Cape Verde Holidays
Cape Verde is a group 10 islands 500km off the west coast of Africa. The long beaches, great weather and relatively short flight time from Europe have made Cape Verde a popular destination for those seeking winter sun.
Cape Verde Beach Holidays
Beach, Cape Verde
Two of the 10 islands host the majority of the beach resorts: Sal and Boa Vista. Other islands do have beach resorts and are likely to be quieter.
Sal Beach Holidays
Unlike most of the other islands, Sal is relatively flat, with what is often described as a lunar landscape. Most of the resorts on the island are on the beach around the main town – Santa Maria. The beach is 8km long and has lots of bars and restaurants. The town itself is colourful and lively.
The area is great for windsurfing – along the beach you will find places to rent equipment as well as sign up for lessons. There are also good dive sites around the island, including wrecks.
Bars often have live music, especially at weekends, and are lively, but there is not the nightlife scene that exists on Greek or Spanish islands.
Boa Vista Holidays
Boa Vista is less developed compared to Sal, and is consequently less busy. The majority of hotels on Boa Vista are on Santa Monica beach not far from the biggest town on the island – Sal Rei. Whilst there is not much in the way of nightlife in the town it does have some interesting colonial buildings and good restaurants.
Other islands also have beach resorts, but without direct flights from the UK getting to them requires a boat transfer at Sal or Boa Vista, or a flight transfer in Portugal. One of the most popular islands is Santiago, host to the country’s capital Praia. Whilst the smaller islands of of Brava and Maio are more secluded and less developed.
Other Things to Do in Cape Verde
The main attraction of Cape Verde is sun, sea and water sports, however there is more to the country.
Cape Verde was uninhabited until the 15th Century when it was colonised by Portugal. The Portuguese used it as an important part of their transatlantic slave trade and as a result the islands prospered until the trade was finally banned in the 19th Century.
Praia – the country’s current capital – and Ribeira Grande – it’s former capital – were both instrumental in the slave trade and are a good place to learn about the history of the country and the slave trade.
Diving is a popular day trip and can be done from any of the islands.
Fogo is a good place to go hiking. The island is formed from an active volcano that rises to 3,000m offering challenging treks and great views.
Where to Stay
There is a wide range of resorts and hotels, many of them new due to the increasing popularity of Cape Verde as a holiday destination, so it is easy to find good quality accommodation.
When to Go to Cape Verde
Cape Verde is warm all year round and does not have a rainy season, so is great for a holiday any time of year. The hottest months are July and August, with the temperature cooler (but still hot enough for sunbathing) from November to February.
Getting Around Cape Verde
Travelling around islands by taxi is easy. If you are feeling more adventurous then the public minibuses or colectivos are a cheaper option.
Nearly all the islands have airports, however planes can often be delayed due to volcanic activity and the weather. Ferries also operate, but are frequently late and take much longer so its best fly if you can.
Getting to Cape Verde
From the UK there are direct flights to Boa Vista and Sal that take around 6 hours but are quite infrequent. To get to the other international airports or for more flexible flight options you will need to transfer in Portugal.