Winter sun

Cape Verde Island Hopping

Serra Malagueta mountains in Santiago Island Cape Verde - Cabo Verde
Duration: 11 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 3
from £2,599pp with flights

Located off the west coast of Africa and made up of 10 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde is blessed with stunning beaches and plenty of natural wonders. You’ll get to island hop across the archipelago and learn more about its Afro-European culture, explore the green heartlands of Santiago, and discover the extinct volcanoes of Santo Antão and São Vicente. There’s also challenging walks in Serra Malagueta National Park and an ascent up Pico de Antónia – the highest point of the islands.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering Cape Verde’s Portuguese influences
  • Visiting Cidade Velha's historic fortress
  • Spotting wildlife in Serra Malagueta Natural Park
  • Ascending Pico da Antónia for breathtaking views
  • Exploring bustling São Vicente 
  • Learning about the volcanic origins of the islands

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Half-board (breakfast and evening meal)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

We arrive in Praia on the island of Santiago, and a short transfer will take us to our hotel.

This morning we explore Praia, the largest city in Cape Verde and capital, on a guided walking tour. We’ll see the old historic buildings such as the Presidential Palace, City Hall and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Graca in an area of the city known as the Plato. The statue of Diogo Gomes stares out to sea, reminding us of the European explorer who first made mention of these islands in 1460.

Following a drive through pleasant countryside, we start our afternoon walk. We start above the Salineiro Valley where we descend a rocky sandstone path to the valley floor. Once in the valley we follow paths which run along the river bed, through small villages and fertile terraces where we’ll see tropical fruits growing and small sugar cane plantations. The sugar cane is used to make ‘grogue’, a local drink which offers more punch than taste, which some distillers mix with honey or fruit syrup.

Lunch is at a seafront restaurant in Cidade Velha, after which we visit the old fortress. Cidade Velha stands on the site of the oldest settlement in Cape Verde, Ribeira Grande. It was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin. Distance: 3miles (5km) with 650 feet (198m) of descent.

We start the day with a visit to Assomada and its lively West African style market with its smells, noise and mesmerising colours. We may do this visit later in the day, depending on local conditions.

We continue to the entrance of the Serra Malagueta National Park, where we walk through recently planted reforestation projects and down into the Gon Gon valley to the village of Hortelão. The path is easy to follow, though there are a few steeper sandy sections. The trail takes us through small villages, tropical fruit orchards and the odd ‘grogue’ distillery. Look out for grey headed kingfishers on this walk.

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km) with 700 feet (213m) of ascent and 3,300 feet (1,000m) of descent.

After a journey of about an hour we start our walk to ascend to the summit of Pico Antonio, the highest mountain on Santiago at 4,560ft (1,392m). There are several routes which reach the top, but we usually take the same route up and down.

This is an optional walk; it can be challenging for some and the ascent to the summit is quite steep. Distance: 6 miles (9½km) with 2,300 feet (700m) of ascent. Please note, this walk is just outside the holiday’s general level 3 parameter and is a low level 4.

An extra local guide will offer an alternative easier walk which descends on forest trails through native bush and reforestation projects to the village of São Jorge. The village has several cafés and bars where you can purchase refreshments.

Distance: 5 miles (8km) with 1,300 feet (396m) of descent.

Today we fly to São Vicente where we’ll discover Mindelo on a guided walking tour. Mindelo is the jewel of this island, with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a vibrant cultural scene. With its sheltered deep port, the British installed a coal station in 1838 which supplied ships from all around the world, leading to the town’s prosperity. On our tour we’ll see influences from the British and the Portuguese in the Governor’s Palace, the City Hall and the replica of the Belem Tower in Lisbon. We'll then take the ferry from São Vicente to the neighbouring island of Santo Antão (1 hour crossing).

We begin our day with a scenic drive to the start of our walk overlooking the Cova da Paul - a volcano whose caldera is situated at the centre of steep cliffs at over 4,600 feet (1,400m). Our walk descends on a cobbled switchback track through fertile plantations into the Paul Valley, from which we'll continue to our hotel.

Distance: 6 miles (9½km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent and 3,600 feet (1,100m) of descent.

Today we fully appreciate our surroundings as we walk from the valley of Pinhao to Lomba Branco. We’ll traverse through several valleys and pass a deserted village before the final short steep ascent to Lomba Branco. Distance: 5 miles (8km) with 1,050 feet (320m) of ascent.

This walk is quite challenging, so an easier option with a second local guide will be available. We’ll walk from the valley of Cha de Pedras to the village of Coculi. We traverse between valleys on relatively easy cobbled paths through sugar cane plantations, farms and villages. We pass a grogue distillery and have the opportunity to sample and purchase locally made preserves. We finish our walk by descending on a small cobbled road to the main valley. It’s also possible for the walk to be extended by walking back up the valley to the hotel.

Distance: 5½ miles (9km) with 985 feet (300m) of ascent and 1,640 feet (500m) of descent.

Today we walk the lesser known northwest part of Santo Antão. The walk takes us from the remote village of Alto Mira III to Cha da Morte and is interesting because of its impressive and varied rock formations and micro-climatic variations which affect certain parts of Santo Antão.

Distance: 4 miles (6½km) with 1,200 feet (370m) of ascent and 1,650 feet (500m) of descent.

Today we walk from our hotel to the beautiful village of Cha de Igreja in the next valley. We walk along a road on the left-hand side of the Riberia Grande for about half an hour and cross the dry river bed to a small path up the right (north) side of the valley. The path is steep, and zig zags its way up the saddle at 830m. You might spot Egyptian vultures.

From here it’s a hard descent on a cobbled path to the edge of the remote village of Selada do Mocho. We continue until we reach the dry river bed of Ribeira Garca, where we can see the small village of Cha de Igreja on a promontory of land above us. A short but steep path leads to the village.

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) with 2,000 feet (620m) of ascent and 2,200 feet (700m) of descent.

A more relaxed option is also possible: walking from the hotel, ascend through maize and sugar cane fields to the ridge visible from the hotel’s terrace before descending on cobbled tracks to the village of Cha de Pedras, seen earlier in the week.

A spectacular coastal walk today as we start from the fishing village of Cruzinha. We follow a dramatic coastal path which contours around to the village of Fontainhas and the former capital of Santo Antão, Ponta do Sol.

This is an undulating walk, with one sustained uphill stretch just before reaching Fontainhas. There is an option to finish here if you don’t want to continue all the way to Ponta do Sol.

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) with 2,150 feet (655m) of ascent.

Today we take the ferry back to São Vicente and to Mindelo where we have an optional last walk and the rest of the day at leisure to relax or explore this vibrant cultural centre of the islands.

Transfer to the airport for the return flight from Sao Vicente via Lisbon back to London.

Cape Verde Itinerary Map

Hotel Pedracin Village

Pedracin Village is a delightfully quiet and unique holiday hideaway retreat, elevated on a steep mountainside and benefiting from spectacular views. The swimming pool is ideal for a quick dip to cool off, while the surrounding terrace boasts amazing views down the valley Pedracin Village offers 32 traditional and simple bungalow rooms, linked by cobbled pathways which meander through the property’s tropical grounds. This hotel has limited facilities, relying on solar panels for its hot water, and serves basic breakfast, lunch and dinner choices from the restaurant located next to the pool. Dates 2023  

Hotel Praia Mar, Santiago - Cape Verde - Days 1-4

The Praia Mar is a low-rise hotel occupying a headland in Prainha, the capital city's embassy district. It is part of a Portuguese hotel chain and as such it enjoys good standards and a decent range of facilities. The hotel is located only five minutes' drive from Praia International Airport, the 'Plateau' with its shops and market, and the administrative and financial centre. The Praia Mar has 123 rooms in total, including four suites. All rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, room safe, mini-bar and hairdryer.

Hotel Tiduca - Cape Verde - Days 5-10

The 4 star Hotel Tiduca is a comfortable, modern hotel, which first opened its doors in 2017. It is locate opposite the Boca de Pistla Harbour, which means you can make the most of the incredible sea and mountain veiws from the Hotels spacious rooftop terrace.  The hotel has 82 ensuite bedrooms, each room has airconditioning, hairdryer, TV, Telephone, wifi, safe and balcony. other facilities include: a restaurant, 2 bars, small spa, and gym. 

Hotel Porto Grande, Sao Vicente - Cape Verde - Day 11

On the island of Sao Vicente, we stay at the Hotel Porto Grande in Mindelo. The Porto Grande sits elegantly on Mindelo's main square, a few hundred metres from the seafront and five minutes' walk to most of the principal restaurants, bars and nightspots. The town beach, known as Laginha, is a pleasant, 10 minute stroll to the east. As well a swimming pool and children's pool, there is 24 hour reception, a gym, evening entertainment, laundry, room service, WiFi (extra charge) and currency exchange. Porto Grande has 48 rooms and 2 suites, each equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, hairdryer, phone, mini-bar and room safe. Each room has a balcony with views of either the main square or the swimming pool. Our final night is spent back on the island of Sao Vicente at the Porto Grande.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC


  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

21 Jan - 01 Feb 2024

11 nights

Flight from London Heathrow Airport

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03 Mar - 14 Mar 2024

11 nights

Flight from London Heathrow Airport

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Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

21 Jan - 01 Feb 2024

11 nights


Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

03 Mar - 14 Mar 2024

11 nights


Single from


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Trip Notes Book Now

Important information

  • With flight holidays: Price includes flights to Praia, returning from Sao Vicente, hold baggage and airport transfers
11 nights
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:

11 nights from £2,599pp
with flights

Winter sun

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