Cape Verde

Island Hopping

Code: CWWHW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Culture
  • High Mountains

Level

  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £1,719.00 - 10 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

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Enjoy the dramatic beauty and cultural vibrancy of three very diverse islands, with their fascinating mix of African and European laid-back island atmosphere. We will introduce you to the varied landscapes of these islands with walks through fertile terraces, plantations, villages and along dramatic coastal paths.

Holiday highlights

  • Walk through fertile terraces and along rugged coastline
  • Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of high mountains ahnd extinct volcanoes
  • Walk through the Malagueta National Park
  • Watch out for kingfisher

Prices include:

  • 10 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...

Accommodation

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. 

We start with the Hotel Praia Mar Oasis Atlantico (4 nights). 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. 

Next, on the island of Sao Vicente, we stay at the Hotel Porto Grande (2 nights) 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. 

On the island of Santo Antao, we stay at the Pedracin Village (3 nights). For a taste of splendid isolation without foregoing all 'mod-cons', Pedracin Village holds a lot of appeal. The location is unique, being around 10 kilometres up the valley from the busy transport junction of Ribeira Grande and in an elevated position which 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 of strenuous hiking. The views from the pool, as from the surrounding terrace, are truly stunning. WiFi is available (at extra cost). The restaurant is spacious and has the same panoramic views of the valley. 

Our final night is spent back on the island of Sao Vicente at the Porto Grande (details as above)


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.

Itinerary

Download trip notes

Walks are full and part day with some sightseeing, between 3 and 10 miles ( 5-16km) with up to 2150 ft (650m) of ascent. Two of the walks have significant descent of up to 3600ft (1100m). 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.

Day 1: arrive in Praia, Santiago, the most African of these islands (4 nights).

Day 2: walking tour of Praia. Enjoy an afternoon walk through small villages and fertile terraces where tropical fruit and sugar cane are grown.   

Days 3-4: 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 5-6: morning flight to São Vicente (2 nights), cultural centre of the Cape Verde islands. Afternoon walking tour of Mindelo, which nestles at the foot of two extinct volcanos. Enjoy a day’s tour of the island with opportunities to swim and take short walks.

Days 7-9: early morning ferry to the island of Santo Antão, where the scenery will take your breath away. A cross between Morocco and the Himalaya, this island is desolate and barren in the south and west, but the subtropical climate contributes to a rich vegetation. It is also the most mountainous of the islands, with peaks of just under 6,600ft (2,000m). Spend three days walking through fertile plantations, valleys, villages and following a dramatic coastal path. (For 17 November 2016 departure only there will be one additional day on this island - This will be on the opposite side of the island, you'll see strange rock formations and experience the microclimate that happens on this side of the island, which is in contrast to the lush mountainous area close to the Hotel Pedracin. This means that you'll be in Sao Vicente on day 11, and return flight will be on day 12, arriving back late in the evening.)

Day 10: ferry back to São Vicente (1 night). Afternoon at leisure in Mindelo.

Day 11: most of the day at leisure before the return flight back to London.

Day 12: arrive UK.

General Information

Passport
Passports must be valid for 6 months.

Visas
All foreign nationals require a visa, which is included in the tour cost. We will need your passport details approx 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. Tummy upsets do happen but if you ensure you wash your hands before food, drink bottled or filtered water and use plenty of sunscreen, and wear a sunhat, this should make a difference. Polio and tetanus vaccinations should be up to date. There are mosquitoes, but not malarial and there are no snakes.  Take insect repellent. 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.

Money
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.

Climate

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.

Food

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. 

Leaders

Martin Campbell

Martin has had the pleasure of leading walks for many years and immensely enjoys the challenges that international travel provides. His wanderlust has taken him to destinations all over the globe, including an extensive selection of HF Holidays’ Worldwide destinations. As an HFH mountain walks leader since 1979 this gives him a wealth of experience to draw from. Independently he has travelled by truck through the Serengeti, Botswana and Zambia and the sand dunes of Namibia and come face to face with the mountain gorillas in Zaire, as well as leading the original HF Holidays’ South Africa trip.

In particular it is the pleasure he can enthusiastically embrace of sharing cultural experiences in diverse lands where exotic sightings of wildlife, landscapes and nature can be discovered, and he adds to that his deep enjoyment of international cuisine.

Martin is leading the tour on 30 November 2016.

Chris Ellis

Chris’ career ranged from youth hostel warden, government research scientist, university teacher and professor to director of education for the Royal Institute of British Architects. He continues to work part time in architectural education, whilst leading walking holidays and Discovery Tours for HF Holidays, which he has been doing since 2007. His leisure activities include walking, skiing, cooking, reading, listening to music and looking at art work. 

Chris visited Cape Verde three years ago and is looking forward to returning and sharing with HFH guests his love of the islands and particularly its music. He has a collection of music from the islands, particularly that of Cesaria Evora and Teofilo Chantre.

Chris is leading our 11 January 2017 departure.

Sandy Franklin

Sandy Franklin has been leading for HF Holidays since 2001. She has led widely in the UK, Europe and Worldwide, and loves nothing better than engaging guests with local landscapes, culture, flora and fauna. Sandy has also led expeditions in Africa to Morocco, South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland, trips which included trekking in the High Atlas, Mt Toubkal, and the Drakensberg Mountains. 

As well as walking and trekking Sandy loves a wide range of outdoor activities, such as sea kayaking, rowing, cycling, and ski touring. 

Sandy is looking forward to sharing her love of exotic places with guests in Madagascar and Cape Verde

Sandy is leading Madagascar on 10 November 2016 and Cape Verde Island Hopping on 15 February 2017

Dai Rowlands

Dai was born in North Wales, with Welsh as his first language. He lived 6 years in Australia as a child after his family emigrated. He worked in the oil industry with Shell all his working life until taking [very] early retirement, before starting his second 'career' leading for HF Holidays  in 1997.  

Dai is our local expert for the Snowdon area, and the Field Advisor for all of our walks from our Country House at Craflwyn Hall, Snowdon. He is our oracle on all things Welsh and looks forward to leading our Railway Walks at Snowdon holiday.

He has also led trips such as New Zealand, Everest Base Camp, Peru and the Inca Trail, and his previous experience travelling through Africa will be valuable on our Cape Verde Island Hopping holiday in November 2017.

Stuart Boulton

Stuart has been leading HF Holidays since 2003, in the UK and overseas. He was responsible for establishing the centre in the Spanish Pyrenees and is currently Field Advisor for Tavira, Portugal. He has previously led in Sri Lanka, Cuba, Jordan and Hawaii on our Worldwide Journeys and looks forward to leading another island hopping holiday in Cape Verde with you.

Stuart will be leading our 29 November 2017 departure.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
2 Dec 2016, 10:22 a.m.

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Well organised holiday with an excellent HFH leader and knowledgable and friendly local leaders.

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A unique experience of these beautiful islands. A hectic holiday at times but none the less enjoyable with a good group of guests.
1 Dec 2016, 9:19 a.m.

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A good company with responsive service. I am happy to continue considering holidays offered.

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Organisation good, selected accom good, walks OK - but a bit too tame and risk adverse for experienced walkers.
13 Mar 2016, 5:54 p.m.

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No review provided

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HF are always very helpful and the holidays are reliably good
2 Mar 2016, 7:08 p.m.

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Booking was all handled very efficiently. Journey was made easier by some information about transiting at Lisbon prior to the flight.

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Interesting to see the landscape and culture of 3 of the islands and have the opportunity to see how the people live.
2 Mar 2016, 8:34 a.m.

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No review provided

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Overall very good.
2 Mar 2016, 8:08 a.m.

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HF needs to be careful about some aspects of their holidays. One thing I am having difficulty with in terms of HF being a travel company of expertise and a travel company on which I can be confident, is the situations were the HF guide has never even been on the holiday they are guiding. This has been the scenario for me in Vietnam, Cuba, Montenegro, and now Cape Verde. I found the guides on these trips not very knowledgeable at all about the place we are visiting and sometimes seem to see their role as another guest not someone who is in a leadership role and on some levels is an 'employee' in that the other guests are paying for their expertise as a leader. On the other hand I have been on other overseas holidays where the leader is familiar with the location and has lead there before. I have certainly enjoyed these trips much more. I believe HF should look for leaders who have visited the country where they will be leading and if at all possible, have been a guest on the holiday in that place. Failing that, I do think they should have researched the locale and know something about the place.

Product review:

i think the local travel company was poor. Walks were unbalanced being mostly downhill the entire way. This is not good for the human body. One walk on Santiago was particularly steep and dangerous. I felt the local guide was not particularly engaged with the HF group - particularly on the very steep walk. He did not seem very empathetic to the age profile of most of the group. I also felt he was not a very good local guide at all.
The hotel on Santiago was located in a boring location and the staff did not seem to be very well trained for the tourist industry. The second full day on San Vincente going to Monte Verde, Salamansa, and the volcano area was unfulfilling. The local guide took us around the back of the volcano crater to walk from that direction but no path existed on that side. Lunch was had at a very isolated restaurant and although the food was fine, I couldn't see why we should be there. I think the day should be re-thought (or eliminated). The hotel on San Vincente was well-located and the staff in the hotel were great. [The staff in the hotel bar/restaurant were odd.] The stay on Santo Antao was by far the best of the 3 locales and the local guide was much more professional than the previous 2 local guides. The hotel was very basic, the food very very basic, not much hot water in the rooms, but in the a gorgeous location. The walks, again, were proportionately more downhill but the balance was much much better. Well done to HF on the organisation of the tour as there were a lot of pieces to pull together.
Thank you for your feedback.

I was disappointed to read that you did not find the holiday up to a standard you expected. We do research our holidays very carefully and try to give our guests the best holiday experience.

I have passed your comments onto our Worldwide Product Manager to take onboard. You will receive a personal reply from her.

Assuring you of our best intentions.

Kind regards
Toni

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
3 Feb 2016, 7:40 p.m.

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Very well organised for the first time that HF went to Cape Verde. The first local guide took us on a shorter not as described walk . Good personality but a bit lazy.second guide was adequate but got the impression that she did not enjoy her job.Third was a pleasure. Knowledgeable, adaptable professional

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Loved it but would have preference more time on Santander Antao less on Sao Vincent.
31 Jan 2016, 8:01 p.m.

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Good to have an email before setting off to give tips and advice.

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Sandy was an excellent leader on this the first trip to CV.
28 Jan 2016, 9:47 a.m.

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It was an enjoyable trip .

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Some of the islands could be skipped . Some of the local guides were not too keen on walking any distance . It would be a good idea to spend more time on the last island visited of Saint Anthony .
The food could be improved . I think every day should have a hike . Otherwise it was great .
27 Jan 2016, 7:57 p.m.

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Helpful, efficient.

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Very good value for money as almost all meals were included. Good itinerary, although one more night on Santo Antao and one less on Sao Vicente would have been better. The hotels were of a very good standard and the food was lovely.

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
15 Feb 2017 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping 10 £1,719.00 Book Now
15 Nov 2017 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

TAP AIR PORTUGAL

  • Depart: 15 Nov 2017, 6 a.m.
  • Arrive: 15 Nov 2017, 12:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Praia Francisco Mendes

Flight - Return

TAP AIR PORTUGAL

  • Depart: 25 Nov 2017, 1:35 p.m.
  • Arrive: 25 Nov 2017, 10:35 p.m.
  • Depart from: San Pedro
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
10 £2,259.00 Book Now
15 Nov 2017 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping 10 £1,719.00 Book Now
29 Nov 2017 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

TAP AIR PORTUGAL

  • Depart: 29 Nov 2017, 6 a.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Nov 2017, 12:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Praia Francisco Mendes

Flight - Return

TAP AIR PORTUGAL

  • Depart: 9 Dec 2017, 1:35 p.m.
  • Arrive: 9 Dec 2017, 10:35 p.m.
  • Depart from: San Pedro
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
10 £2,259.00 Book Now
29 Nov 2017 CWWHW - Guided Walking Cape Verde Island Hopping 10 £1,719.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £160
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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