Our Highlights of Cape Verde’s Northern Islands in 15 days is a great walking trip where you will experience the best hiking and scenery of São Nicolau, São Vicente and Santo Antão.

These northern islands are excellent walking destinations and, if you’re a keen hiker, then this unique guided walking holiday is definitely for you.

Visiting these Barlavento Islands (Windward Islands) you will soon discover how quiet and sophisticated São Nicolau is, with its outstanding trails in Monte Gordo National Park. Compare this to lively and cultured São Vicente where you climb volcanoes in desert-like conditions, and the almost tropical, green and fertile valleys of Santo Antão, with its remote villages. You couldn’t wish for a more diverse walking trip.

Your guided days are private and just for you, so you can make the most of time in the company of your local guide, and get the most out of your Highlights of Cape Verde’s Northern Islands experience.

Best for...

Solo Travellers


Depart Gatwick on a direct flight to Sal in Cape Verde. On arrival transfer to Hotel Morabeza where you stay for one night. The small town of Santa Maria has a great variety of restaurants and bars and in the evening the mains street and the main square with its fountains attract a lot of tourists and locals.
Free time until you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Sao Nicolau. On arrival transfer to the friendly Pensao Jardim where you stay for 4 nights. Located on a hill, you have a panoramic view of Ribeira Brava with its colourful houses and steep cobbled streets, from the pension.
Accompanied by your guide you walk from your pension down to narrow cobbled streets to the main square and busy taxi and aluguer (minibuses) stand and where the locals get together. Visit the church, the seminary and a local school on your way out of the town. The road takes you to a narrow path up the ridge, where you have fantastic views of the valleys. You'll be passing tiny houses and can chat with the locals when you descend to the village of Queimadas where you have your packed lunch. Moderate walk, 4 to 5 hours. After lunch, you will be driven back along the coastal road to Ribeira Brava.
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your guide and driven to the start of your walk. From the main entrance gate at Monte Gordo Natural Park. Walks vary from 2 to 6 hours. There is a direct path up to the top of Sao Nicolau's highest mountain, which takes around 2-3hrs. Discuss it with your guide as there is also another way where you circumnavigate the mountain first before you get to the top of Monte Gordo. This takes up to 6 hours. A packed lunch is included.
Your last walk on Sao Nicolau takes you from Canto Faja to Ribeira Prata. Another stunning walk where you ascend to the ridge and have magnificent views of both valleys. The path winds itself down to the valley bottom and just like yesterday and the day before you will be passing eucalyptus trees, mint plants and dragon trees and the most amazing geological strata. The walk takes around 4 to 5 hours and a picnic lunch is included. On your way back to Ribeira Brava you will be taken to Caberinha, a stretch of dramatic rock formations along the coast with clear rock pools to dip your feet in.
Free time until it's time for your transfer to the airport and fly to Sao Vicente. On arrival transfer to Hotel Oasis Porto Grande where you stay for 3 nights. The hotel is within walking distance of many restaurants and the harbour. In the evening you could listen to live music in a nearby bar or restaurant. Also located close to the hotel is plaza Amilcar Cabral, a popular spot in Mindelo where locals meet for a coffee or a chat.
After breakfast, you will be picked up again by your guide and driven to the start of your walk. The walk up Calhau volcano is a three-hour round trip and is to the north of the seaside town of Calhau, which is popular with the locals at weekends. The walk up to the other volcano Viana is shorter and can be done in about an hour. Both walks are moderate but it can be hot as there won't be much shade. A packed lunch is included.
Today you walk accompanied by your guide to the top of Monte Verde at 750m, Sao Vicente's highest peak. You can either walk the cobbled road that zig-zags its way up the mountain or you can follow a steep track that leads more directly to the summit. On a clear day, you can see the islands of Santo Antao, Santa Luzia and Sao Nicolau. Again there won't be much shade during this moderate to hard walk (around 4 hours) so take plenty of water, suncream and a sunhat. A packed lunch is included.
After an early breakfast, transfer to the ferry port for your one-hour ferry crossing to Santo Antao. Your driver and guide will already be waiting for you when you arrive. Drive up the steep road to Cova crater where you start your walk. Today you walk (4-5hrs) down the cobbled path which zigs zags its way down into the green fertile Paul Valley amongst towering cliffs and tropic vegetation consisting of sugar cane, mango and dragon trees. Depending on the time of the year, you can also visit a grogue distillery. The walk can be hard on the knees, so make sure you bring your walking poles. At the end of the walk, transfer to Pedracin Village where you stay for one night. A picnic is included.
Accompanied by your guide, you hike up to a ridge overlooking the remote valley Cha d'Igreja. Descend to the pretty village of Cha d'Igreja itself. The moderate to difficult walk (4-5hrs) has some exposed and narrow paths, but the scenery is stunning. Your luggage has been transferred separately to Kasa d'Igreja for your one night stay.
Your last walk on the island takes you, again accompanied by your guide, along the dramatic Atlantic coast from your Kasa to Ponta do Sol. The walk has plenty of photo opportunity spots and although it is a moderate walk, there are some steep challenging sections. The duration is 5 to 6 hours and a packed lunch is included. Your luggage will be transferred separately to Musica do Mar where you stay for two nights.
Free day in Ponta do Sol, with the possibility to go fishing, or to do more walks in the area. The area with its many valleys is also great if you want to have a go at canyoning.
Early morning transfer the ferry port for your crossing back to Sao Vicente. Depending on the flight to Sal, you have some free time in Mindelo before it's time for your transfer to the airport. On arrival transfer to the Morabeza where you stay for two nights.
You can either relax by the pool or go for a swim in the sea or you could hire a body board or arrange wind or kite surfing lessons.
Free time until it's time for your transfer to the airport for your flights home.

Guide price £3,250 per person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

INCLUDED: International flights from the UK (guide price), accommodation in twin share, en-suite rooms on a breakfast only basis, dinner is included at Pedracin and Kasa d'Igreja. Return airport transfers on Sal, Sao Nicolau and Sao Vicente. Inter-island flights Sal/Sao Nicolau/Sao Vicente/Sal per person. 8 x guided walks on Sao Nicolau, Sao Vicente and Santo Antao as detailed in the itinerary. Visas and support from our team in Cape Verde, and air ticket reconfirmation (if required). EXCLUDED: Meals not specified above and insurance. Additional excursions on free days.


The combination of accommodation we choose for your trip is part of the key to an unforgettable holiday. Throughout your trip you will be staying in some of the most amazing places. From a coastal hideaway to a small hotel nestled in the mountains, or a simple family run guesthouse to the comforts of a 4* hotel - each island has some great accommodation choices and the hotels on this trip have been specially selected for you. All the accommodation will be on B&B basis apart from the more remote places where dinner will be included.


We offer a fantastic range of activities on all the islands. Most are suitable for all ages, but many can be adapted to your abilities and experience.

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