The second largest island in the archipelago, its mountain ranges stretch from the northeast to the southwest. It is the most westerly and northern of the islands and its highest peak is the second highest next to Fogo’s – Topo da Coroa. Its high peaks and landscape on the northeast are of great contrast to the barren landscape that can be viewed on approach by ferry from Sao Vicente.
The ferry from Sao Vicente runs on a regular basis. You can purchase tickets from the Port Authority offices at the port in Mindelo. They introduced new fast ferry's to support the older ferry's that operated between the islands. Those living on Santo Antao but working on Sao Vicente male the daily commute to work on the ferry. Live stock, vehicles, other goods and passengers make the journey between the islands. On occasions rough seas may make the journey less pleasant. The new port area on Santo Antao is a great improvement. If visiting Sao Vicente and you have time, Santo Antao is a 'must' to visit.
Ribeira Grande is situated on the other side of the island to Porto Novo. In previous years local mini buses called 'collectives' would wait for tourists at the port to take them up the mountain road and down to Ribeira Grande and then perhaps onto Ponto do Sol. As like all islands, there are plenty of Loja Chinese shops selling cheap imported goods in small towns on the island. Once you reach Ribeira Grande you can either head left or right, one takes you to Ponto do Sol, the other to Vale do Paul (pronounced 'paool'). Alternatively you can head slightly inland towards Pedracin Village.
When the rains have fallen this is one of the most breathtaking views on the island, the green hills and valleys, with mountains stretching out before you. The jagged mountain ridges rising and falling, then some small dwellings dotted about on the hillside, making you think 'what's up there'. The coastal road built to provide a quicker route from one side of the island to other has made a big difference for some residents, but tourists will enjoy traveling through the inner parts of the island. Walkers should take care as there are not many tracks that can be followed with total ease.
There are people that offer organised tours. You should choose someone that speaks your language. There are also private taxi's who for a fee will take you to the main places of interest, most taxi drivers will not speak any English.
Winter - at least one long trousers and a jumper
Comfortable walking shoes (flat), thick soled flip flops or sandals
Sun lotions, after sun and Mosquito repellent (can be expensive)
Hygiene wash gel/wipes.
Unlocked phone if wanting to use local sim