we'll later gobble down, we start descending towards West. The little path we are following offers us the possibility to gaze at the wonderful panoramas. As we reach our accommodation for the night and discover the lovely dinner ready for us, we can't help but wonder: how on Earth could it be prepared in such a small and isolated kitchen?

Day 8 (Hike: 5 hours - level 3)
Early in the morning, we continue our wanderings in the western part of the island - but it seems as if we're on the Moon. Slowly but surely, we ascend the crater of an old volcano and land in a region that is radically different: the landscapes, the sounds, the sensations are not the same. It's during dinner or at night at the latest that we trade our sense of reality and our pace for the local one.

Day 9 (Hike: 5 hours - level 4*)
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 sight of this moonscape and striking colours of the region will be engraved in our memories for a long time, so will the souvenir of the delightful dinner our host family cooked for us.

Day 10 (Hike: 7 hours - level 4*)
Another early start today, because we have the longest and loneliest hike the island can offer ahead of us. But the serenity of the landscapes and the peaceful atmosphere are worth it... We enjoy our dinner in the canteen of a primary school, and a room overlooking the sea will be our shelter for tonight.

Day 11 (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 practicing our Creole with local fishermen. And if we're tired, there's always the possibility to nap on the beach.

Day 12
Free day in Tarrafal, to fresh up, gather strengths and why not buy souvenirs in this small village that has a lot to offer.

Day 13
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.

3 nights without luggage

All transfers
Your guide for 12 days
10 picnics
3 lunches
Accommodation for 11 nights
1 night in bivouac
Luggage transfer
3 nights without luggage (Day 3, 7 and 10)
Tourist tax

Possibility to add to this hike a few days in Tarrafal, to enjoy the bay; in this case, Day 13 transfer will occur on your last day of your extended stay.

Price per person

1516 € based on four people

1014 € based on six people

Price info

Single room surcharge (Day 1, 2, 11, 12): 56 EUR per person

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This program is offered on certain days, please pick one (or more) of the following :

19/01/15 > 31/01/15
16/02/15 > 28/02/15

If this program suits you, you can add it to your selection. At the end of your visit, you will validate your selection by giving us some additional information about your stay.

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