The Cape Verde islands are a small archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic, 1,500 kilometres south of the Canary Islands and around 500km off the coast of Senegal in Western Africa. They are the nearest islands to Europe within the tropics. Each one is dramatically different, from bounty-like blonde sands backed by jungle-like scenery to volcanic monochrome landscapes peppered with pastel-painted towns. The colourful blend of cultures from Africa, Portugal and Brazil will have you charmed from the moment you arrive. With some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and just 1 hour behind Central European Time the islands are often described by Europeans who visit as like the Caribbean without the jetlag.
The islands all have their own characters, some volcanic and mountainous, others flat and sandy. The northern group includes Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Lucia and San Nicolao. To the west are the sandy islands of Sal and Boa Vista, and to the south is Brava with its abundance of flora, the volcanic Fogo, beautiful white sandy beaches of Maio and finally the largest island of Santiago with its white sandy coves and mountainous interior. Add to this a watersports mecca, with colorful and high flying kitesurfers and windsurfers, and amazing surfing and scuba diving, and you have a recipe for the perfect mix of culture, beautiful landscapes, and breathtaking sports.
The Cape Verde Islands make the perfect holiday destination: unspoilt, tranquil, some of the world’s best beaches, controlled development, and amazing watersports conditions ensure there is something for everybody. And year round temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees centigrade mean the islands are perfect for both summer and winter breaks.
Sal is the most developed of the Cape Verdean islands and main town Santa Maria offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants. Many holidaymakers come to Sal for the water sports. With long sandy beaches and clear blue water it’s perfect for relaxing in the sun or swimming in the sea. Boa Vista is home to some of the best beaches on Cape Verde including Santa Monica (16km of pristine white sand) and regularly voted in the top 10 beaches on the planet. There are a number of large hotels complexes on Boa Vista however a number of luxury residential communities are now under construction making this island a certain tourism hot spot of the future. The main town Sal Rei has several bars and restaurants and a picturesque harbour.
Sao Vicente is home to Mindelo the second largest town on the Cape Verde Islands and often described as the cultural capital. With a new international airport close by at San Pedro, Sao Vicente is likely to take off over the next decade and a number of luxury rental communities are under development.
Santo Antao is the most westerly of the Cape Verdean islands and is separated from the island of Sao Vicente by the Canal of Sao Vicente, around 1hrs ferry journey where the San Pedro international airport is located. Santo Antao is one of the most beautiful islands, home to mountain forests and valleys, making the island great for hiking. Tourism is limited but growing. Santa Antao offers real beauty and something completely different.
With steady winds all year round, a temperate climate and no shortage of long sandy beaches Cape Verde makes the perfect location for both Windsurfing and Kiting. Surf Zone: Cape Verde’s largest Kite and Windsurf school, open all year round, specialises in Wind, Kite, Surf, SUP rentals and lessons. From beginners to advanced. Check out their website for more information on the school, Santa Maria, and Sal.
To soak up the full Cape Verde no stress experience try Sal Yoga, set on the beach at Santa Maria. Check out their website for more information on booking classes. Also excellent is Yoga Cabo Verde, offering classes that will teach, improve and expand your yoga, all in a sunny stress free environment. Give your body a treat by increasing its strength, flexibility and energy! Their classes are fun, friendly and professional.
Cape Verde is famous for its turtles which come to nest between May and October. The turtles are under threat as development on the islands ramps up. SOS Tartarugas was set up locally to help protect the turtles and their environment. The organisation runs nightly walks and hatchery visits, a worthwhile and fascinating activity when visiting the islands.