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Santiago Island: Highlights of Cidade Velha with Local Guide

15 Reviews
Tours Culture & history Walking tours Nature & adventure

Explore the first city built by Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa: Cidade Velha. Enrich your knowledge of the history of colonization and slavery in Cape Verde, take in the city's highlights, and enjoy the views from the top of the Royal Fortress.


  • Explore the birthplace of the Cape Verdean nation and culture
  • See the fortress built to protect the island against pirates
  • Visit the former slave market in Pelourinho
  • Discover the ruins of the first sub-Saharan African cathedral
  • Choose between a shared group or private tour


Explore the highlights of Cidade Velha, a World Heritage Site that represents the cradle of Cape Verdean nation and culture, on this full 3-hour morning tour. After pickup from your accommodation in Praia, head to Cidade Velha. Your first visit will be to the Royal Fortress of São Filipe. Built originally to defend the city against pirate attacks, the fort makes an excellent viewing point from an altitude of 120 meters above sea level.   Next, explore the ruins of the first sub-Saharan African Cathedral, and see fishermen returning from the water with their traditional boats full of fresh fish. Head to the former slave market in Pelourinho, the famous Banana Street with its traditional houses, the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church, and finally, the Convent of São Francisco.   At lunch, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the city and taste some local delights in a typical restaurant right on the seafront. The tour finishes with drop-off back to your hotel in Praia.


Hotel pickup and drop-off from Praia Transportation Tour Guide Liability insurance

Important Information

  • Shared Group Tour option is subject to a minimum of 2 participants. In the event that the minimum number is not met, we reserve the right to propose an alternative date; to charge an extra fee to run the tour privately or to cancel a customer's booking for a full refund.
  • Note that the São Filipe Fortress is closed on holidays.

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund


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