How to get to Sao Tome and Principe

By | May 4, 2022


The little-visited islands of São Tomé and Príncipe offer an unspoilt beauty and isolation from the world rarely found today. Perched on a series of formerly active volcanoes 250km off the coast of West Africa, the islands’ landscape is rocky, dense forest and palm-fringed beaches. The islands, which make up Africa’s smallest country, are home to numerous exotic bird species in tropical rainforests. The picturesque city of São Tomé sits squarely on the equator and boasts Portuguese colonial architecture and some attractive parks.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

According to top-medical-schools, TAP Portugal (TP) and Euro Atlantic Airways (YU) have regular direct flights between Lisbon and São Tomé. Feeder flights to Lisbon from Germany, Austria and Switzerland with TAP Portugal (TP) and the respective national airlines.

Flight times

Lisbon – São Tomé: 8 hrs 15 mins

Departure fee

Approximately €17 (US$20) is payable on departure; Children aged 2 to 11 pay half.

Arrival by car

Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, it is advisable to carry the international driver’s license with you.

Arrival by ship

The island’s main port of São Tomé is served by a number of international cruise lines and other passenger ships.

Cruise ships

Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Phoenix call at São Tomé on their cruises departing from European ports.


Traveling by plane

STP Airways (8F) regularly connects São Tomé with Príncipe (flight time: 35 minutes).

Traveling by car/bus

The entire road network has a length of approx. 380 km. A road runs along the coast to the north, east and south of the island. Smaller roads lead inland near São Tomé. The road network on Príncipe is mainly limited to the northern part of the island.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

The roads are only partially paved and potholes are always to be expected. Outside of cities, 4WD vehicles are required.

Car rental

Rental cars can be booked at the airport, through travel agencies such as Navetur or at hotels.


Taxis are available at the airport and in the cities. The fare should be agreed before departure. There are no taximeters. Minibuses are also used as shared taxis.


There is a small bus network on São Tomé. A red minibus runs on Príncipe.


In addition to the national driver’s license, it is advisable to carry the international driver’s license with you.

Traveling by ship

There are daily ferry services between Ponta Baleia (in the southern part of the island of São Tomé) and Ilhéu das Rolas. Ferries also operate between the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, but using them is not without risk.

How to get to Sao Tome and Principe