The Uncut
The Uncut

The Uncut

The Uncut
With a level of hikes ranging from easy to moderate, this 2-weeks tour covers the major sights of 4 islands of the archipelago: the green valleys of Santo Antão, Fogo's volcano (with guide), Santiago and its landmarks steeped in history and Mindelo's joyful atmosphere.



Type of stay :

Island(s) :
São Vicente
Santo Antão
São Vicente

Localities visited :
Praia, Cidade Velha, São Filipe, Cha das Caldeiras, Mindelo, Cha d'Igreja, Ponta do Sol, Paúl

Length : 15 days
(included 8 of walking)

This tour is neither a Stakhanovist marathon nor a relaxed stay with little activities; those two weeks are meant to show you the most beautiful sights of four islands, at your own pace (except on Fogo, where you will need a guide).

On the to-do list: lots of hiking, many green valleys and lost hamlets in Santo Antão; the majestic Pico de Fogo, enchanting landscapes of Santiago and the spellbinding city of Mindelo.

- the diversity of 4 different islands
- Cidade Velha and Mindelo's historic heritage
- the beauty of appealing landscapes
- the Ribeira de Paúl, green all year long
- the botanical garden and its Cape Verdean endemic species
- the ascent of a volcano
- new scents, beautiful colours, cheerful and friendly encounters


Regions covered : click
The Uncut

Day 1
Welcome to Santiago, the biggest island of Cape Verde; its culture, atmosphere or lifestyle are more African than the rest of the Archipelago, due to geographic and historic circumstances.
We spend the night in Cidade Velha, the former capital of the country, recently listed as a World Heritage Site; remnants of the times when the city grew to the pace of slave trade are still found today. It's in Cidade Velha that the first Creole language ever came to life: deriving from Portuguese and ancient African languages, Cape Verdean Creole evolved during centuries.

Day 2 (Hike with roadbook 3 hours // level 2 // + 200 m / - 200 m)
This first hike leads us to a huge canyon that we first follow before sinking into the dense vegetation covering its valley, down to the dry river bed where we discover countless baobabs and mango trees.
The scent of sugar cane becomes stronger by the minute - an unmistakable sign that we're approaching a distillery producing the famous grogue, the local rum. But let us not get distracted: we have to scan the trees in order to spot a Passarinha. We don't want to miss the sight of this tiny Kingfisher with amazing blue wings. Night in a lodge at the feet of Santiago's peak.

Day 3 (Hike with roadbook 2 hours // level 2-3 // - 500 m)
On today's to-do list: discover new scents while walking through an eucalyptus forest, in the shade of the island's highest mountain. This rural region of traditional agriculture will allow us to discover the botanical diversity that Cape Verde has to offer - including a good amount of endemic species. Later, we go back to Praia through the greenest regions of the island.

Day 4
Flight to Fogo. When the plane approaches the island of Fire, one can't imagine the wide spectrum of colours this island has to offer. But what will charm us in São Filipe are the elegant and noble colonial mansions (sobrados), the pretty little streets leading to the ocean and the vivid colours of the Church Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Night in São Filipe.

Day 5 (Hike with guide 4, 5 hours // level 2-3)
We give this day an early start, and off we are to the crater rim. Alone the ride uphill is breathtaking - suddenly, after a curve, there it is: majestic and impressive. While getting closer to the volcano, wandering in the caldeira (literally the cauldron) through cultivated fields and spectacular landscapes, we can't believe the blend of colours we have before our eyes. We spend two nights facing the volcano, in an accommodation with limited running water and electricity - another adventure!

Day 6 (Hike with guide 5 hours // level 4**)
Before dawn, we eat our breakfast by candlelight, not only because it's romantic, but also because you need to leave early as to avoid the excessive heat of the day. Once we reach the summit (2829 metres/9281 feet), and if the weather allows it, we are rewarded by an astonishing view upon the crater and ancient or recent lava flows. A second reward lies in the descent: we have the choice between running, sliding or rolling down the pozzolan gravel... It's so much fun, we'll want to hike up to be able to go down again!

Day 7
We have to bid farewell to the crater, the Pico and to the island of Fogo. It's a special moment to see the volcano from the plane, after spending two nights so close to it.
We trade the Leeward Islands (Sotavento) for the Windward Islands (Barlavento). Our first stop is in Mindelo, the cultural capital of the country. We enjoy the colours, the music, the fragrances of this magical city. Night in the historic centre of Mindelo.

Day 8
A day in Mindelo, the proud cultural capital, with its music, the Carnival, the sailors' taverns - and let's not forget about the view upon the bay. As the famous barefoot diva Cesária Évora once sang: Quem ca ta conxê Mindelo, ca ta conché Cabo Verde: who does not know Mindelo, does not know Cape Verde. Thanks to our roadbook we learn more about the history of this elegant town that only fears one thing: to not be able to seduce. Night in the historic centre of Mindelo.

Day 9 (Hike with roadbook 5 hours // level 3)
Ferry towards Santo Antão. Let's start by driving up the old road that goes through the island, the one with the amazing panoramas - the hike starts from a high plateau, and a path will lead us through deserted areas of different shades of red. This is just the beginning of the journey. We can stop for a cheese tasting before heading to our homestay for the night, located in one of the numerous green valleys.

Day 10 (Hike with roadbook 4 hours // level 2-3)
After the breakfast, 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. In Santo Antão, it's impossible to imagine passing by somebody without greeting or saying a few kind words. Once we've reached the village, perhaps played ouril (oware game) 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.

Day 11 (Hike with roadbook 6 hours // level 2-3)
Let us not miss a second of this wonderful day - we give an early start to one of the most spectacular hikes of Cape Verde: the one along the coast. We are accompanied to the right by the base of steep, if not vertical cliffs, while we are bordered to the left by the endlessness of Atlantic Ocean. Small paths used by shepherds lead us through exceptional landscapes, each curve revealing new surprises. Encountering local people, courageously enduring the harsh living conditions, enables us to improve our Creole.

Day 12 (Hike with roadbook 3 hours // level 2-3)
Today, we have a much closer encounter with the greenest and most tropical valley amongst the whole archipelago, the beautiful valley of Paúl.

Day 13
Ferry back to the nearby island of São Vicente. Let's take advantage of our free time to do some shopping. If we head to the market, we'll find the good malagueta (piripiri), the spicy chilli that we were able to enjoy with every meal. Here, "malagat'" is used to season fish, meat dishes but also catchupa.
Our tip: have a nice cup of tea while nibbling on the pasteis de midj (sort of doughnuts made of corn) at the Casa Café Mindelo, a very aesthetic place. Night in the historic centre of Mindelo.

Day 14
And we're back in Praia - we make the most of the capital on our last day. Below the Plateau we find Praia's market #1: Sukupira - where one can find everything: African textiles, "designer" clothes, crafts and jewellery. It's worth it: even if it's just to walk around, it's a great place to take the pulse of the city. Night in the Plateau neighborhood in Praia.

Day 15
Alas, the time has come to carefully pack our bottle of grog in our suitcase - it will help to mata sodad (kill the nostalgia) once you're home. Although no vaccine is mandatory to enter Cape Verde, it seems there is an active virus around: whoever catches it can only think about one thing: go back to Cape Verde. See you soon!


Inter-island flights Santiago > Fogo > São Vicente > Santiago in class T
Round-trip ferry tickets São Vicente > Santo Antão
14 nights in guesthouses / small hotels / home stay
1 day-use room (last day)
All transfers hotel - airport - hotel
All transfers according to the hikes
Luggage transfer (except day 10)
Roadbooks for 7 days of hiking
Guide for 2 days of hiking
7 picnics
5 dinners
2 lunch
Entrance fees for the Fort of Cidade Velha
Tourist tax

Price per person

1480 € based on two people in one double room

1255 € based on four people in two double rooms

The prices for inter-islands transport vary in certain periods of the year, we may sometimes be required to change the prices shown here : no last minute surprises, we will inform you as soon as our first message.

Price info

Single room extra charge: 217 EUR (every day except days 9 and 10)

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A few handpicked hikes of average difficulty on four islands. Hikes with roadbook except on Fogo, where a guide will be necessary.

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