This fantastic Santiago Self-Drive Holiday in 8 days in Cape Verde takes you from busy Praia to mountainous Rui Vaz, colourful Assomada and the beaches near Tarrafal.

Most of Santiago’s spectacular roads are tarmacked, only becoming cobbled when you go off the beaten track.

After a visit of Cidade Velha, the oldest Cape Verdean settlement and World Heritage Site, on the coast, the scenery changes dramatically when you drive inland. Jagged peaks surround your hotel high up in the mountains and green valleys can be found around Assomada in the centre.

Drive along black volcanic beaches on the west coast until you reach Tarrafal in the north, which has a pretty cove perfect for snorkelling, with its white sandy beach.


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Best for...

Solo Travellers


Depart Heathrow and fly via Lisbon to Santiago in Cape Verde. On arrival transfer to Hotel Oasis Praia Mar where you stay for one night.
Your car will be delivered to your hotel in the morning. We suggest you drive to Cidade Velha. Explore this UN Word Heritage Site on your own and take a stroll to Rua Banana, the Nossa Senhora do Rosario church and the Pelourinho (pillory). You may also wish to visit the fort which overlooks the bay. After your visit drive through green valleys and spectacular mountain roads to Quinta da Montanha where you stay for one night.
You could do a short walk in the area first before you drive to the colourful African market in Assomada, where not only fruit and vegetables are being sold, but also chickens and other livestock. Continue to Pousada Vassora on the outskirts of Assomada where you stay for two nights.
In the morning you could drive down the road from your Pousada, and follow the shallow Ribeira to Boa Entrada and the famous Poilao (Kapok tree). This magnificent tree is home to a colony of Purple Heron, a bird endemic to Santiago. Return to your car and drive to Porto Rincon and Ribeira das Barca to visit the black sandy beaches.
On your way to Tarrafal where you will stay at the Residence Tarrafal for two nights, you could stop off at the interesting Serra Malagueta Natural Park information centre and perhaps even go for a short walk. you could do a bit of the Gongon Trail which starts not far from the centre and marvel at the beautiful views from the ridge. There is also another walk behind the centre with views of the valley below.
Free day to relax. Why not go to the lovely cove and its white sandy beach near the main square, where there is always lots going on. It's very popular with locals and a safe bathing and swimming spot. Or watch the fisherman come on shore with their daily catch.
Take the scenic way along Calheta de Sao Miguel back to your hotel in Praia. You could explore the sprawling city where over half the of Cape Verde's population lives. Start at the main square on the Plateau and walk among some imposing buildings like the Catholic cathedral, the Presidential palace and the statue of Diogo Gomes which overlooks the sea. And try not to get lost when you're walking through colourful and bustling Sukopira market, a place full of merchandise and curiosities. Overnight at Hotel Atlantico Praiamar for one night.
Free day. You will have a day room until it's time to drive to the airport. Return the car at the airport and fly home on an overnight flight.

Guide price £1,800 per person

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

INCLUDED: International flights (guide price only), accommodation in twin share, en-suite rooms on a breakfast only basis throughout, dinner is included at Pousada Vassoura and Quinta da Montanha. Santiago airport to hotel arrival transfer. Car hire 7 day (Daihatsu Terios or similar) including delivery to your accommodation and airport drop off. Cost includes unlimited mileage, standard and CDW (collision damage waiver- subject to excess) insurance but not optional PAI (personal accident insurance) or fuel. Visas, 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 small hotel nestled in the mountains to a boutique style hotel on a small ridge - Santiago island in Cape Verde 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 Santiago. Most are suitable for all ages, but many can be adapted to your abilities and experience.


Santiago is one of the southern islands of Cape Verde and has so much to offer from two volcanic mountain ranges which dominate the island to Tarrafal with its pretty sandy cove; great for snorkelling, relaxing and diving. This self-drive holiday around Santiago will give you the ideal opportunity to explore everything that the island has to offer.

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