An Island hopping adventure in Cape Verde: Sao Vicente, Santo Antao, Fogo, Santiago and Sal
    • Cape Verde - Cape Verde
    • 12 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to May
      • From October to December
    • 2 - 10 travellers
      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Trip code : Z1102

About the An Island hopping adventure in Cape Verde: Sao Vicente, Santo Antao, Fogo, Santiago and Sal trip

About your walking trip in Cape Verde

Off the coast of the Sahara is a volcanic Sahelian archipelago, a remnant of Portugal's Atlantic expansion: the Cape Verde Islands!  This trip invites you to discover the best of the archipelago by exploring 5 islands: São Vicente, Santo Antão, Fogo, Santiago and Sal.
Your introduction to Cape Verde begins on São Vicente in the pleasant town of Mindelo. You then set off to explore the lush valleys of Santo Antao, a small paradise for hiking enthusiasts. A series of short plane journeys then take you to Fogo, the volcanic island with lunar landscapes, then on to lively Praia, capital city of the largest and most African of the islands: Santiago! Finally, you land on the magnificent white sandy beaches of Sal, lapped by turquoise waters.
A wonderful walking holiday full of Creole flavours, rich in human encounters and natural curiosities. A unique Island-hopping adventure just off the coast of Africa!

Highlights of the trip

  • Exploration of 5 islands from north to south of the archipelago among volcanic craters, lush valleys and traditional villages
  • The challenging ascent of the highest peak of the archipelago with a guide: the Pico of Fogo (2829 m)
  • Take off your hiking boots in Sal and just relax on the magnificent white sandy beaches 
  • Internal flights included  + 4 dinners and 1 lunch included
  • A picnic option is available on the hiking islands


    Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

From the blog

Cape Verde walking holiday - An Island hopping adventure in Cape Verde : Day by Day

Day 1 - Arrival on the island of São Vicente : Mindelo

  • mindelo, cape verde cesaria evora home townYour self-guided walking trip in Cape Verde begins on the island of São Vicente at Cesaria Evora airport. 
    The name of the airport sets the tone of the trip: you have just landed in the living home of Cape Verdean music, in the homeland of the "barefoot diva" who has spread the music and culture of "this little country" around the world. 
  • Private transfer to Mindelo centre. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can enjoy a first walk - alone or accompanied by a guide - along its streets lined with old houses that forge the soul of the city. Founded by the Portuguese and developed by the English, the traces of this colonial presence are omnipresent. Once the visit is over, enjoy a moment of relaxation on the beautiful Laginha beach from which you can see the imposing Santo Antao and have a swim. For your first evening, immerse yourself in the Cape Verdean atmosphere in the numerous bars/restaurants of the city (important: live music is played on weekends). 
  • Night in Mindelo

  • We recommend
    . Letting yourself be tempted by a guided tour to discover the history of Mindelo  ( From 40€ for a half-day)
    Adding a night in Mindelo to discover the entire island of Sao Vicente
    With a private driver, explore Monte Verde which culminates at 750m for beautiful panoramic pictures, the beach of Baia das Gatas known for its music festival in August, Praia Grande with its beautiful white sand dunes and the extinct volcanoes of Calhau where you can take your first coastal walk of about 2 hours (Please contact us).
    . Visiting the workshop of a luthier who makes all kinds of guitars and stringed instruments, including the very local cavaquinho, a small 4-stringed guitar, ancestor of the ukulele. (From 40€ per person with hotel transfers to and from the workshop )

  • Access - By air
    . There are regular direct flights from Lisbon in Portugal to Sao Vicente's airport.

Day 2 - Cova crater and Ribeira da Torre : Santo Antao island

cape verde adventure holidays

  • Cova Crater > Ribeira da Torre > Xoxo hamlet
    4 hours - 7 km / 4,3 miles - Ascent: +50 m / Descent: -1250 m (without counting the detour in the crater)
  • You'll have to get up early this morning! Hiking shoes on, you take the ferry that connects Sao Vicente to Santo Antao, the garden of Cape Verde (1 hour crossing). A paradise for hikers, Santo Antao is crossed by a mountain range interspersed with sumptuous valleys, arid on its southern slope and lush on its northern slope. Upon your arrival in Porto Novo, transfer through the fertile valleys of the island.  The taxi will drop you off at the Cova Crater, in the heart of the large natural park of the same name.  You can enjoy a short walk in the crater before starting your hike through the pine and mimosa forests to finally plunge into the Ribeira da Torre, one of the steepest and most spectacular valleys on the island.
    Transfer to your accommodation.
  • Night in Paul Valley or Ponta do Sol
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Accommodation :  
    .  SIMPLE option : your guest house is located in the nearby valley,  the very lush Paul Valley where you will spend your next two nights!
    . COMFORT option: your hotel is located on the heights of the fishing village of Ponta do Sol, the island's former flourishing port, where you will spend your next three nights !

Day 3 - The Paul Valley Gardens

cape verde travel specialist

  • Eito > Pico Antonia > O Curral 
    3 hours 45  - 6,2 km / 3,9 miles - Ascent: +500 m / Descent: -200m
  • Today, you will walk up the greenest and most fertile valley of Santo Antao island. A magnificent trail to discover the agricultural world of the island. Following the river beds and the traditional hamlets, walk along to the gentle sound of the water flowing here and there in small levadas which come to irrigate the innumerable tropical crops: banana plantations, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, yam fields, breadfruit trees... Everything seems to grow effortlessly here and in abundance, and yet it is indeed the men and women who work hard on each cultivated plot, sometimes in places only accessible on foot. The path ascents to reach the pass where the panoramic view over the valley and the ocean is breathtaking.
  • At the end of the walk, stop off at the bar O Curral in the village of Cha de Joao Vaz. There you can enjoy a traditional rum or a traditional goat's cheese if you are peckish! Return by taxi to your accommodation.
  • Night in Paul Valley or Ponta do Sol
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4 - Along the coast of Santo Antao

cape verde walking guide

  • Ponta do Sol > Fontainhas > Cruzinha
    5 hours - 15 km / 9,3 miles - Ascent: +650 m / Descent: -650 m
  • This morning you exchange the peacefulness of the mountains for the nonchalant (and not unpleasant!) atmosphere of Ponta do Sol.  This village is the starting point of one of the most spectacular trails of the island: a paved coastal path, dug in the volcanic walls. A real human feat! It will lead you first to the village of Fontainhas with its colourful houses perched on a promontory and then to the forgotten hamlets of Corvo and Formiguinhas, where time seems to have stood still. The path continues up high, in a succession of ascents and descents to the magnificent and wild black sand beach of Mocho (caution: swimming is forbidden as the sea is very dangerous) and then to the village of Cruzinha where your taxi is waiting for you. Transfer back to Ponta do Sol.
  • Night in Ponta do Sol
  • MEALS included: Breakfast 

  • Transfers : 
    .  SIMPLE option : you are transfered in the morning to Ponta do Sol where you will spend the night. 
    . COMFORT option: no transfer for you. You are already there !

Day 5 - The gardens of the central valleys : Return to Mindelo

cape verde beach

  • Coculi > Valleys of Joao Alfonso and Cha das Pedras
    3 hours 45 - 12,8 km / 8 miles - Ascent: + 580 m / Descent: -500 m
  • Transfer to Coculi, one of the historical centres of the great central valleys. You go up the small bucolic valley of Figueiral, before exploring the valleys of Joao Afonso and Cha de Pedras. An agricultural region dotted with lively hamlets, terraces with tropical crops such as banana, coffee, cassava and cabbage.
  • After this superb farewell hike on Santo Antao, transfer to the port of Porto Novo via the panoramic road "Estrada da Corda". This paved road, built by hand, stone by stone for nearly 30 years, crosses the island, rising in a multitude of bends at an altitude of nearly 1 000 metres, before descending towards the coast. The views and the peaks are breathtaking!
  • Return ferry to Mindelo late afternoon.  
  • Night in Mindelo 
  • MEALS included: Breakfast

  • We recommend :  
    . Deepening your discovery of Santa Antao: enjoy an extension in the south of the island to the seaside village of Tarrafal de Monte Trigo in a beautiful black sand bay 
    . Spending an evening in Mindelo: enjoy an evening demonstration of capoeira, this martial art halfway between dance and wrestling. You can even give it a go if you are brave enough!  ( From 100 € for 2 persons)

Day 6 - From Sao Vicente to Fogo island

santo antao andmindelo cape verde

  • Transfer to Sao Vicente airport to take a domestic flight to Fogo via Santiago Island. This day will be subject to flight schedules and depending on the time of your flight you will spend a little more time on one of the two islands.
  • Arrival in Fogo, the volcanic island, dominated by its namesake volcano which peaks at 2829m. Transfer to Cha das Caldeiras, located at an altitude of around 1800m. This enormous crater, 8km in diameter, lined with 100m high walls is covered with lava flows that have been superimposed over time. The imposing Mount Pico overlooks the whole. It is in this hostile environment that some villagers settled to cultivate vines, fruit trees and vegetables. This small population with their boundless adoration for the volcano, demands respect.
    It is here in this very mineral and grandiose universe that you will spend your next two nights.
  • Night in Cha das Caldeiras
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Accommodation :  
    .
    The conditions in the Caldeira in Fogo are very basic
    . Both options, SIMPLE and COMFORT, will be accomodated in the same guest house, as there is no upgrade option.
    . The selected accommodation is one of the most comfortable in the Caldeira but water may be scarce when showering. 

Day 7 - Guided ascent of the majestic Pico Grande of Fogo !

cape verde walking holiday son santo antao island

    • Guided day - Ascent of Pico Grande 
      4 hours 30 - 5,6km / 3,5 miles - Ascent: +1000 m / Descent: -1000 m
      Please note: This hike is a more "challenging" hiking level
    • This morning, you wake at dawn to enjoy the most beautiful colors of the Caldeira and avoid the heat. In the company of a local guide you set off to conquer the Pico. After walking among the remains of houses buried by the last eruption in 2014, the trail climbs along the ash cone before reaching the rim of the immense crater. The climb up the ash cone is steep and difficult in parts, but the view from the summit over the whole island is worth the effort. The descent is much easier and enjoyable! Return to your accommodation around midday for your lunch included at your hotel.
    • Free afternoon. If you wish, your guide from this morning can accompany you to visit an amazing lava tunnel (from 30€) or you take a taxi to the Caldeira cooperative where the famous Fogo wine is produced. Wine tasting accompanied by local cheese (Opening days are random, please ask us if you are interested in this option – from 20€ per person included transfers).
    • Night in Cha das Caldeiras
    • MEALS included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • We recommend :
    . Descending via the small Pico (about 30€ extra for the guide) along a handrail installed on the cliff side with some dizzying passages. The Small Pico, an active volcano with many holes surrounded by sulphur from which fumaroles escape, offers a magnificent view of the big volcano.
    . Adding a night in the Caldeira for a guided hike on the ridge of the Bordeira at 800m above the caldera - Level 3 hike with some dizzying passages, similar to via ferrata. Equipment provided on the spot - 5h walking + 800 m

Day 8 - Descending to the ocean

cape verde walking holidays

  • Cha das Caldeiras > Pai Antonio
    4 hours 30 - 12 km / 7,5 miles - Ascent: +100 m / Descent: -1200 m 
    Please note: This hike is a more "challenging" hiking level
  • Today you enjoy a magnificent descent towards the east coast, the greenest coast of the island! An hour's walk in the caldera leads you into the most beautiful forest of eucalyptus, mimosa and sisals. The humidity generated by the forest allows for important agricultural activity, particularly coffee. During the descent, gaps in the vegetation offer beautiful views of the coast and the ocean. Arrive in the village of Paï Antonio.
  • Transfer to explore São Filipe, certainly one of the most beautiful cities of Cape Verde with its many "Sobrados", old mansions with large wooden balconies.
  • Night in Sao Felipe
  • MEALS included: Breakfast 

  • Accommodation :  
    . Option COMFORT : The accommodation is a traditional colonial house (Sobrado), transformed into a hotel.
    4 of the rooms have a private bathroom but located outside the room with access through a corridor that crosses the common patio. We will do our best to avoid these rooms but if this is the case we will inform you at the time of booking.

Day 9 - Santiago Island : Praia the Capital!

  • This day is subject to flight schedules and depending on the time of your domestic flight, you will spend more time on one of the two islands.
  • Arrival on Santiago Island, the largest and most African of the islands. Transfer to your accommodation. Free time in Praia to discover the city at your own pace. Praia became the capital city in 1772, thus dethroning Cidade Velha. You can visit the Plato district, a pedestrian area and the popular and colourful Sucupira market.
  • In the evening, soak up the atmostphere of the city in one of the Churrasqueiras, local restaurants specializing in grilled meat.
  • Night in Praia
  • MEALS included: Breakfast 

  • We recommend :
    . Enjoying the services of a local guide to discover the meandres of Praia and its history. The visit can be adjusted according to your wishes and the time available. The guide knows Praia like the back of his hand and will take you on a unique discovery of the the unmistakable features of the city such as the pedestrian area of the Plato, the Governor's Palace, the Abuquerque square, the Sucupira market and some secret hideouts for a well earnt drink! (from 45€ half day).

Day 10 - From the charm of Cidade Velha to the turquoise waters of Sal island

  • Transfer to Cidade Velha, the beating heart of Cape Verdean culture and the first colonial trading post of the archipelago. Today, Cidade Velha is a charming village which boasts a relaxing seaside vibe and a historical centre dotted with ancient ruins: the piloris, symbol of slavery, the imposing Sao Francisco cathedral, the famous Rua Banana with its traditional houses... Free time to visit the village.
    Important: depending to your flight plan, this visit can be done on day 9.
  • After the visit, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Sal island. Sal owes its name to the extraction of salt which has been the island’s only resource for more than a century. Today its magnificent white sandy beaches and turquoise waters make it a famous seaside destination.
  • Transfer to the village of Santa Maria on the south coast where you will spend the next two nights.
  • Night in Santa Maria
  • MEALS included  :  Breakfast

  • We recommend :
    . Enjoying a guided tour to discover the history of Cidade Velha and if the weather permits, adding a short walk in either the valley of Ribeira Grande or from the Sao Felipe Fortress (from 45€ half day).

Day 11 - Lazing by the sea or active discovery of Sal

  • best beaches on cape verde holidaysThe 8km long white sandy beach of Santa Maria is simply stunning! Lapped by turquoise and emerald waters, it is the ideal place to relax after this beautiful journey island hopping in Cape Verde!
  • You can also enjoy some water sports such as surfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving etc or some more nature or cultural oriented excursions including:
    . A full day island tour to discover the main sites of the island of Sal : Pedra da Lume salt lakes, the famous blue eye (blue lagoon), traditional villages
    . A  shark experience. With an experienced guide, this is a fantastic opportunity to see the Lemon sharks up close
    . Horseback riding through the salt flats, beaches and sand dunes (for beginners, intermediate and experts riders)
    .  A guided cyling tour of Santa Maria village and the surrounding area
    . A guided walk to discover the nesting sites of the loggerhead turtles (only between July and October)
    . See all details in the Extention section (click on Book tab)

  • In the evening, the lively village of Santa Maria offers a multitude of bars and restaurants - from the local bistro with its warm and friendly atmosphere to the more cosy restaurant, not forgetting of course the memorable musical evenings!
  • Night in Santa Maria
  • MEALS included : Breakfast

Day 12 - End of your trip in Sal

  • best places to stay in cape verde Final free day on Sal to enjoy the Cape Verdean Morabeza one last time.  Transfer at the end of the day to the airport for your return flight (probably overnight).
  • End of your island hopping adventure in Cape Verde ! 
  • MEALS included : Breakfast 

  • We recommend:
    . If your return flight is an overnight flight, we recommend you book a room in ‘day use’ to fully enjoy your last day on Sal. Please contact us.

More hiking trips in Cape Verde

    • Cape Verde - Cape Verde
    • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to May
      • From October to December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Comfort
  • Highlights of the trip

    • A combination of two contrasting islands: Sao Vicente for its cultural and festive side, and Santo Antao for its exuberant nature
    • The varied and unmissable hikes on Santo Antao
    • Small family hotels  to enjoy the true and unique Creole-Portuguese-African hospitality
    • 4 dinners included
    • The hotel swimming pools on Santo Antao, so refreshing after a day's walk in the valleys!
    • Optional : 6 picnics


      Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • Cape Verde - Cape Verde
      • 12 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From January to May
      • From October to December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Exploration of 5 islands from north to south of the archipelago among volcanic craters, lush valleys and traditional villages
    • The challenging ascent of the highest peak of the archipelago with a guide: the Pico of Fogo (2829 m)
    • Take off your hiking boots in Sal and just relax on the magnificent white sandy beaches 
    • Internal flights included  + 4 dinners and 1 lunch included
    • A picnic option is available on the hiking islands


      Go private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

    An Island hopping adventure in Cape Verde: Sao Vicente, Santo Antao, Fogo, Santiago and Sal
        • Cape Verde - Cape Verde
        • 2 adults (2x1350€)
        • 0 children (0x1350€)
      • 12 days
      • Simple
    Total 2700€
    Deposit 810€
    Book now !