Of the nine inhabited islands in Cape Verde Brava is the smallest, but also it is the greenest. You can only get to Brava by ferry from São Felipe on neighbouring Fogo, or from Praia on Santiago. It is often called the island of flowers or alternatively, the garden island. You will not find crowds of tourists on Brava, which is another attraction.
On arrival at the port a steep hairpin bend road takes you up to Vila Nova Sintra. This is the island’s main town and is located high on the mountains of Brava. It is often considered to be the most picturesque town in the Cape Verde. The sobrados (two-storey houses) with little gardens together with the attractive park and paving suggest that the town is a little more affluent than some others in Cape Verde. A wonder around this town is rewarding.
Fajã d’Água is a pretty tiny village on the north coast. This little bay is reached by a narrow road with more hairpin bends, but the trip is well worth making. The bay at Fajã d’Água is frequently described as one of the most picturesque in the whole country. Just beyond the village, there are natural rock pools where you can swim. At the far end of the road is the abandoned Esperadinha airport, closed because of dangerous winds and a short runway. Fajã d’Água was once the main harbour on the island. Whaling ships from America would call here and so whaling became a major source of income for Brava. When the existing port was built at Furna, Fajã d’Água ceased to be important as a port.
Brava does not have miles of sandy beaches, as found on some of the other islands. However, it does have some beautiful scenery including dramatic valleys and mountains. Much of the coastline is rugged with impressive cliffs. Monte Fontainhas (976 meters) is the highest mountain on Brava. From the island you get views across to Fogo and the channel that separates the two islands. It is thought that the two islands might once have been joined.
Clouds form above Brava most of the time due to the slipstream of Fogo and Monte Fontainhas. The moisture feeds various springs. This creates a plant-friendly climate supporting many species such as oleander, almond trees, date and coconut palms. If you like flora and fauna and are looking for a change of pace then Brava Cape Verde is exactly the right place for you…