Firstly, I will describe some of the basics of what, how to get here, how to travel around the island, etc. Finally, I will describe the impressions of the island and share some photos from this second largest island of Cape Verde. I will say – if you did not get to Santo Antao, go at least at the island of Brava, a nice, green island, it is good to see the contrast between the desert and the green island.
The island of Santo Antao can be reached daily by boat from Sao Vicente from Mindelo, the price is 800 CVE for 1 route. In the morning, the ships arrive and leave in the evening, but you can stay in a village and return to the next day.
You will arrive at the harbor in less than an hour by a taxi, mostly van and offroads waiting in the harbor. You have several options. Either to arrange a trip on the island, the whole day will cost approx. 60-80 euros. You can have a few stops and see mountains, villages and towns, it is a wonderful trip. Of course, there may be a lot of people in the van, so it’s good if you will agree on the boat with someone and the price per person will be 10-14 euros for the whole day!
Another option is to go only to the mountains and then to get on foot. On web, you may find a guide, I attach a contact to 1 family business, which tour makes including accommodation. They have a supreme restaurant in a quiet location at Ribeira Grande (nice town).
You will find also accommodation in Ribeira Grande. There is, of course, more choice. I was at lunch for this guesthouse and it seemed to me nice, clean, in a quiet location just outside the center of Ribeira Grande. There was an excellent food and very nice people. I also got home grog from cane and punch. I will visit them sometime for sure.
And now to Santo Antao – let’s start with a harbor where you will land
The port is nice, modern, located in the town of Porto Novo, where you can also stay. You will find several restaurants and shops so you can buy some food here. There is also one beach under the harbor, but this one is not so good. You can go out of town from the harbor. In areas where is the harbor the surroundings of the island is not very green here.
Mountains at Santo Antao
By car you can get to approximately 1200-1500 meters above sea level. There are trees and greenery everywhere, you can watch small villages, fields in the huge volcano crater. From the mountains you can take a few trails to the valley, or by car to the valley. The mountains here are really beautiful, humid air, you are above the clouds. The highest mountain is 1979 meters. Potatoes (various kinds including sweet), papaya, cane, almonds, beans, apples, coffee and more are grown here.
The villages and the towns of Santo Antao
The most interesting is Ribeira Grande, here you will find decent facilities (shops, restaurants, accommodation) It is a coastal town, I found here also an ATM, there are many minibuses, so you can go somewhere. It is the capital of the island.
The city of Porto Novo is a small town with a harbor. You cannot find here some beautiful beach, but you can stay there, buy food, drink, and reserve the transport. ATM can be found in the dock in the lobby in the lower areas.
Then there are a few small towns and villages, some also have accommodation. There are also some of the shops, church and restaurants. In Ribeira Grande, I went through a lot and I would have liked it as an interesting place to visit and a place to stay. Paul and Ponta do Dol are other towns where is some background. Paul liked me a lot and from Ribeiro Grande it is not so far.
From Ribeira Grande and Paul you can reach Porto Novo by car in 30 minutes by car.
Complete gallery of Santo Antao is here