Reached by internal aircraft or by regular ferry from Sao Vicente. Visitors enjoy a dramatic curtain raiser to Sao Nicolau’s breathtaking scenery en-route from the airport to Ribeira Brava, as the road edges a deep fertile valley before turning to reveal the picturesque capital cascading down a mountainside.
Ribeira Brava’s town square is an island of peace and antiquity, a catholic church on one side, old colonial administration buildings on the other three and a pretty garden in the centre.
Crossing the island you will pass fairytale dragon trees, an endangered species native to Sao Nicolau. Following the fertile uplands, the landscape flattens, becoming arid as you reach Tarrafal lying on the coast with its black sanded beach. The climate here is hotter, drier and the landscape volcanic.
The landscape of Sao Nicolau bears the mark of a past intense, volcanic activity. The rugged features will enchant both walkers and trekkers looking for real contact with nature. It is the quietest island of the archipelago with small, traditional, rural communities dotted around the coastline. Vila de Ribeira Brava, the capital town of the island, is located in a deep valley with an empty river bed flanked by two mountain ranges reaching a height of 1,312m. The bay of Tarrafal is rich in high quality fish, sustenance for the islanders. It also attracts leisure fishing enthusiasts, particularly those seeking the much sought after Blue Marlin.