Sao Nicolau Island

Travel to Sao Nicolau Island – Walking Holidays in Cape Verde

One of the lesser-visited islands, Sao Nicolau is almost untouched by tourism despite its breathtaking scenery, deep fertile valleys and a pretty colonial capital. The fertile land provides lush plantations or maize, banana and papaya, worked by hardworking farming communities. Native to the island are ‘dragon trees’ – an endangered species.

The very active volcanic past of the island is majestically visible in Monte Gordo, the highest peak of the island at 1,312m. Upon reaching the sea a succession of hills and plains terminates in almost sheer cliffs. The valleys on the whole are generally narrow and deep, except for the Vale de Fajá which is wide and fertile enough for agriculture to flourish.

Sao Nicolau offers some excellent hiking with a range of hill and valley walks along well-kept cobbled paths. Dolphins are often spotted frolicking off-shore in October whilst the island is also popular with birdwatchers. Two uninhabited islands – Rosa and Blanca – can be reached by sailboat in a couple of hours.

If walking is not your thing then a drive on one of the most spectacular roads in Cape Verde from Ribeira Brava to Tarrafal is highly recommended. After negotiating deep creeks on the north coast, the road turns inland before winding south to the black sand beach and town of Tarrafal.

Dancing is an integral part of all events in Sao Nicolau; from the waltz and the square dance with instructions in French, to typical Portuguese dances. Fifth-largest island with 349 sq. km and a population of 20,000.

  • Hike cobbled trails across hills and plantation valleys
  • Experience laid-back island life and watch the world go by
  • Travel one of Cape Verde’s most spectacular roads to Tarrafal


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