Jake Cardigan

Having spent the last 11 years working as part of the Archipelago Choice team I have enjoyed many amazing adventures to both the Azores and Cape Verde islands, and I’m always eager to start planning the next!

Past highlights include taking to the seas in a traditional Azorean whaling boat off the south coast of Sao Miguel in the Azores and hiking in the Serra da Malagueta natural park on Santiago in Cape Verde.  I really enjoy sharing my experiences and drawing from them to create fantastic holiday itineraries and ideas for others to enjoy.

Away from the office my main focus is music – I’ve been playing the cello for about 30 years and enjoy performing with several orchestras and ensembles around the Cumbria and Borders region.  My last trip to the Azores was particularly special because I proposed to my girlfriend….And she said yes!


Jake Cardigan
Island specialist
01768 721040

My favourite part of Cape Verde

Cape Verde holidays wouldn’t be the same without this fiery island.

Fogo is the most volcanically active of all the islands and is dominated by Fogo do Pico (2829m). It consists of a single volcano, which is why the island is almost circle-shaped and about 25 kilometers (16 mi) in diameter. (Read about the last eruption on our blog).

The peak sits within the spectacular Cha das Caldeiras with its black volcanic moonscape and monstrously contorted lava flows that beg to be climbed. After a hard day’s walk in the crater, relax in colourful and peaceful São Filipe, on the coast.

Try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the plane when you’re flying to Fogo, the view is awesome!

My favourite activity in Cape Verde

We organise some pretty stunning cycling holidays and if your thing is mountain biking than you’ve come to the right place. Santiago and Santo Antão are both starting to offer cycling opportunities for road cycling and mountain biking with all levels available and dozens of routes to choose from. Either go off road or stick to the tarmac road, and discover mountain plateaus, cobbled paths, the barren highlands and fertile valleys.

Most trips are accompanied and vary from half day to several days, and there are also a few self-guided off road routes you can do around Ribeira Grande and Ponta do Sol on Santo Antão.

If you are an experienced biker, then head to the west of Santo Antão, where much of the harder cycling is and all the routes there have spectacular views of the island’s highest peak, Tope de Coroa (1979m).

Cycling holidays definitely don’t get much better than that.

My favourite accommodation in Cape Verde

São Filipe is well-known for its distinctive Portuguese-era architecture, and the handsome Colonial House B&B is one of the finest examples of a sobrado house anywhere in town. The beautiful building dates from 1883 but has recently been painstakingly restored to its former glory, while at the same time offering its guests a high degree of comfort and ‘mod-cons’.

Colonial House’s location halfway down São Filipe’s slope gives stunning views to the ocean, including glimpses – when the weather is clear – of neighbouring Brava island. The accommodation is owned by Zebra Travel, a local tour operator, which gives guests access to a variety of excursions and travel arrangements. Next door is the Fogo Lounge restaurant, also under the same management, and an ideal venue for al fresco meals or a glass of Fogo’s famous wine on its pleasant terrace area.

Breakfast service makes full use of the island’s produce and might include fresh fruit, freshly baked bread, eggs, meat, local goats’ cheese and Fogo’s own coffee.

Colonial House has the benefit of an interior courtyard with a small swimming pool, a blessing in the summer heat. A second courtyard is planted with a variety of vegetation, making it a good venue for relaxation or reading a book beneath the shade. The use of a six-person jacuzzi on the spacious terrace area, as well as massage services (at extra cost) are also at residents’ disposal.

Each of the nine rooms is different, but all are tastefully furnished and have satellite TV and a private bathroom. (Note that, although all are private, not all bathrooms are en-suite due to architectural constraints.)

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