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Tourist Information - Lucete Fortes

Santiago - Cape Verde

the biggest of the
Cape Verde Islands

Cape Verde Map small Ilha do Sal Maio Santo Antão São Vicente São Nicolau Boa Vista Santiago Brava Fogo Ilha do Sal Maio Santo Antão São Vicente São Nicolau Boa Vista Santiago Brava Fogo
Auf dem Weg vom Leuchtturm nach Tarrafal.

It happened in 1456 when a small portuguese vessel, on its way to the Gambia, was drifted off the west-african coast and discovered the then uninhabited islands. The venecian captain Aloisio de Cadamosto communicated his discovery to Prince Henry, but he sent out António de Noli to develop it as a the first european colony south of the Sahara.

Santiago Island, by that time, was known to be the biggest island with abundant vegetation and rivers running to the coast all year. Mr. de Noli made it his home and successfully developed sugar cane plantations and farms to provide the growing number of slave-traders crossing the Atlantic.

The British, by that time, were far from being a united nation and deeply involved in their War of Roses. They arrived somewhat later to write a little history in the capital of Ribeira Grande, today Cidade Velha, when Sir Francis Drake sent out his soldiers to kill the men, rape the women and take even the church-bells on board before they left.

Today, the island harbours the lifely capital of Praia with more than 100 000 inhabitants, government, ministries and local industries. It undergoes a rapid change from a remote underdeveloped country into a modern multi-party parliamentary democracy and shooting star among the tourist resorts.

The British and likewise most other European Nations, found their way back as investors and tourist - and as mix of both, when buying a flat or cottage under the sub-tropical sun that shines for them 300 days a year.

Creole Culture was first born on Santiago island and later exported to the Caribbean, Brazil, and along the coastline of Africa deep into the Indian Ocean to the Sechelles and Mombasa.
Its colourful and energetic music and dances, its religious beliefs, rooted as much in pre-christian traditions from the iberic peninsula and Africa and mideaval Catoliscism, have successfully fought all attemps of control by the colonial masters. It seemed so simple, but it always was stronger. Family traditions were molded by harsh conditions. Mostly poor white settlers lived with African slave women, having children, running a farm or a business and conflicting with a legislation that did not allow them to give their wife and children free. But they managed - they day they died - by testamentary manumission.

Creole Music has spread all over the world and continues to be apreciated for its cultural strength, energetic rithm and frequently very wise and philosophical words.

History of this place is so rich and there are many places to visit. To date, most of them are not prepared for tourists and it is up to the visitor to read up, slowly to discover and to understand the influences of three continents on the fate of the islands.
And we have to come back to the British once more. Boa Vista, until 1845, was the most important island - because of British salt trade. Seamlessly followed the boom of São Vicente (1850+) as one of the biggest coal trading places on earth. The coal arrived from Cardiff and went into the bellies of british steamers crossing the Atlantic to reach Far East, Near East, Africa and Latin America. British firms pulled nine transatlantic cables from London to Sao Vicente and further to Brazil and Africa, connecting three continents by telegraphy.
There is all reason for historical and cultural tourism in Santiago and it is a historical must and duty for european nations, to help to preserve and expose the monuments and a joint history in museums. Liverpool owns a museum on slavery, Sansibar has one and Bagamoio is on its way. In Cidade Velha, where hundred thousands have suffered and perished, where the "crime of a millenium" of trans-atlantic slave trade started, there is none.

The sun and the beaches attract modern people to the island. For time being relaxing and swimming are preffered. But snorkeling, SCUBA diving and surf-sports are at the verge.
The best know tourist beaches are Tarrafal and São Francisco and many others will be developed in the near future.

The mountain ranges and green valleys are enourmous. We selected 33 of the best hiking trails for the first edition of our hiking and tourist map.

We hope to find the time to finish a hiking guide on the Sotavento Islands soon. It will be published first in German but we hope to translate it into English. Co-operation with English authors and editors is welcome! Contact us!

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Hiking Trails
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GPS compatible WGS 84 grid
couloured altitude layers and shading.

Santo Antão 1: 40 000São Vicente 1:35 000São Nicolau 1:50 000Boa Vista - Sal - Maio  1:50 000Santiago 1:50 000Fogo-Brava 1:50 000Cabo Verde 1:150 000

Maps of the Cape Verde Islands
by Dr. Pitt Reitmaier / Lucete Fortes / Attila Bertalan
AB Editors Karlsruhe

Legend in English, Portuguese, German, French or Italian

Klicken zur Seite : Reisehandbuch Cabo Verde

The Cape Verde Guidebook going In-Depth
Reisehandbuch Cabo Verde
German Language only!

Pitt Reitmaier, Lucete Fortes
Reise-Know-How Verlag
ISBN 978-3-8317-2613-4
23.90 EUR  
update  07.08.2020