Walking in Santo Antão

Updated on Oct 24, 2019 by Alastair McClymont

Blog > Walking in Santo Antão

Defined by beautiful green valleys and dramatic mountain landscapes, walking in Santo Antão is one of the true adventures of any holiday in Cape Verde.

Santo Antão is one of the most dramatically breathtaking islands in the Cape Verde archipelago, a true haven for adventurers, especially those who like to discover their holiday destination on two feet.

While the likes of Sal and Boa Vista are famed for their stunning beaches and eerily beautiful desert-like landscapes, Santo Antão couldn't be more different, identified instead by its green peaks, verdant valleys and volcanic landscapes. This ensures the island is superb for walking, and whether you choose to visit the island as a day trip from neighbouring São Vicente or an extended stay, there'll be ample opportunity to don your hiking boots.


Walking in Santo Antão


If you consider yourself something of an avid hiker and have confidence in your abilities and navigation, you can simply set off and explore the Jurassic-like landscapes, though for your own safety, we recommend that you don't go hiking alone.

Fortunately, we have a number of guided walking tour opportunities to ensure you get to see the best of the island on two feet. Our full-day tours tend to incorporate between four and five hours of walking, allowing you to discover numerous different landscapes, as well as learn about the history of the island as you go. Exploring the areas in the mountain range between Porto Novo and Ribeira Grande is particularly rewarding.


When it comes to choosing somewhere to stay on the island, we have a few good accommodation options on Santo Antão that can act as the perfect base for exploring the island. 

If you really want to absorb the island every minute of your visit, there's no better place to stay than Pedracin Village. Set nestled in the mountains and acting as the jumping off point for numerous walking trails, Pedracin also provides food and the inviting addition of a swimming pool to cool off in after a day of hiking.


For really keen walkers looking to explore more than just the treasures of Santo Antão, Cape Verde Experience offer some fantastic island hopping itineraries that include all the archipelago's top islands for adventurers. 

The Peaks of Cape Verde itinerary is particularly appropriate for walkers, with the islands of Fogo, São Vicente, Santiago and Santo Antão included and ideal for hiking, while the inclusion of Sal allows for some beach relaxation at the end of your holiday.

Find out more about this itinerary here.


Journalist Tom Bevan explored Santo Antão with us in 2019, this is what he had to say about the island:

"Santo Antão was a naturally stunning wonderment and we were given a tantalising taste of our hike to come during a panoramic transfer from the ferry port to our hotel on the other side of the island.

The drive took us through the vast mountain ranges on a road cut through its expanse with every winding turn another must-see photo opportunity.

It was one of the most dramatic and picturesque car journeys we had ever witnessed and we couldn't wait to join our passionate and knowledgeable local guide Odair Gomes the following morning to explore it by foot.

Starting within the volcano, a short steep climb to reach 1,300m was followed by a lengthy decline down the mountain.

Every step was a head-turner as we weaved our way tropical plants, fruits and coffee beans, and got a taste of the simple yet happy life for the communities living there.

Our senses were left in awe of the fresh eucalyptus filling the mountain air and the array of natural herbs growing on the hill sides. We were particularly surprised to see no less than two types of mango tree growing there.

A trip not to be missed and a definite highlight of our Cape Verde experience."


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