Facts About Sao Tome
|Country||São Tomé and Príncipe dobra|
|Area||17 km sq|
|Lat Long Coordinates||0°20′10″N 6°40′53″E|
|area Code||+239-11x-xxxx through 14x-xxxx|
|Point of interest||Cascata São Nicolãu, São Sebastião Museum, Boca de Inferno, Obo Natural Park, Lagoa Azul, Roca de Monteforte, Praia Jalé, Praia das Conchas, Pico Cão Grande, Ilhéu das Rolas|
About City :
Sao Tomé, the capital city of Sao Tome and Principe, was founded by Portugal in 1485. The Portuguese had come there in search of land to grow sugarcane for the production of sugar and the hot and moist climate of Sao Tomé proved to be ideal for the cultivation of the crop. The proximity of the land to the African Kingdom of Congo also provided an abundant source of slave labourers to work on the sugar plantations. The city was the capital of the Portuguese colony of Sao Tomé and Príncipé and has been the capital of the sovereign nation as well since its independence in 1975.
Unlike any other islands in the Atlantic Ocean, Sao Tomé offers an intoxicating atmospheric blend of sea, sunlight, air and abundant vegetation. The capital city is centered around a 16th century cathedral and is house to 57,000 residents. Language spoken here is Portuguese.
São Tomé and Principé lie in the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa and is a part of the Cameroon volcanic mountain line. An important port, Sao Tomé is located at 0°20′10″N 6°40′53″E in the northeast of the island on Ana Chaves Bay and covers an area of 17 sq. km.
How to Reach (Transport) :
The easiest way to reach this beautiful island is by a direct flight from Gabon or Portugal to the Sao Tomé International Airport. There are weekly flights available from Libreville (Gabon) with either Air Service Gabon or Air Sao Tomé. Direct flights are also available from Lisbon (Portugal) with TAP Air Portugal. There is also a cargo ship to Sao Tomé from Port Mole in Libreville.
Once there, you can travel to the nearby towns of Trindade, Guadalupe and Santana by the various roads, especially by the highway that encircles the entire island of Sao Tomé. Rental cars and motorbikes are easily available for that purpose.
When to Visit :
Sao Tome features an equatorial climate and is favorable for a visit throughout the year. While December to February features the hottest months of the year, this is also Carnival time and attracts many tourists. From March to May, Sao Tome attracts mostly beach lovers with clear skies and high humidity. June to September experience warm temperatures, suitable for hiking and this is also when several cultural events take place in the area. October and November experience rains as well as sunshine and is best for hiking and orchid spotting.
Fairs and Festivals :
Although Sao Tomé is a land of rich culture, there are not many festivals celebrated by the natives. However, the following public holidays are observed here when the country generally shuts down :
- International Workers’ Day takes place on May 1 that celebrates the historic Labour Movement, the development of trade unions in the nation and the contribution of every worker to the country.
- Independence Day is celebrated on July 12, when Sao Tomé and Principé celebrate their independence from the colonial rule of the Portuguese. This public holiday is marked by musical performances, dance shows and theatrical shows that showcase the natives’ rich tradition and culture.
- On November 26 every year, Sao Tomé celebrates the national holiday of Argel Accord Day which commemorates the signing of the Argel Accords in Portugal that promised to grant sovereignty to the colony.
- The majority of the population comprise of Christians, hence Christmas is celebrated with much pomp and splendor all over the place.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit) :
- Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Graca de Sao Tomé is the oldest cathedral in the town. It took 400 years to construct this spectacular piece of architecture that stands right in the center of the capital town.
- Fort de Sao Sebastian is the earliest European building in Sao Tomé built in 1575. A lighthouse was constructed here in 1866. This fort also has a museum inside.
- 15km from the town is the Casa de Repouso that gives a panoramic view of the island.
- Estadio Nacional 12 de Julho is a stadium for football matches located on the east coast of Sao Tomé.
Apart from these there are also several waterfalls and plantations that attract the visitors.
Hotel Pestana is undoubtedly the best. The luxury hotel offers suites along with 4 star rooms with modern technological facilities available to all and an authentic Portuguese cuisine. Other hotels include Hotel Miramar, Bom Bom Island Resort and Omali Lodge. Inns, guest houses and Bread & Breakfasts are also available at reasonable rates.