It may be true that a lot of unlikely things are done for love. And if the old wives’ tales in Cape Verde are true, then the road to Fontainhas has to be right up there as one of the most surprising.
On the archipelago’s second largest island of Santa Antão, the old road from Ponta do Sol to Fontainhas takes a tortuous path around towering peaks and jaw dropping ravines. It’s a startling road that is said to have been built by one of the early Portuguese colonials allowing him to reach his lover who lived in the tiny village of Fontainhas – a little huddle of houses clinging to the mountainside.
For hikers, the landscape around Fontainhas on Santa Antão is reason enough to come to Cape Verde, and like everything about this little group of Islands in the Atlantic, off the west coast of Africa, it’s a startling mix of ingredients. Arid volcanic rock quickly transforms into verdant forests that cling to mountainsides and then in another instant, shift to perfect, deserted sandy beaches or charming colonial towns.
The people, food, music and language are an unpredictable mix of African and European that leaves most visitors wide-eyed and entranced. Colour, warmth, passion and pride come together to create a Creole culture that reminds you of Cuba, West Africa and Portugal all at once. You can dance at exuberant carnivals, dive for 16th century shipwrecks or hike deserted mountains – there’s lots of reasons to fall in love with Cape Verde.
18 Hrs Ideas
With direct flights from Manchester and London, getting to Cape Verde now is almost short haul. Within a day, you could even be on the road to Fontainhas. Cape Verde experts Archipelago Choice helped us with our journey – archipelagochoice.com