Travel to Cidade Velha – Ruins of an Ancient Capital
Just twenty minutes (12 km) west of Praia lays the village of Cidade Velha – a worthwhile half day trip with a number of old ruins testifying to its sumptuous past.
Formerly a Portuguese colony, Cidade Velha (Ribeira Grande) was the first capital of the Cape Verdean islands and is the birthplace of Cape Verdean culture.
A pleasant town to explore on foot, the main highlight is the fortress of São Filipe which is still fairly well preserved. In the main square is the ‘Pelourinho’, an old slave trade post which remains well preserved. A drive further along the coast towards Porto Mosquito rewards travellers with a glimpse of a traditional fishing village.
Take a walk up the wide and dry ribeira just west of the main square to visit an old church for fine views out to sea and over the town. A walk up to the fort will also offer great views.
Cidade Velha village is small enough to be explored easily on foot.