Hiking and Trekking Paradise
The ferry takes you from Mindelo to Santo Antão in only one hour, but Santo Antão is a completely different island. Famous amongst hikers for it's amazing mountaintrails, this island deserves a visit from anyone who can appreciate nature at it's finest.
The island of Santo Antao truly is one of the most interesting places on earth. Many have visited the island for its amazing hiking trails with breathtaking views, but when visiting the island there is still definitely the sense of an undiscoverd pearl.
Santo Antão is twice the size of São Vicente, but São Vicente has twice the number of residents that Santo Antão has. Here you will find many beautiful small villages where you will be received kindly, and where it seems time has stood still.
"From the city of Mindelo I took the ferry to Santo Antão. I had rented an apartment in Ponta do Sol, where I would be staying for about 4 months. I decided to hike a big part of the island, from one coast to the other. And so one day I packed a small backpack and me and my dog Shy went on an adventure to explore Santo Antão..."
"On the 2nd day of my trip I dropped and broke my camera. This fitted very well in the adventure because I now had to absorb the extraordinary beauty without taking pictures. It took things to a different level, experiencing everything around me without ever disturbing the connection.
The people you meet don’t just want to be one of your pictures, they want contact. As much as I want to know about them, they want to know about me. Without my camera there was so much more interaction with the wonderful people I met."
"People work so hard, with what nature provides. Nature offers them food. Many don't go to a supermarket. This creates a different dynamic in life. Take for example, the delicious goat cheese! Every piece should be eaten with appreciation. I am not saying that people who live a ‘simple life’ have a better life. But I saw things in the way of life in Cape Verde that we’ve lost and we are trying to get back again.
Travelling to Santo Antão might feel like travelling back in time, but in my opinion they are ahead of time.”
"It truly was an enriching experience. It felt so good to know these places still exist. Places will change, people will change. I think it’s so important some things remain the way they are as much as possible.
I never felt at risk travelling by myself as a woman, I felt safer than in some European countries.
Some days I wouldn’t see anyone for a full day, but I never felt unsafe."
"Sometimes I didn’t know if I would be able to find a place to sleep. Taking a tent with me on the trip would have been to heavy. I decided I would be ok if I had to spend a night outside. It wasn’t cold and there are no dangerous animals. I remember this one tiny village where a lady rented out a room to me. She said it was 2 months ago since they had seen a tourist pass through."
* Story of my friend Angelika from Switzerland, who did a 10 day trekking across Santo Antão.
The villages of Santo Antão
Unlike anything you have ever seen before
The Valley of Paúl
Cidade das Pombas, usually referred to as Paúl, is a village on the island of Santo Antão located in between the two cities of the island, Porto Novo and Ribeira Grande. It is where the incredible valley of Paúl starts, leading all the way to the heart of Santo Antão. If you are traveling to Santo Antão on a trekking mission, the valley of Paúl is a place you don't want to miss.
While hiking through the valley you will pass by tens of tiny beautiful villages and encounter breathtaking views.
*We named the Valley of Paúl as one of the 7 places in Cape Verde you must see. Read the full blogpost here: 7 places in Cape Verde you absolutely need to see
Ponta do Sol
Ponta do Sol is a very charming village in the northeastern part of Santo Antão. It has a pretty little harbour from where many local fisherman take their colorful boats out to sea for a days work.
Ponta do Sol is the starting point for an unforgettable hike along the coast. The hike leads to the magical village of Fontainhas first, (named one of the villages with the most beautiful views in 2015 by National Geographic) and from there is it possible to hike all the way to Cruzinha in about 4 hours.
Read more about Santo Antão in the following blogposts:
(also featured on the homepage)
Ferry and travel information Mindelo - Porto Novo:
Budget Accomodation in Santo Antão
Your bed and breakfast in Ponta do Sol
Sissi and her husband Bernard run a little bed and breakfast in Ponta do Sol, from their own house. The B&B is basic, but clean and in a great location.
Price: € 15 for single, € 25 for double
Read more here: Bed and Breakfast Santo Antão