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Fogo Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Islands are located between Portugal and the West Coast of Africa and are becoming the latest destination for UK and Irish holidaymakers because up until now, they have managed to keep quiet about their piece of paradise and avoid attention. The Cape Verde Islands are probably not somewhere you have heard of, as they have been newly discovered and are still a third world developing country and as such, they haven't featured highly on the list of exotic destinations - until now! The word is out and the islands are beginning to enjoy the arrival of lots of new visitors and all the benefits that this brings and they are becoming a sought after holiday destination. The Cape Verde Islands are made up of ten individually exotic islands, nine of which are inhabited and all of which offer the lure of unspoilt paradise.

Each island is uniquely different, all with different landscapes to explore and enjoy, from spectacular beaches to beautiful green foliage and rugged coastlines, the Cape Verde Islands have everything you could dream of in a tropical and exotic destination. Although visitors tend not to roam too far away from Sal, the main island, each of the other islands that make up this archipelago have much to offer by way of impressive scenery, rugged coastlines and miles of endless unpolluted sandy beaches. The Cape Verde Islands are definitely worth visiting if it is an exotic and tropical holiday you long for.

Fogo is the tallest of all the islands and its highest peak is almost 3,000m above sea level. It received its name from the Portuguese word for 'fire' and Fogo is one of the most Southern islands in the Cape Verde cluster. Of special interest is the fact that most of Fogo is actually an active volcano, with its last eruption in 1995. In past times, lava from the volcano has been known to travel as far as the Eastern Coast and residents in a small village called Chã das Caldeiras situated at the base of the volcano; are often evacuated in times of expected eruption. One of the key attractions in Fogo is a caldera which measures 9km in width! Its walls are 1km high and within the Eastern rim, there is a breach from which an enormous peak rises in the middle. This central peak, or cone, is known as Pico de Fogo and climbs an amazing 2,829 metres, making it the highest point of the island. As you can imagine, the main attraction for visitors to this island is the volcano, however, Fogo is also known for producing coffee and wine as the land is extremely fertile on the island's South Western slopes.

Getting to the Cape Verde Islands couldn't be easier with direct flights from the UK leaving several times a week from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. Flight time is approximately six hours, depending where you fly from and once there, you will be able to travel around the island by foot or bicycle. Fogo lends itself to walking, however, as there is sunshine all year round and Fogo is one of the hottest islands, bear this in mind especially if you can't resist climbing the majestic volcano. A visit to São Filipe should not be missed as this world heritage town will enchant you with its pretty cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses in a colonial style. Set against the backdrop of Mount Fogo do Pico with its spectacular landscape, you will also be able to explore the orchards and coffee plantations, not to mention discovering lots of small farms and forests. Another visitor attraction which is not to be missed is a night in the Chã das Caldeiras which is a massive black volcanic crater. Here, there are also two small towns which are tucked away in the walls of the crater and they have existed by being able to grow grapes to make wine. These villages will also amaze you with their variety of tropical and exotic fruits which actually grow in the volcanic ash.

If you decide the urge to climb the magnificent volcano is just too much, then you can find a guide to lead you to the top whilst taking in some breath-taking scenery such as vines and apple trees and you will also come across houses which are actually made from lava and watch steam rising from the ground! An easier option is to walk to a smaller peak or for a more leisurely walk, a stroll down to the coast will provide some spectacular scenery by way of the coffee and sugar plantations.

Could Fogo be your next destination?