Fogo is an island of contrasts and well worth a visit. The main town of São Felipe is an attractive, busting town with views over to the neighbouring island of Brava. There are wooded areas on the sides of the mountain slope and a National Park on the side of the caldera near Mosteiros. There are also coffee plantations near Mosteiros and guavas, papayas, grapes, oranges, quinces and mangoes are also grown in the area. Then the most unusual of all is a trip to the caldera (volcano crater). There you find a rugged landscape, which could be compared to a moonscape, together with the small houses, some buried by lava in 2014 and also hotel and restaurants. Wine is also produced within the caldera from the vines grown there. Fogo is also a stepping stone to neighbouring Brava.
The volcano caldera is not to be missed if you visit Fogo island. The landscape is intriguing and you can clearly see the lava flow from the last eruption in 2014. The tallest peak is Pico do Fogo, seen in this photograph. Hiring a car and driving though the caldera to the beginning of the park at the far end is a very worth while experience. Expect rough tracks, not smooth roads. There is a modern hotel offering attractive rooms, nice food and optional massage. A different, very informal restaurant and accommodation built out of blocks of lava is well worth a visit (booking in advance if necessary). The chef cooks on an open fire and creates delicious food.
The two islands of Brava and Fogo are quite close together. To get to Brava (known as the garden island) you need to fly to Fogo and then take the ferry. There is no airport on Brava. The main town on Brava is Nova Sintra, which is one of the most attractive towns in Cape Verde. The micro climate on the island makes it ideal for flora. The gardens are lovely with an abundance of lovely plants and flowers. One of the main attractions on Brava is Faja d’Agua. This is a tiny village nestling by the sea and only reached by a mountain road.
This picture was taken in the caldera on the island of Fogo. The old road was abruptly interrupted by the lava from the eruption in 2014. A new track has been formed to get around the lava flow. The caldera is well worth a visit; it is an enormous area with two main villages, a hotel and small restaurants. The wine produced within the Caldera is of good quality. It is sad to see some of the houses buried by the lava, but it is good that there was no loss of life.
The Telegraph is the latest newspaper to feature Cape Verde in its Travel Destinations section. The article ’10 reasons why Cape Verde is the most underrated winter sun destination on Earth’ by Chris Leadbeater extols the virtues of visiting Cape Verde.
In his article Chris describes how Cape Verde is not a destination that comes to mind when considering a holiday, but he describes the 10 islands that make up Cape Verde as being ‘as beautiful as they are mysterious’.
So why is Cape Verde becoming a popular holiday destination and one that is being featured by the press? Here are just some of the reasons:
It is accessible from much of Europe
There are direct flights to the island of Sal from the UK, from airports such as Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester. There are also direct flights from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester to the island of Boa Vista. Airlines that fly there include Thomas Cook and Tui (Thomson). Other islands are accessible via Lisbon with TAP airlines or via Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. Flights are also available from many European cities, such as Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Munich, etc.
The weather is good all year round
Flying for an extra 2 hours, people who traditionally have looked at the Canaries for their winter sun, can take advantage of the Cape Verde weather. There you can enjoy the lovely temperatures that rarely drop below 20C and average between 25C and 30 C in January. The sea around Cape Verde is also much warmer than in the Canary Islands.
There is a variety of accommodation
There is a great range of accommodation available from self-catering apartments and villas to guest houses and luxury all-inclusive hotels. Something to suit every tourist. Some links to accommodation on each of the islands are included below.
It has a unique musical tradition
Two types of traditional music can be heard in Cape Verde, morna which was made more famous by singer Cesária Évora and then there is Funaná. Along with their music, cape verdeans love to dance and visitors are more than welcome to join in.
It is a chance to experience Africa
Cape Verde is an African country and Santo Antão island is the continent’s most westerly point. Santo Antão is a mountainous island and roughly half the island is dry and arid, the other half lush and green. Coffee plantations are to be found on the sides of the mountains.
The volcanic landscape
The islands a volcanic and whilst most are inactive, the volcano on Fogo island erupted as recently as 2014. The peak on Fogo reaches 2,829 m above sea level. There is a community living in the crater and the wine is produced there and is certainly worth tasting.
Island hopping opportunities
Cape Verde comprises 10 islands and each has its own distinct character and landscape. The easterly islands of Boa Vista, Sal and Maio are flatter and contain areas of desert. The western islands such as Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Brava are rugged, mountainous and ideal for the more energetic hiker. A holiday in Cape Verde should take in at least a couple of islands.
Water sports galore
There are many opportunities to enjoy water sports, from swimming to kite surfing. The winter season is the windiest and provides excellent conditions for sailing, wind surfing and kite surfing. One beach on Sal island has been renamed Kite Beach, because of its popularity for kite surfing. In addition, there are opportunities to dive and experience the marine life, which is abundant in the waters around these islands.
For accommodation on each of the nine inhabited islands, see the following links:
Fogo is one of the nine inhabited islands which make up Cape Verde. The Fogo hills lead up to the summit of the mountain Pico do Fogo which is almost 3000m above sea level. The caldera or crater is 9km in width, with walls of 1km in height. The volcano erupted last in 2014. The visitor to Cape Verde should include Fogo due to its growing popularity as a holiday destination.
Binter Cabo Verde have now announced that the lastest island to be added to their flight schedules is to be Fogo. Flights between Praia and São Felipe, Fogo will commence in the middle of April. It appears that there will be flights every day of the week, except for Tuesdays. It is to be hoped that Binter CV will continue to expand its service within Cape Verde.