Porto Novo, Cape Verde

Porto Novo is found on Sao Antonio, the northwesternmost of the Cape Verde Islands, and is the island’s largest town with approximately 17,400 inhabitants. Located on Sao Antonio’s southeastern and arid side, Porto Novo began as a fishing village and only in 2005 it was recognized as a city. Since the island has no airport and Porto Novo faces the town of Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente, this harbor is the main link to the other islands in Cape Verde and the outside world. A monument above the port shows a woman waving goodbye to those emigrating from the Cape Verde Islands. Roads leading out of Porto Novo have to either go along the impressive northeast coast or cross the island’s mountains through a rugged and even more spectacular landscape. The third highest peak of the Cape Verde islands at 1,979 meters is the Tope de Coroa to the west of Porto Novo.

Tour 1 The Authentic Santo Antão

Explore the natural beauty and the products of Santo Antão, the second largest island of Cape Verde that is divided by a large mountain ridge, leaving the side of Porto Novo dry while the side with Paul Valley remains green and lush all year round. Start your day with a panoramic drive along the breathtaking coast to the greenest, almost tropical valley on the archipelago, Paul Valley. Begin a moderate hike through splendid nature and through different plantations. Enjoying the lushness of this valley and notice the friendliness of the population and their simple, rural way of living. Throughout your excursion in this spectacular valley lots of sugarcane can be spotted. Sugarcane is used to make the pride of the locals: the local liqueur called Grogue. There is a chance to visit a traditional distillery to get to know about the process of making Grogue. No visit would be complete if there wasn't a Grogue tasting!

Continuing on the coast through the towns of Ribeira Grande and Ponta do Sol, make your way to the romantic mountain village called Fontainhas. This colorful town seems to cling onto the mountains, which overlook the spectacular coastline. Take a break and snap some pictures of this special place as you enjoy a coffee and locally made salty snacks. From Fontainhas head to the fishing village of Ponta do Sol to enjoy a traditional lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, enjoy the spectacular views while driving along the former trading route on the way back to the harbor.

Tour 2 The Green Island of Santo Antão

Enjoy this driving discovery tour to witness the spectacular and wild nature of Santo Antão, the second largest island of Cape Verde that is divided by a large mountain ridge, leaving the side of Porto Novo dry while the side with Paul Valley remains green and lush all year round. From the harbor, leave the dry side of the island to the place where the island was formed, the Cova Crater, which today, due to the gathering of clouds, is used as farmland. Continue along the panoramic former trade route for the chance to witness the island's unique mountain formations and tropical lushness. Make one of the most incredible photo stops with a view over two of the valleys. In the valley of Paul visit a traditional Grogue (rum) distillery and have a taste of the pride of locals. You can't visit Santo Antão without having a visit to the valley of Paul! This spectacular valley, which is green all year long, is perhaps one of the most beautiful valleys of the country. Drive along the breathtaking coast as you return to the ship.

On to Fogo, Cape Verde

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