Silversea Luxury Cruises To PRAIA

PRAIA

The capital of the Cape Verde archipelago, Praia on Santiago Island might be in African in body, but it is European in soul. In fact, when the Portuguese colonised the islands in the 15th century they found no human inhabitants. Thus Cape Verdeans have evolved with a highly unique blend of European and African ancestry, conversing in a sing-song language of Creole, African dialect and Portuguese. The islands only gained independence in 1975 (after a 15-year war), so Portuguese influence is rife and to some, relatively recent. View more

At almost 300 miles off the coast of mainland west Africa, the remoteness of the islands has allowed the archipelago’s natural wildlife to flourish. Naturalists consider Cape Verde as a mini Galapagos, with many endemic species. That, along with astounding landscapes, warm climate and clear waters is reason enough to visit. Add the liveliest market in all of the islands and you’ll soon fall in love with Praia’s shabby grandeur. Originally named Praia de Santa Maria when it was first settled in 1615, the city is nation’s capital. The city is built on a plateau near the beach Santa Maria beach, the town centre still has monuments that attest to its rich history. Due to Santiago’s location between Africa, the soon-to-be-discovered America and Europe, Praia became a slave central for merchants returning to Europe. Buildings built for the dubious trade are still visible – including those with balconies overlooking the square where owners would negotiate the price of human property.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

cruises visiting PRAIA

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DAKAR To RIO DE JANEIRO
  • Departure
    Oct 14 2022
  • Duration
    15 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Cloud
From US$ 8,010
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LISBON To DAKAR
  • Departure
    Nov 09 2022
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Dawn
From US$ 6,750
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DAKAR To LISBON
  • Departure
    Nov 21 2022
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Dawn
From US$ 6,930
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Excursions in PRAIA

Exploring the Mountainous region of Praia

Enjoy a diverse selection of Praia's wonderful features, from the country's first dam, to its agricultural heritage, to a botanic garden and a scenic mountain settlement. Depart the pier and head east towards Archada Fazenda after leaving Praia.


Your first stop on this full day tour is Barragem de Polao, a brick dam located in the eastern part of Santiago Island, completed in July 2006. It impounds the stream Ribeira Seca, being the islands largest river. There reservoir, used for irrigation, stretches between the villages of Polao and Levada. The island has a dry climate with occasional torrential downpours.


After a brief stop at the dam, continue on towards Assomada, which since 1912, has been the seat of the municipality of Santa Catarina, which comprises of the central western part and much of the interior of the island of Santiago.


Visit the local market and take in the fresh produce, vibrant colors along with bustling market noises and smells, all of which adds to the experience of visiting this wonderful local market, that offers veggies, fish, wood, meat and more.


Drive to the farming area and make a stop at a farm and meet with the farmer or one of his farm hands to learn more about what they farm and the process involved. Make a photo stop at Picos, also known as Achada Igreja, surrounded by mountains and lies about 4km north of the highest peak of the island of Santiago, Pico de Antonia.


The tour continues to the community of Sao Jorge, with a visit to the small botanical garden "Jardim Botanico" Grandvaux Barbosa. The garden offers a variety of indigenous plants and is located in Sao Jorge dos Orgaos. The scenery outside the garden, mountains, forest and the gorges are quite breathtaking.


Enjoy a fine local lunch a few km's beyond Sao Jorge, at the small settlement (population just over 1,000) in the central part of the island of Santiago, Rui Vaz, (810-meter elevation).


After a traditional local set menu delicious lunch, depart Rui Vaz and travel back down through the mountainous landscape, a few hours' drive on narrow, windy roads, with gorgeous scenery to the Praia cruise pier.

Praia & UNESCO World Heritage Site “Cidade Velha”

On this tour you will drive from the pier into the new capital "Praia" and let yourself be carried away by the contrast of history, complimented with a modern atmosphere. A visit to the 'Plateau', which is in the Praia city center.


Ethnographic Museum

An internal visit is made to the Ethnographic Museum, founded in November of 1997 and is located in a 19th century building. The museum contains a selection of objects that represent the traditional uses and customs of the Cape Verdean people. This Museum allows one the opportunity to step back in time and imagine life as it was for the early settlers.


Fortress of San Filipe

The tour continues from the 'Plateau', along the coast and then up to the Fortress of San Filipe, built by orders of Filipe I, King of Portugal and Spain. Visit the Fort which is a 16th century fortress located on a plateau above the town centre, 120m above sea level. The fort was part of a system of defence for the city, which also included six smaller forts on the coast and a wall along the port. The fortress was built under Philip I of Portugal between 1587 and 1593, a little after Sir Francis Drake's 1585 raid of Santiago. The Fort was built from stone imported from Portugal. It was designed by military engineers and between 1999 and 2001 was restored.


UNESCO World Heritage Site "Cidade Velha"

Drive down and visit the former capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site "Cidade Velha" (the old town), with a rich history and once the center of the slave trade. Founded in 1462 it is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde and its former capital. Once called Ribeira Grande, its name was changed to Cidade Velha in the late 18th century. This town was the first European colonial settlement in Cape Verde. Some of the meticulously planned original designs of the site are still intact, including a royal fortress, two churches and a 16th century town square. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the narrow streets with its unique traditional old stone houses and shop at local handicraft stores. Here, you can still feel the remnants of the first Portuguese settlers.

After enjoying a performance by a traditional dance group 'Batuco' during the coffee break with local pastries, enjoy a panoramic drive along the scenic coastline back to Praia cruise pier.

Praia Plateau & Cidade-Velha

Spend time in the old town of Praia (the Platuea) and then discover the first Cape Verdean settlement, Cidade Velha. Depart for this half-day morning via coach from the Praia cruise pier, travel 15 minutes to the Praia city center, called Plateau.


Praia is considered the biggest and most African island of the archipelago. Let yourself be carried away by the contrast of history, complimented with a modern atmosphere. From the Plateau, take a short walk, over mostly cobblestone streets, taking in the sights of the Plateau, en route to the Ethnographic Museum. While in Praia, visit the Ethnographic (History) Museum, ocated inside a historic colonial style Portuguese building. The museum allows you to step back in time and imagine how life was for the early settlers.


Leave Praia and travel along the coast from Praia towards Cidade Velha, stopping first for a visit to the well-preserved Fort of Sao Felipe at the top of the hill, which offers amazing views overlooking the bay, with its far-reaching views out to sea. Continue by tour bus, down the hill to Cidade Velha.


Formerly known as Ribeira Grande, Cidade Velha, in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout, impressive remains, including 2 churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th century marble pillar. Rich in history and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, "Cidade Velha", the former capital, was once the center of the slave trade.


Take an easy walk through the picturesque narrow streets, with its beautiful stone homes, and feel the remnants of the first Portuguese settlers. Enjoy a coffee break near the seaside and a traditional dance performance 'Batuco', before the scenic panoramic driving back to Praia and to the cruise pier.

Praia Plateau Walking

Enjoy this fantastic walking tour featuring Praia's highlights, such as Plateau, the old town, Sucupira Market, the Praia Ethnographic Museum and a scenic viewpoint at the Palace of the President. Transfer 15 minutes to Praia city center, called Plateau, where you begin your walking tour.


Praia, the most cosmopolitan Cape Verdean city, is also known as the traditional city of the island. While Praia was named the capital in the 18th century in large part due to its well-located port, today it is the epic entre of the Cape Verdean economy. As you stroll through the streets of this lively capital visit the markets and the life of the friendly Cape Verdeans.


On this 2.5-hour walking tour, take in in the sights of Praia, including monuments, government buildings, a Catholic church and important Historical sites in the city center.


Leave the city center and head down a few flights of stairs to the intense "Sucupira" open air market. This vibrant place teems with colorful fabric & clothing/household goods, fine local food samplings and lots of locals milling about and shopping. Stop for a coffee break at one of the little bars surrounding the market.


Head to the Palace of the President and viewpoint looking out to the harbor. With the sounds of this lively city behind us, we head back to the cruise pier in a coaster bus.

Praia Walking Tour

On this tour, you will learn about the culture and traditions of Cape Verde in general, and in particular, Santiago Island. Praia has absorbed various influences from the other islands due to inter-island migration, as well as influences from abroad. Visit the Plateau and city center.


Ethnographic Museum

An internal visit is made to the Ethnographic Museum, founded in November of 1997 and is located in a 19th century building. The museum contains a selection of objects that represent the traditional uses and customs of the Cape Verdean people. Visit the vibrant vegetable market where the atmosphere is as colorful as its wares. From there, a short stroll takes you to Praça Alexandre Albuquerque square.


Praça Alexandre Albuquerque -- an iconic gathering spot for the people of Santiago.

It is the main square of the Capital city and is the historical centre of Praia. Formerly known as Praca do Pelourinho, it received its current name in 1876 in honour of the Portuguese Colonial Governor Caetano Alexandre de Almeida Albuquerque. It is lined with several historical buildings and townhouses, many of which date from the 19th century. The centre of the square is a public park with monuments to Alexandre Albuquerque (a bronze bust from 1926) and Serpa Pinto (a bronze bust from 1927).


Palace of the President

View the Palace of the President a public building in the city centre. It was constructed around 1894 in neoclassical style as a residence of the Portuguese governor of Cape Verde. After Cape Verde gained independence in 1975, it became the Presidential Palace.


Diogo Gomes Viewpoint and Jaime Mota Barracks

Visit the viewpoint of Statue of Diogo Gomes. Gomes discovered the Cape Verde Islands in 1460. You'll see one of the oldest buildings in Praia -- the Jaime Mota Barracks -- dating from 1826. It was originally used as a military barracks. The present structure in Neo-Manueline style dates from 1872, and was further expanded and modified in the late 19th early 20th century. After independence, it was named after Jamie Mota, a Cape Verdean militant of PAIGC who was killed in Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau). In 2012 it was decided that the building would be restored and house both a military museum and the services of the Ministry of Defence.


Stroll past the Prime Minister's residence and various embassies en route to the view point from the Cruz de Papa Monument above Quebra Canela Beach. Avenida Cidade de Lisboa, a fun and busy street Praia, leads you past the Government Palace and the soccer stadium. Before heading back to the port browse the lively Sucupira Market which sells food, clothing, shoes, souvenirs. Enjoy a coffee/tea break at a little coffee shop near the market. Leaving the sounds of this lively city behind us, return to the pier.

Santiago Island Mountain Exploration

This full day tour takes in the Cape Verde islands and explores Cape Verdes' deep cultural roots. Drive along winding roads, steep mountains, green valleys and small villages with the first photo stop at 'Picos'. At 1,392m (4,567ft) it is one of the highest points on the island. The mountain is part of the protected Parque Natural.


Continue on to Assomada and through mountainous landscape to 'Serra Malagueta' Natural Park, 3,200 feet above sea level, the highest point of Northern Santiago. 28 endemic plants, including 14 endangered species grow here. It features 124 species of plants. The Serra Malagueta formation is of volcanic origin, and was formed between 2.9 and 2.4 million years ago. It covers 774 hectares.


Seaside Village of 'Tarrafal' and Lunch

As the tour continues, enjoy spectacular scenery of the landscape of Santiago Island en route to the quant fishing seaside village of 'Tarrafal' also known as the "Camp of the Slow Death. It is infamous due to the former Concentration Camp located here. The Portuguese colonial-fascist regime built this place when many opponents to the regime were locked up and tortured and lost their lives. The concentration camp ended in 1974, after the April 25 Revolution in Portugal, which led to the end of the colonial war. The bay and beach of Tarrafal are on the Northern tip of Santiago Island. The little houses are now part of a tourist resort, which is relatively well integrated into the landscape. Tarrafal has a beautiful beach.


In Tarrafal, enjoy a traditional Cape Verdean lunch and then take the opportunity for a quick dip in the ocean or relax on the picturesque beach. Shadowed by the green Monte Graciosa Hill, the beach offers great swimming.


Calheta

Journey back along the scenic coastal route passing various settlements, stopping at Calheta, making it the island's second most populous settlement with a population of approx. 1,156. Stop for a coffee/tea break with local sweet pastries. Drive through the agricultural area towards the first dam built in the country (Barragem de Poilao), and learn about the wealth of water. The tour ends at the pier in Praia.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.