The most famous island of Cape Verde is Santo Antão, the 2nd largest island in the country. This island with all its facets is considered a real walking paradise. You have dry places where nothing grows, but also green and lively areas. This article is about the coastal walk from Tarrafal to Monte Trigo. You can do this walk in the dry area of Santo Antão.
Our base was ‘Guest House Vista Tarrafal‘ in Tarrafal, an ideal starting point for this hike. Tarrafal is only accessible by car via a bumpy route from Porto Novo. It soon turns out that it is really a remote village. They were busy building a new road, so the connection to Tarrafal will improve soon. Monte Trigo is only accessible via 2 hiking trails and by boat, so this village is even more remote than Tarrafal.
From Tarrafal it is about a 12 km hike along the coast to Monte Trigo. It will take you about 4 hours to overcome about 600 altimeters. In the beginning and at the end the paths are still well maintained, but more in the middle of the hike the path is poorly maintained. After about 2/3 of the route you arrive at a place where you can descend to a beach according to the written guides. I had tried to descend while sitting. I probably would have gotten down, but I had no idea how I would ever come back up with all those loose stones.
During the walk you follow the coast. You actually walk on and in the cliffs all the time. Only in Tarrafel and Monte Trigo can you touch the water again. During much of the hike you have a beautiful view of the volcano ‘Topo Da Coroa’. You can apparently climb this volcano on a 12-hour trek. The walk is doable if you are in good shape, but definitely bring enough water. It always goes up or down.
Once you have arrived in Monte Trigo, feel free to drink or eat in the local cafes and restaurants, but of course you do not have much choice. If you are not tired yet, you can take the same way back, but we took a boat back to Tarrafal. During the boat trip you can see where you have walked and you also have a nice view of the cliffs made of volcanic rocks.
If you are on Santo Antão it is definitely worth doing this hike. This dry part provides a nice change from the green parts on the east side of the island. Arid and dry may sound less interesting than green and damp, but I have experienced many times how beautiful these dry volcanic areas can be.
If you plan to go to Cape Verde, be sure to read the following article: the climb of Pico Do Fogo.