Sao Nicolau

Sao Nicolau

Blessed with dramatic mountains and lush valleys, Sao Nicolau remains relatively untouched by tourism and as a result has maintained its cultural charm and tranquillity. Visit the Mount Gordo National park and explore the rugged peaks with numerous and challenging hiking trails. Discover the charming town of Riberira Brava and visit the largest Catholic Church in Cape Verde and the seminary, renowned centre of learning. Head to the coastal town of Tarrafal, the centre of the fishing industry and take a Big Game Fishing excursion for Blue Marlin, continue south and visit the beautiful white sandy beach of Baixo Rocha for a spot of surfing and of course try some traditionally made Grogue ,made the old fashioned way.

Sao Nicolau Highlights

Cachaco is the main gateway to Monte Gordo national park which raises 1304 metres offering spectacular view and is the dramatic centre of attention. The park centre offers additional services such as hiking guides, there is also a handicraft centre. The centre can also arrange local accommodation and can arrange a cultural exchange, where you can experience a traditionally cooked meal with a host family.

Click here to view Monte Gordo maps

Riberira Brava

Riberira Brava is the administration centre of Sao Nicolau and is a charming town with attractive colonial architecture. In 1866 a theological college was created and Sao Nicolau became known as the intellectual centre of Cape Verde with many renowned poets and philosophers studying there. The grandest church in Cape Verde is also worth a visit.


Located in the south west coast Tarrafal is the centre of Sao Nicolou fishing industry and the main departure point for big game fishing expeditions for Blue Marlin fishing. The black sandy beach is reputed to have healing qualities.Continuing further south from Tarrafal you will come across the isolated beach of Baixo Rocha, the most picturesque white sandy beach in Sao Nicolau, only accessible by foot due to its isolated location.


Sao Nicolau carnival has a reputation as one of the most popular and colourful celebrations outside Mindelo, people descend upon the sleepy town of Riberira Brava, with lavish costumes and flamboyant floats to create the biggest party of the year.