A day on the island of Fogo

Updated on May 23, 2019 by Anna Kirkpatrick

Blog > A day on the island of Fogo

Anna, from our Reservations Team, recently spent a day exploring the magnificent volcanic island of Fogo, and here are her highlights...

I was luckily enough to visit the Cape Verde islands as part of a recent work trip, and I was so excited to find out that as part of this, we had the opportunity to visit the island of Fogo for a day, taking an internal flight from Santiago.

Our internal flight from Santiago was on time, and only a short journey to Fogo, no more than 30 minutes. On board, the seats were comfortable and we were given water and a packet of cookies for refreshment, and I even managed to fit in a 10-minute cat nap as we'd had an early start.

As we arrived in Fogo, the airport had to the smallest I'd ever seen, and as we had no hold luggage we quickly made our way through to be met by our rep Fatima and our tour guide for the day. We also had two of our customers join us on the day trip, so not only was it lovely to experience the excursion first hand, but also to catch up with about their holiday and how it was going. 

We took an air-conditioned minibus to start our journey up to the volcano, stopping off at various points of interest along the way. We noticed the temperature when we arrived in Fogo were very warm, but as we drove closer to the Volcano, the air was thinner and it became much cooler, so we all needed our cardigans and jackets. When we made it to the top, the views overlooking the island were stunning, and to see the volcano so close up was an incredible experience.

 

On the way up, we stopped off at some good photo opportunity spots, where we also met some local children who were selling little sculptures of turtles and houses made out of volcanic rock. It's safe to say we couldn't resist! 

Another highlight was seeing the volcanic lava rock that had cooled in its flow down to the crater, with the most recent eruption being just 4 years ago on 23rd November 2014 at 9am. 

I found it really interesting to listen to our tour guide, explaining how the locals have a month’s notice to vacate their homes before the volcano erupts, and how much destruction hits their town every time. This doesn’t, however, stop them re-building their homes on top of the lava where their original home was; it's their land, and so they build up and not away from the lava. They also use lava mud and rock to re-build their walls, and in some places, the lava is as high as 56 meters! 


It was fascinating to think how many times the locals have had to re-build their homes and why they stay on the crater, knowing that around every 20 years they will be in the same position and will need to start all over again. One of the reasons they stay is linked to the microclimate, as here they can grow grapes, making their own wine and selling it across the archipelago. We tasted two of the local red wines in the little local shop, which was also re-built after the recent eruption, just steps away from where the lava rock lay.

Local Fogo wine 

 

We stopped for lunch in a small hotel which again had been re-built many times, all the while thinking about how far the local community had come is just five years. Whilst eating lunch which consisted of tuna or chicken with rice and vegetables (which was very tasty), our tour guide explained that during the evening, when the sun goes down and the temperature drops further, you can see steam coming up from the hotel garden where flowers have been planted.

 

After our lunch, we took the bumpy drive back through the crater and down to Sao Filipe to catch our internal flight back to Santiago, with our little souvenirs of lava rock we picked up along the way in hand.

 

If you'd like to explore Fogo as part of an island hopping holiday, you can do so on our Peaks of Cape Verde itinerary, or our Santiago and the Island of Fire itinerary. Remember, you could also choose to just add the island onto your beach holiday, which is easily done through our tailor-made holidays. Find out more about tailor-made holidays here

Header image credit: Sabine Hortebusch | Shutterstock 

 

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