There is no island in Cabo Verde with such an imposing ex-libris as the Island of Fogo.
And no other island has the origins stamped on the image that it conveys at first glance. Fogo (Fire), the name of the Island name and of the volcano, rises abruptly from the sea by the action of powerful earthquakes that have not yet ceased, as recently demonstrated. The territory is much more than this extraordinary and mythical cone of dark lava colored by rich variety of colors offered by Nature. Fogo is life, history, a marvel of creativity and survival of a community with deep human and cultural essence.
FEEL THE MAGNETISM OF THE VOLCANO AND THE MYSTIC OF THE LANDSCAPE…
The human and cultural miscegenation marked the Island of Fogo unmistakably. In the following decades, in the beginning of settlement, the slave population represented 87 percent of the inhabitants thus becoming in one of the fundamental cores of the African-European community that established on the island. The Flag feasts, on the 1st of May, or the festivities of St. John translate the fascination of both religious and pagan characteristics, mixing masks used in African animist cults with horse riding activities that still are so popular in so many Portuguese villages.
The beautiful city of São Filipe is the symbol of cultural diversity, showcase of a wellpreserved colonial architecture built on the African way of life. The dominating colonial manors or “sobrados”, with their two floors and a surrounding balcony, are icons of history of Fogo. They evoke the times of the masters who reserved the first floors to themselves, leaving the ground floors for the domestic help, who could ascend to the upper floor only once a year, on the Flag Feast day. Hence the importance of the Flag Feast today, a sign of freedom and liberation, of rise of the right in the fullness of days of regalia once granted in only one of each year.
WHERE TO STAY
There’s one Hotel and a wide range of boarding houses in São Filipe. In Mosteiros you’ll find some boarding houses and one hostel. You may be able to rent rooms in private guest houses or in many other small places, normally in annexed buildings with privacy.
WHERE TO EAT
There is a very wide range of restaurants and bars available in the city of São Filipe; however, the choices in Chã das Caldeiras and in Mosteiros are very scarce.
The craft made with volcanic lava and with scenes from the volcano is unique on Fogo Island. The pieces of this artistic expression earthbound are available almost everywhere in the island, including in Chã das Caldeiras, the inhabited location close to the volcano crater.
Fogo coffee, biological and with limited production, is also a shopping good alternative. Visitor can buy typical products of the territory at Mr. Montrond’s house. The Cooperative Winery ( Adega Cooperativa) and the shop of this institution provide for sessions of wine, liqueurs and brandies’ tasting. One should not forgetn Manecon, the exclusive wine of Fogo Island, made from grape vines that spring miraculously out of the black volcanic lavas.