Cape Verde Guided Walking Holiday

Wild beauty and intriguing culture awaits across a trio of diverse Atlantic islands


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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Culture
  • High Mountains


  • 3
More information

Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £1,999.00 - 11 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Download Cape Verde 2019 Trip Notes here

A range of scenery awaits on this vibrant archipelago, from the verdant terraces and plantations of the agricultural heartland of Santiago to the rugged mountains and extinct volcanoes of Santo Antão and São Vicente. Challenge yourself on walks in Serra Malagueta National Park and an ascent to the summit of Pico da Antónia. Observe bright, shimmering kingfishers, spot turtles from the spectacular coastal path and revel in the laid-back blend of African and European cultures.

Holiday highlights

  • Santiago - Discover the charm of Cidade Velha fortress, one of the seven wonders of Portuguese Origin.
  • Serra Malagueta National Park - Look out for grey-headed kingfishers as you wander through sleepy villages, tropical fruit orchards and the odd ‘grogue’ distillery.
  • Pico da Antónia - Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you ascend the summit
  • São Vicente - Explore Mindelo, the ‘beating heart’ of Cape Verde. Soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere and the strong Portuguese influences which are still visible today.

The three islands of Cape Verde felt like a world away. We had some very knowledgeable and caring local leaders as well as an excellent leader who travelled with us from the UK and helped sort out transport arrangements and book restaurants. We enjoyed exploring each island and had some great, challenging walks in rugged volcanic terrain. We’ve many happy memories and photographs of a unique country. (Clive, Hampshire)

Price includes

  • 11 nights en-suite accommodation
  • Full board from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on departure, excluding 2 lunches
  • A full holiday programme with an HF Holidays’ leader and local guides
  • Travel by taxis, coach or minibus, all inter-island flights and ferries
  • Tips

In pictures...


Stay in comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels, selected for their stunning locations, centrally located in town, or in the mountains with wonderful views. There’s a mix of traditional and modern hotels and all have outdoor swimming pools. 

 Hotel-Praia-Mar-Oasis-Atlantico in Cape Verde

Hotel Praia Mar, Santiago 

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-Porto-Grande in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde

Hotel Porto Grande, Sao Vicente 

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.

 Pedracin-Village in Cape Verde

Pedracin Village, Santo Antao 

For a taste of splendid isolation without foregoing all 'mod-cons', Pedracin Village holds a lot of appeal. The  elevated position allows guests views up and down the ribeira and the chance to marvel at the mountainous crags beyond. The structure is made out of traditional materials, with use of stone walls and thatch. Pedracin has 32 rooms, which take the form of stone chalets spread on different levels across the attractive landscaped hotel grounds. Rooms are simply furnished, but retain some style. Each has a private bathroom, though hot water can be intermittent - not usually much of an inconvenience, given the warm daytime temperatures. Rooms can sleep up to three guests (2 adults) and have air conditioning and heating. A rarity for Santo Antão accommodation, Pedracin has a swimming pool, which although fairly small, is nevertheless a huge bonus after a day's walking. The views from the pool, as from the surrounding terrace, are truly stunning. WiFi is available (at extra cost).

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible we will contact you in advance.


Guided Walking & Sightseeing in Cape Verde

Download Cape Verde 2019 Trip Notes here

Walks are full and part day with some sightseeing, between 3 and 10 miles (5-16km) with up to 2,150 feet (650m) of ascent. Two of the walks have significant descent of up to 3,600ft (1,100m). There is the option to ascend Pico Antonio, the highest peak on the island of Santiago at 4,560ft (1,392m). Terrain can occasionally be steep and rough underfoot, with some exposure. The walks are at the very top end of our level 3 holidays.

Days 1-4: Santiago island

Kingfisher on Cape Verde islandsArrive in Praia, Santiago, where we stay for four nights. On our first full day we'll take walking tour of Praia then enjoy an afternoon walk through small villages and fertile terraces where tropical fruit and sugar cane are grown.   

We'll also walk in the natural beauty of the Malagueta National Park with possible sightings of the grey kingfisher. Optional ascent of the highest peak of Santiago, Pico Antonio.

Days 5: São Vicente 

CWWHW-Mindelo.jpgA morning flight to São Vicente, cultural centre of the Cape Verde islands. Afternoon walking tour of Mindelo, which nestles at the foot of two extinct volcanos.

Days 6-10: Santo Antão

Two walkers in the Paul ValleyAn early morning ferry to the island of Santo Antão, where the scenery will take your breath away. A cross between Morocco and the Himalaya with volcanic walls, seemingly inaccessible ravines and perfectly farmed terraced valleys. It is also the most mountainous of the islands, with peaks of just under 6,600ft (2,000m). Spend four days walking through fertile plantations, valleys, villages and following a dramatic coastal path.

Day 11 -12: São Vicente & return flight

Colourfuil fruit stall at a marketToday 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.


General Information

Passports must be valid for 6 months.

All foreign nationals require a visa, which is included in the tour cost. We will need your passport details 10 weeks before departure. Visas will be issued on arrival at Santiago.

Health & safety advice
Cape Verde is a third world destination, but has surprisingly good levels of hygiene and reasonable healthcare. Health advice is updated frequently and we advise you to consult both your GP and do your research prior to travel. For further information on country specific advice, visit or

You will see large spiders but they are not dangerous. It is not uncommon to be asked for money or food on the streets. 

Time difference
The Cape Verde islands are 1 hour behind UK time in the winter, and 2 hours behind in the summer.

Cape Verde Escudo (CVE). Currency cannot be obtained in advance; take Euros or sterling cash. Most goods have to be imported so whilst lower than the UK this is not a budget destination. Visa is accepted at major hotels and restaurants, but not in rural areas. ATMS are available in most towns. Most of the large towns have banks where currency can be exchanged. Some hotels in the towns also exchange currency. If you are staying independently of the group tour, the hotels will charge hotel tax, which is the equivalent of €2 per person per night.

Cape Verde's climate is pleasantly tropical with year round average temperatures between 26° and 30° C and the islands generally enjoy uninterrupted sunshine from November to May. Due to its location in the Atlantic Ocean, some of the islands can be more windy than others, and all experience some level of humidity.

In the hotels, breakfasts are generally buffet style, with plenty of choice. Lunches, when included, are made by the local guide and are usually sandwiches, or pasta salad plus fruit. You may want to carry some additional snacks with you from the UK, such as energy bars, but nothing that will melt in the hot sun! Evening meals in Praia and Mindelo will usually be in local restaurants, traditional dishes consist mostly of fish (in some rural areas there may be chicken) with rice, beans and locally grown vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin etc. Food is tasty but simple and the local fresh fish is excellent. 


Andy Pinkard

Andy has been a HF Leader since 2003 and now predominantly leads our overseas holidays alongside his part time consulting business for American Companies.

He says; ‘OK, I admit it. I have a real passion for hiking volcanic islands. I love the way that geological and weathering processes are writ large in the landscapes. I am fascinated by the cultural diversity that displays itself through the mix of indigenous and immigrant peoples.

I’ve explored and led HF Holidays guests to such islands, worldwide.  The Cape Verde Islands offer broad contrasts by hopping just a few islands and the local guides are great. It is not by chance that this will be my third time leading this holiday. Pack light and don’t forget your umbrella.’

Andy will be leading our January 2019 holiday.


Trevor Irvin

Trevor is a retired Chartered Civil Engineer and he has been leading for HF Holidays since 2001, both in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.

He is widely travelled and his main interests apart from walking include history, geology, geography, architecture and natural history.

Trevor has a passion for the mountains and enjoys helping guest to enjoy them too. He likes to meet new people and is looking forward to sharing with them the beauty and history of this country to ensure that they have a really memorable holiday

Trevor is leading our February 2019 holiday.

Brian Bowman

Brian has been leading for HF Holidays since 2000 in the UK, and overseas. He has led our holidays in a wide array of countries, including Patagonia, Cappadocia, the Andes, Jordan, as well as Cuba.

Outside of the U.K. he has walked to Santiago de Compostela, walked the Lycian Way and St. Paul's Trail in Turkey, walked from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean, the Kyrenian Mountains in Northern Cyprus and two long treks in Ethiopia. He walked across the Austrian Alps in September 2018.

He speaks several European languages and has studied Turkish at Oxford University and Arabic at the Oxford Islamic Institute, and has a Diploma in Archaeology, having specialised in pre Roman and Roman Archaeology

Brian’s knowledge, enthusiasm and keen sense of humour will ensure you enjoy your holiday in Cape Verde to the full. He is leading our November 2019 holiday looking forward to exploring the islands with you and will.


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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
7 Jan 2020 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 7 Jan 2020, 1:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 7 Jan 2020, 4:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Lisbon Portela De Sacavem

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 18 Jan 2020, 1:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 18 Jan 2020, 6:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: San Pedro
  • Arrive at: Lisbon Portela De Sacavem
11 £2,499.00 Book Now
7 Jan 2020 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping - Without Flights 11 £1,999.00 Book Now
11 Feb 2020 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 11 Feb 2020, 1:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 11 Feb 2020, 4:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Lisbon Portela De Sacavem

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 22 Feb 2020, 1:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Feb 2020, 6:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: San Pedro
  • Arrive at: Lisbon Portela De Sacavem
11 £2,499.00 Book Now
11 Feb 2020 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping - Without Flights 11 £1,999.00 Book Now
10 Nov 2020 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 10 Nov 2020, 1:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Nov 2020, 4:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Lisbon Portela De Sacavem

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 21 Nov 2020, 1:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 21 Nov 2020, 6:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: San Pedro
  • Arrive at: Lisbon Portela De Sacavem
11 £2,499.00 Book Now
10 Nov 2020 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping - Without Flights 11 £1,999.00 Book Now

Prices are per person.

Important information

  • Single room: £240 (2019), £249 (2020)
  • Non-member associate fee of £10 per person applies

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