About São Nicolau

Vila da Ribeira Brava

Vila da Ribeira Brava

‘São Nicolau’ was discovered in December 1461 by Diogo Afonso, a Portuguese Navigator but only by the year 1510 began bein populated by people coming from Madeira and slaves from Africa. This was an island with a very active volcanic past, still visible in its topography quite rugged and its highest point is ‘Monte Gordo’ reaches 1304 metres. The village of ‘Ribeira Brava’, is the administrative headquarters of the district. Its main characteristic are the many narrow streets and houses including the ‘Igreja Matriz’ built in the XVII century. The Fort and the ‘Porto de Preguiça’, are historical names because that is where Pedro Álvares Cabral passed on his journey that would end up discovering Brazil. ‘Ribeira Brava’ is its main town and is also the seat of the diocese of Cape Vert.

Praia de David

Praia de David

Like almost all the islands of Cape Verde, there is in São Nicolau a strong contrast in landscape. Green areas with cultivated fields contrasting with arid and less populated areas that lie in between mountains and the beaches of black sand. The ‘Dragoeiro’, is undoubtedly the main symbol of the island of São Nicolau. There are plants that can reach hundreds of years old and large trees.

Dragoeiro típico da ilha de São Nicolau

Dragoeiro típico da ilha de São Nicolau

São Nicolau was the birthplace of Capeverdean intelligentsia where was born the literary movement ‘Claridade’, very important movement in the Capeverdean literature. It is also the native island of ‘Armando Zeferino Soares’, ‘Sodade’ music composer and ‘Baltasar Lopes da Silva’, a Cape Verdean writer.

Praia de Juncalinho

Praia de Juncalinho

The island began by having as its main export product coffee but was replaced by sugar cane production. Possessing a sea extremely rich in fish, fishing is the most important means of subsistence of the population. The swordfish, and tuna are some types of fish that can be found on the island but a principal attraction is without doubt the blue marlin. In addition to the sea, its beaches of black sand are known to have healing properties, particularly for rheumatic diseases.

Rotcha Scribida

Rotcha Scribida

Situated on the highest point of the island, we find the national Park of ‘Monte Gordo’, boasts a breathtaking view where the tourists adventure lovers can make various walks because there are several circuits for trekking. The ‘Juncalinho’ located at the northeast part of the island is a place that no one can miss, this is a place where you can find a fabulous natural pool of crystalline greenish water.

Parque Natural de Monte Gordo

Parque Natural de Monte Gordo

When we move to the north we find the ‘Ribeira da Prata’. For those who like ethnographic myths there are rocks with drawings named ‘rotcha Scribida’ these superb landscape became a myth and remind us of our forefathers landscapes. The most important festivity of the island is the feast of ‘São João’ on the 24th June that is celebrated with parades and drums. It is on this island that we all know dance the ‘mazurka’, a genus of ‘contra-dança’ with roots in Europe. The gastronomic speciality is the ‘Modje of Kapôde’, a delicious goat stew ‘capado’ with yuca, green banana, potato, yam, pumpkin, the braised fried dried fish ‘Cachupa’ and ‘farinha de mandioca’ (a kind of flour yucca based).

Praia de Tarrafal

Praia de Tarrafal Credits: Mercè Ortega

Place Categories: Islands.

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