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Cape Verde A-Z
Beautiful Cape Verde is an archipelago situated off the African coast. It may be an area that is poor in terms of natural resources, but is an island nation that is full of opportunities.
The beaches of Cape Verde are glorious and the available adventures are quite grand indeed. You will find hiking, diving, and a resort-style atmosphere readily available during a stay here.
Before there were settled in 1462 by Portuguese settlers, the islands of Cape Verde were uninhabited. It is a nation that enjoy ties that are close with Africa and Europe, helping to make it a premier destination.
Cape Verde is formed by 8 islets and 10 main islands. Each has something for visitors to enjoy. At Santo Antao, you’ll finding incredible treks to follow. Boa Vista, Sal, and Maio have stunning beaches to enjoy. Brava is a small island that can only be accessed via boat and provides a quiet getaway. Or there is Santa Luzia, which is uninhabited, so you can explore at leisure.
Many make their way to Cape Verde via Santiago Island, which was the first that was settled. The original capital can be found on the island, Cidade Velha, along with several historic sights. Praia now serves as the capital, also on Santiago, and you’ll find an incredible Lagostada and Grogue waiting for your arrival.
Cape Verde provides a quiet, simple holiday. It provides an active, adventurous holiday. Now it is time for you to plan a getaway that will help you relax the most.
Travel resources for Cape Verde
Discover Cape Verde
An infusion of rural Portugal and Africa will awaken all your senses when on holiday in the Cape Verde islands. Whilst the official language is Portuguese, you will hear many variations of Cape Verdean Creole, and music which also incorporates tastes from Brazil. Watch the morna dance or more modern passada, and savour the wonderful tastes of typical Cape Verde dishes particularly the delicious fish cuisine. Most of the Cape Verde islands have their own characteristics; flat, arid, volcanic, mountainous, long sweeping beaches or small coves. Rainfall in Cape Verde only amounts to about 2.7 inches a year of which about half falls in September. The temperature is about 75 F in January and February, and about 85 F in September. A Portuguese island until the 1970’s, Cape Verde changed it currency to the Euro from the Portuguese escudo.
Santiago is the largest island and located to the south of the group. The capital is Praia which is the location of one of Cape Verde’s international airport. The island is mountainous and offers a host of off the beaten track beaches, and Praia, a good choice of restaurants and fascinating nightlife. The capital of Santiago Island is Praia formerly known as Praia de Santa Maria, a great location to experience the great diversity of life in Cape Verde. A bustling city, visitors will discover a choice of restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as fun nightlife. Praia also boasts one of the best markets in Cape Verde and a number of museums. The area of Prainha is the more upmarket location in Praia and also where there is a sandy beach. The port of Praia is the largest in Cape Verde and it is here that coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits are imported and exported to/from.
To the west of Santiago Island is Fogo Island. Whilst all the Cape Verde islands are volcanic, Fogo has the only active volcano which last erupted in 1995. Boa Vista Island is the furthest east of the Cape Verde islands and boasts an amazing 55 km of stunning white sandy beaches lined with tropical palms. To the north of Boa Vista is the island of Sal, a flat island boasting some gorgeous sandy beaches.
Sao Vicente Island is located to the north west of the islands and is a super choice for walkers and those interested in painting, drawing or photography. The most popular beaches can be found on the eastern islands of Sal and Boa Vista. On Boa Vista relax on the pretty sandy beaches of Santa Monica or Curralinho, perfect for swimming and relaxing in the sun. Travel to the south of the island and experience the joys of Sal Rei and Estoril Beach which are ideal for families and first experiences of surfing. Chaves Beach near Estoril is also gorgeous. Mainly flat, Sal Island’s sandy beaches include those at the popular resort of Santa Maria on the south coast of the island where there is a choice of water sport and land activities to enjoy. Generally the sea around the Cape Verde islands is warm with gently sloping beaches. Kite surfing, wind surfing and a whole host of other activities can be enjoyed.
For the most spectacular views, take a trip to Fogo Island. A good pair of walking shoes is a must as well as a guide, and the climb up Mount Fogo can take around four hours – but the views are fabulous. Cidade Velha or Sidadi is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde, on Santiago Island just 15 km from Praia. Accessed by water taxi or bus from Praia, Cidade Velha (formerly Ribeira Grande) was the original capital where Sir Francis Drake twice visited and has since been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status.
Vacation on Boa Vista Island
The eastern Cape Verde Island of Boa Vista Island boasts an amazing 55 km of striking white sandy beaches and sand dunes dotted with tropical palms. Boa Vista Island stretches for 31 km at its widest point (north to south), and with the exception of the volcanic formations, is a relatively flat island. Water sports are exceptionally popular on the Cape Verde island of Boa Vista and include sailing and diving, surfing and canoeing. Cycling around Boa Vista is also popular as there are few hills to climb. The laid back atmosphere and the stunning beaches are conducive for the perfect relaxing holiday in Cape Verde. To make the most of the spectacular Boa Vista Island, hire a guide and a 4×4 car to explore the island.
Probably one of Cape Verdes’ prettiest beaches is Santa Monica or Curralinho Beach. Mainly unspoilt and sheltered in its southerly location on Boa Vista, Santa Monica Beach is 17 km of soft white powdered sand ideal for swimming and sunbathing. South of Sal Rei on the west coast of Cape Verde is the popular Estoril Beach. Perfect for families and learner surfers, the Ilheu de Sal Rei shelters the Estoril Beach from the winds where there are great facilities including a submarine diving centre, water sports and beach bars. Don’t miss Chaves Beach just south of Estoril – you have to see it, to believe it!
Vacation on Sao Vicente Island
Between the Cape Verde islands of Santo Antao and Santa Luzia, is the island of Sao Vicente or Saint Vincent, one of the Barlavento islands. The climate is generally tropical and dry all year at about 75 degrees fahrenheit, except from August to October which is known as the rainy season although rainfall is very low. Originally volcanic, Sao Vicente Island is now quite flat especially around the north and east although the highest point is Monte Verde in the north east area of the island.
Trekkers, walkers, cyclists and horse riders will love this island and most base themselves around Mindelo the buzzing and cosmopolitan city with a superb sandy beach, where there is a superb range of restaurants and cafes, as well as regular music festivals. There are a few of beaches around Sao Vicente Island with one of the most popular being Laginha Beach in Mindelo, the island’s capital. A great beach of swimming, a selection of water sports are also available.
Vacation on Sal Island
To the east of the group of Cape Verde islands off of the African coast, is Sal Island. Just 30 km in length from north to south and 12 km wide, Sal Island is a relatively flat island particularly in the south around Santa Maria and Palmeira in the west. Boasting sunshine nearly all year, the wetter season runs from August to mid October, although the rainfall is low. The soft white sandy beaches stretch nearly as far as the eye can see, and draw travellers to Sal Island from near and far, making the island ideal for long relaxing holidays in the sun, currently with little tourism. Espargos is Sal Island’s capital with one of the more popular villages of Palmeira just five kilometres away. Santa Maria is also a newly developing area to the south of Sal, and it is here that ferry routes run to Mindelo on Sao Vicente, Sal Rei on Boa Vista Island and Santiago (Cape Verde’s largest island).
Shellfish dishes are the perfect meal on Sal Island and there are a number of superb restaurants around Espargos and Santa Maria. For water sports and land activities, Santa Maria is also the prime spot although as the island is so flat, cycling and walking is very popular on Sal Island. On Sal Island you will discover beautiful white sandy beaches lapped by warm tropical waters. Water sports are extensive in the south especially around Santa Maria and include kite surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving. As tourism is relatively new on Sal Island, not all beaches are fully equipped with facilities although this seems to add to the charm of the island.
How is the weather in Cape Verde ?
Official holidays in Cape Verde
Below you can see a list of the official holidays
|January 1||New Year's Day|
|January 13||Democracy Day|
|January 20||Heroes Day|
|May 1||Labour Day|
|June 1||Youth Day|
|July 5||Independence Day|
|November 1||All Saints' Day|
|December 25||Christmas Day|