Hiking on Brava

From the tiny capital of Nova Sintra ('Vila') atop a little plateau there are some short but lovely hikes: eastward down to the ghost village of Vinagre via Santa Barbara and westward to Cova Joana and then on to Nossa Senhora do Monte or Lima Doce, both nearby.

Another highlight includes the 1½-hour walk to the mountainside hamlet of Baleia from the village of Mato Grande, 4km from Nova Sintra. The scenic village of Fajã de Agua on the northwestern coast is set dramatically between a rocky cove and impressive cliffs. It's great to hike down to the village, along a sharp 7km descent with stunning views.