Island of Santo Antão

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Island of Santo Antão
Santo Antão, or Sontonton in Cape Verdean Creole, is the westernmost and largest of the Barlavento islands of Cape Verde.
The nearest main island is the São Vicente to the southeast, separated by a channel called Canal de São Vicente. It is the most western large island in Cape Verde and the African continent, and the second largest in Cape Verde.
Access to Santo Antão is mainly by sea. The link is made from Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente, having as destination and landing place Porto Novo, also the largest city on the Island, and its port is the most important means to transport its products to other islands .
The island's nearly 50,000 inhabitants live mainly in the cities of Porto Novo, Ponta do Sol, Paúl and in its capital, Ribeira Grande which is located in the valley of the same name.
However, the residents of Santo Antão are a mountain people.
Mountainous and green, essentially agricultural, stands out for its grandeur. Rides, mountaineering and small grog productions are the attractions of this island.
On the south side, the city of Porto Novo is located, with a maritime port from which connections are made to the island of São Vicente, being the most cropped and covered with herbaceous vegetation. The plateaus in the central part of the mountain range have a cool and humid climate being covered with trees such as eucalyptus, cypress, pine, cedar and acacia.
On the north side, with the Vila de Ponta do Sol, with an aerodrome, although currently inactive, the road to Ribeira Grande, Vale de Paúl, land of the poet António Januário Leite, the ascent of Passage and the Fontaínhas show how green this predominantly agricultural island.
Arriving on the São Vicente ferry, the island of Santo Antão is breathtaking, with its immense volcanic walls, seemingly inaccessible ravines and perfectly cultivated terraced valleys.
The hike in the Northeast is excellent and mostly along miraculous cobblestone paths that link the fertile valleys with the traditional mountain villages. This is an island of dramatic contrasts. A journey that takes you from the dry and barren capital to the lushly cultivated crater of Paul's Cove in the center of the island with its pine and eucalyptus forests and then descends on narrow, steep roads.
Most of the scenic highlights of Santo Antão can be reached with the help of guides and so, even if you are not an amateur hiker, you can still enjoy this wonderful island.
The jagged relief of cliffs and cliffs, gorges and valleys, make this island unique in its beauty, a paradise for adventurers enabling them to practice trekking and mountain biking.
The most important festivities are: The day of St. Anthony, celebrated on January 17; the feast of Saint John, located in the city of Porto Novo is celebrated on June 24 and in the village of Janela, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, is celebrated on August 15.
On the beach of Escorralete is realized the many music festivals in Cape Verde.
One of the greatest names of this island's culture was Antoninho Travadinha (António Vicente Lopes), an excellent violinist who also mastered several other instruments.
The gastronomy of Santo Antão is quite varied.
The specialty is the kid stew.
It is also well known for broth or fish stew with various types of vegetables.
When it comes to desserts / pastries one of their specialties is honey cake, also delicious papaya and coconut desserts, and even the famous fresh goat cheese.
The famous "grogue", sugar cane brandy, a strong alcoholic beverage and made on the island by artisanal methods in "trapiche" (small mechanical mill moved by animal power - oxen or donkeys - that crushes sugarcane) and in alembic by fire wood.
Bottles of this drink can be purchased, as tourist souvenir, in attractive packaging.
The climate of Santo Antão is typically tropical and mostly dry, with an average temperature of 24 ° C throughout the year. From November to July it is dry while August to October is the "rainy season".
Other tourist destinations in:
Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Boavista Island - Cape Verde
Santiago Island, Cape Verde
Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde
Fogo Island, Cape Verde
Maio Island, Cape Verde
Sal Island, Cape Verde

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