Santo Antao for rest days
As I've mentioned in my previous article Santo Antao is a paradise for those who love spending their holidays in an active way. However, if you're not one of them, I'm sure you're gonna be still happy at this beautiful island.
Yes, you're reading it right. If you reaaaaaaly want to do nothing and simply sit and enjoy the sun, just keep reading and skip this point. However, if you are available for a simple and short hike, then a hike from Ponta do Sol to Fontainhas or a hike to XoXo will be for you. I've done the hike to Fontainhas and it takes less than 2 hours to go there and come back. The village Fontainhas is beautiful and it has recognized by UNESCO as a Heritage Page. Xoxo, unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to go there. Claudio (my favourite guide in Santo Antao) has recommended this hike as an easy one. And all the people I met on the way who dislike hiking, did one to XoXo and were very pleased. It's a beautiful village, there's a waterfall there too. You can go there by car, and then get off and hike for a little bit. I'd really recommend you doing at least one easy hike in Santo Antao.
This is what loved soooo much in Santo Antao. I'd never seen ones before so I was very keen to experience them. There are two places with natural pools that I've been to. First one in Sinagoga, the second one in Ponta do Sol. Of course, I'd recommend you checking both of them as they are quite different. However, if you don't have enough time, in my opinion, the ones in Sinagoga are better.
I've been to natural pools in Sinagoga twice, on a weekday, in the morning and in the afternoon on Saturday. The experience was totally different. The first time I was only with my friends there. There may have been one fisherman but that's it. The whole place was only for us. It's important to go there when there isn't too much high tide. Otherwise, the pools may be covered with waves and you won't enjoy them too much. I believe that if you go on a weekday you're safe to avoid crowds or be as lucky as we were and don't need to share this place with anyone else.
Weekends are different. It is when local people go and chill in the pools. Weekdays are work days so it's normal that when they have some time off they want to enjoy it in the best way. I'm very happy I managed to see pools in Sinagoga on the weekend too as for me it was a great opportunity to mingle with local people, make new friends and have a barbecue.
There are lots of different pools in Sinagoga, the ones you can simply sit and chill, others deep and big enough to swim.
A natural pool in Ponta do Sol was my favourite part about my stay in that part of the island. Ponta do Sol is a cute town with lots of restaurants and guesthouses. It has definitely more of a town vibe rather than a village on (like Villa das Pombas). It wasn't necessarily what I needed at that time so most of my time I simply spent in a natural pool reading a book :D. It is a very shallow one, you can basically only sit in it. For me it's perfect. The water is ideal. Warm enough to cool you down but not too cold so that you would need to leave after a short time.
Beach in Tarrafal
For those looking for a beach, Tarrafal is the right place to go. You can also go diving there.
Visiting an island on a car.
Hiking is definitely the best way to get to know the island, but if you're not into that, you can still simply rent a car and drive around it or ask for a guide to show you the best parts of Santo Antao. That's a nice way of getting a feel of the island. The ride along the Autostrada Velha is a beautiful one.
That's a nice way of learning the preparation of traditional Cape Verdean dishes or their vegan versions. I know that Claudio does one!
I'm a huge fan of the music of Cape Verde. Funana was the main reason why I decided to go to Santiago Island. Later on, I decided to explore other islands but nightlife was certainly something I was very keen to experience wherever I went to. In Santo Antao, there are nice clubs in Ponta do Sol. I'd really recommend spending at least one night out to listen to some good music, dance or simply watch others doing that. It's so enjoyable!