Sao Tome and Principe: where they are, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Martí Micolau

Author and references

The twin islands of Sao Tome and Principe they form the second smallest country in Africa. Once inhabited by slaves, today it is the perfect destination for families and nature lovers, who can choose to visit the Portuguese colonial buildings, the colorful fishing villages, the lush forest, the countless coves of white sand bathed by turquoise water or all these wonders together. Here is some useful information to organize the trip


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where are
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. Which island to go to?
  5. What to see and what to do: beaches and places of interest
  6. How much does a holiday in São Tomé and Príncipe cost? Prices, offers and advice
  7. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 204.327
  • Capital: Sao Tome
  • Languages: Portuguese
  • Local currency: São Tomé and Príncipe Dobra (€ 1,00 = 24504.28 São Tomé and Príncipe Dobra)
  • Weather: tropical, hot and humid all year round
  • vaccinations: Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for all travelers, regardless of where they come from.
  • Entry requirements: Passport valid for at least six months and entry visa, which can be obtained at the embassy in Rome by presenting the return ticket
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where are

    The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an independent state in Africa.It is an archipelago of about 20 islands located in the Atlantic Ocean off Central-West Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea

    How to reach us

    • From Milan or Rome: The republic of São Tomé and Príncipeè has only one international airport, located in the city of São Tomé. The route is served by the airline TAP - Tap air Portugal, the duration of the journey varies from 20 to 23 hours and includes at least two stopovers (generally a Portuguese city such as Porto or Lisbon, then Kotoka in Ghana).
      Flights from Rome from € 583,00 - Flights from Milan from € 597,00
    • From the main European capitals: TAP also leaves from European capitals, always with a stopover in the same cities, for a total flight duration ranging from 20 to 35 hours.

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: the climate is tropical, and in both islands there is a dry season, a little shorter in Principe (from mid-June to mid-September), and longer in São Tomé (from June to September), however also in these months the sky is often cloudy. For swimming, the sea is suitable all year round with minimum temperatures reaching 26 degrees.
    • Best time: from June to September
    • Period to avoid: the wettest months, April and May, October and November.
    • Advice: During the whole year it is necessary to bring light clothes and natural fibers, a light sweatshirt for the evening, umbrella or light raincoat for the showers. To climb the Pico de São Tomé, sweater, windbreaker, raincoat, hiking shoes.

    Which island to go to?

    It is an archipelago of about 20 islands, the main ones of which are

    1. São Tomé : those who decide to go on holiday in these places must necessarily be a lover of nature, which is the island's greatest attraction. Natural parks, dense jungles, dream beaches and peculiarities of nature: despite its small size, the island certainly does not lack what to see.
    2. The prince: it is the wilder of the two islands. Here nature reigns supreme, framing the beaches with splendid coconut palms. Furthermore, going inland, it is possible to admire the characteristic coffee and cocoa plantations, for centuries at the basis of the area's economy. Around the island there is no shortage of places to devote to diving, including Pedras and Rolas, two smaller islets.

    What to see and what to do: beaches and places of interest

    1. The west coast of São Tomé, is characterized by a landscape made up of rocky walls from which high waterfalls are thrown into the sea, while inside the forest reigns supreme. A natural spectacle that must absolutely be admired.
    2.   beaches in the southern area of ​​São Tomé they are isolated and intact places, where turtles nest, and animals walk peacefully on the sand.
    3. The rocas, the ancient cocoa and coffee plantations once the size of cities, are immersed in the vegetation and set at the foot of the mountains. Today almost fallen into disuse, they retain their ancient charm.
    4. La Blue Lagoon it is a lagoon framed by majestic imbondero, large trees similar to baobabs, which thanks to the meeting of their roots in the water with the rocks, create an ideal environment for numerous colonies of fish.
    5. Ilhéu das Rolas, a small natural meadow located just south of São Tomé, right on the equator line, marked by a monument. Home to a resort that is the main tourist attraction and economic activity, which employs about 200 people who reside there seasonally: the only inhabitants. Access to the island is only permitted via a Porto Alegre ship which departs from the southern tip of the island of São Tomé.
    6. The natural park Ôbo is a protected area created in 2006, with the aim of protecting the great biodiversity existing in the archipelago. Characterized by the great variety of biotopes, as we can find in the mountain forest of the archipelago, in the mangroves and in the savannah. Known throughout the world The Parque Natural Ôbo can be divided into the São Tomé Natural Park and the Principe Natural Park.
    7. Il Pico Cão Grande it is a tip of volcanic rock born from the solidification process of the lava, which came out of an active volcano. With its characteristic needle shape, this is located in the south of the island of São Tomé, inside the Parque Natural Obô de São Tomé.
    8. Ilhéu Bom Bom is an islet that is located near the north coast of the island of Príncipe, and is almost completely wooded. UNESCO reserve since 2012, the area is ideal for nature lovers, who want to take home postcard shots: like those that tourists dedicate to the lighthouse, built in 1997, and a good 64 meters high
    9. São Tomé is the capital of the African state of São Tomé and Príncipe. The city is located in the north-eastern part of the island of the same name in the Ana Chaves bay and is characterized by several tourist attractions, including the decadent Portuguese colonial buildings, the many well-kept parks and gardens, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace. which is located in the Água Grande district.
    10. Príncipe and the small islands that surround it, including the aforementioned Ilheu Bom Bom, but also Ilhéu Caroço, Tinhosa Grande and Tinhosa Pequena. These, in addition to possessing landscapes and natural beauties equal to those of the older sisters, are characterized by a particularity: during the famous eclipse of 1919, Eddington experimented in these places, for the first time and with success, Einstein's Theory of Relativity

    How much does a holiday in São Tomé and Príncipe cost? Prices, offers and advice

    The tourist who goes on vacation to São Tomé and Príncipe can expect a fairly inexpensive budget. The cost of room and board ranges from € 20,00 to € 60,00 depending on the type of hotel category chosen. The islands are connected by several air flights and ferries, but the connections are irregular, as are the prices: it is always good to ask for advice on the spot.

    On the island of São Tomé to get around there are taxis and colectivos which offer the service for almost all locations, however, it is advisable to negotiate the fare before departure, since all taxis do not have taximeters. There is no other public means. On the island of Príncipe the only means of public transport is the minibus.

    It is possible to rent a car - preferably 4x4, with or without a driver. It is not recommended to rent vehicles from private individuals due to their poor condition and lack of insurance. To be able to drive on the islands you need an international driving license. The euro is accepted everywhere and there is no need to change but, it is recommended to do so, in order to take advantage of the difference in value between the two currencies.

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 22,00 per room -
    • starting from € 583,00 -

Audio Video Sao Tome and Principe: where they are, when to go and what to see
add a comment of Sao Tome and Principe: where they are, when to go and what to see
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.