When most people think of Cape Verde sees a barren and rocky land, but with beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters and almost white sand. But Cape Verde is much more than that. Each of the nine islands of the archipelago has its own personality and one of them, remote Santo Antao is a lush world full of opportunities for walkers. It is this island that today you will talk.
The island of Santo Antão is medium in size and is the northernmost of the country and the third most populous, soon after the Santiago and its neighboring São Vicente. Get to Santo Antão boat, one of the two Cape Verde islands that has no airport. Was actually built an airfield in Ponta do Sol, but the weather, always harsh, forced its abandonment, speaking up now building a new set near Porto Novo.
It is indeed here that comes the ferry from Mindelo only way to achieve this fabulous island. Currently there are two links, one in the morning and the other mid afternoon, costing about 8 € for each side. The ship is appropriate and under normal conditions the sea is calm, offering a relaxed journey of about an hour.
On the other hand, in Porto Novo, expect the taxi drivers and "rentals" type of Toyota Hiace vans carrying up to sixteen passengers. No need special care with such. Suffice confirm the price to your destination. For Vila das Pombas, for example, a fair value will be 350 CVE, a little less than 3,50 Eur.
What to see in Santo Antao
The island is not small, to Cape Verde's scale, but the points that draw attention of tourists are concentrated in a small segment, between Janela and Ponta do Sol, on the east coast. Of course there are places worthy of a visit in other parts of Santo Antão, but mainly for logistical reasons most people allow themselves to get through this area.
On the one hand it is here, especially in Ponta do Sol and Paul Valley, who are the majority of pensions, guesthouses and Santo Antao hotels. Then the public transport works well, ensuring economic and quick transfers between the various points.
Janela is a small fishing village - as, in essence, all these that are distributed along the coast of the island - very picturesque, with smiling people ready and ocean scenery breathtaking. There, near the river (usually dry) is a stone with mysterious inscriptions which some attribute to the first Portuguese explorers. It is advised a short walk along the path that leads to the Ponta de Janela, and which can extend to the lighthouse remote that you see at the end of there next cable.
The Ribeira das Pombas, also known as Paul, It is the crown jewel of Santo Antão: this is where the vegetation is more lush and is in the vicinity that are the most exciting walks. The location is lovely and the road that rises to the interior is full of details. This whole area seems taken from a book of short stories and may well be the most striking place of a visit to Cape Verde.
Then comes Synagogue, another fishing village that we visit quickly but it deserves a stop. Soon after the Ribeira Grande, the ancient capital of the island and has its own personality. We need to explore without fear, despite the appearance of something obscure neighborhood that is located next to the field the ball. No one will harm you here. And then there is the main street with a handful of colonial architecture buildings that fill the eye.
Finally, Ponta do Sol, a village where the general friendliness of the islanders failed a bit, which is observed more twitching faces and where, ironically, tourism is more intense. A few kilometers are the Fontainhas, a small place lost in the mountains straight out of a tale of Tolkien. It is a 5 km walk to either side.
There are lots of options for hikers. And there are hiking maps for sale to support the more adventurous. In addition, many of the guest houses have their own maps, handmade for consultation hikers.
Perhaps the best routes to make from Paul, especially the rise Cova, a volcanic crater there at the very top and probably the most demanding walk. But there are many other options, either from the shoreline or inland, more mountainous nature. Moreover, any Cape Verde guide will introduce the various possibilities in a clear and detailed way, it is impossible to dissociate Santo Antão of hiking trails that exist there.