Santo Antão Cape Verde (Portuguese for Saint Anthony) is an island that offers visitors excellent hiking opportunities. There are many trails and stunning scenery. The views from the mountains are breathtaking and tiny villages appear deep below. The mountains attract clouds which means there is moisture available. Therefore the island grows most of the crops within Cape Verde. The capital of the island is Ribeira Grande and the other towns on the island are Porto Novo in the drier, south east; Paúl, which is south east of the capital; and Ponta do Sol, north west from the capital and possibly the most attractive of the towns. The island is only reached by ferry from São Vicente and it arrives into Porto Novo.
Generally speaking if you are after beaches, then the south of the island maybe for you. Tarrafal in the south has the longest (black) beach on the island. In the north of the island the beach at Sinagoga is popular for swimming. Nearer to Porto Novo, there is Praia de Escoralet and between Vila das Pombas and Janela there is Praia de Gi.
The island has a good selection of restaurants and bars. You can enjoy traditional Cape Verdean cuisine in most places. Some of the best restaurants are considered to be in Ponto do Sol. Grog (or Grogue) is widely available, being the local rum made from the sugar cane grown on the island. Towns such as Ribeira Grande, Porto do Sol and Porto Novo are the best places to stay if nightlife is wanted.
Places to visit
Visitors should ensure that they visit the Vale do Paúl. This is a spectacularly lush valley that opens into the sea at the village of Vila das Pombas. The valley is full of banana, mango and papaya trees together with flame trees, poinsettias and vegetable plots. At the head of the Paúl valley the winds are funnelled up and through the vertically towering rock peaks into the volcano, creating an almost permanent display of swirling mists and cloud. Cova, which is the caldera, or crater, is often seen with cloud swirling over the ridges. Looking down into crater you can see the crops being grown within it. The tiny village of Fontainhas perched on a rocky outcrop is an attraction for visitors and has become quite famous.
Santo Antão is in the Barlovento group of islands in the north of the country. It is the country’s second largest island. It has precipitous peaks, jaw-dropping ravines and tiny villages clinging to its mountainsides. The tallest mountain is Tope de Coroa, reaching a height of 1,979 m. The northeast trade winds funnel up into the mountains creating a micro-climate rich in vegetation. The landscape changes from brown and arid to mountainous with green fertile valleys. Santo Antão Cape Verde is really quite beautiful…