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Cape Verde Holidays

A castaway archipelago marooned off the west coast of Africa, Cape Verde holidays are one of the Atlantic Ocean's best kept secrets. A former Portuguese colony, the wonderful cultural mix shines through the towns, beaches and nature of these beautiful islands.


The perfect year-round relaxation destination

If you're looking for a romantic getaway, or maybe just a simple holiday away from the crowds, look no further than Cape Verde. The place just oozes relaxation, and most visitors take advantage of the quiet coves and long sweeps of sand to top up their tan under the scorching African sun.

Nine of the ten islands in the archipelago are inhabited while Sal and Boa Vista are both popular tourist destinations that mix fantastic accommodations and towns with superb beaches and natural surroundings.

Quick Tips

Approx 500,585
Roman Catholic
GMT - 1hr

350 days of sun a year

This is a group of tropical islands without the tropical wet seasons meaning that holidays to Cape Verde provide perfect days by the beach. The islands of Sal, Boa Vista and the town of Santa Maria are surrounded by fantastic shorelines with smooth sands and clear oceans. Wherever you choose to stay you'll be sure to find opportunities to utilise the ocean with diving schools, boat trips or water sports on offer.

There is interesting nature throughout the islands as Boa Vista is home to a desert landscape with mountains inland while Sal features salt mines and craters.

Unique blend of cultures

Whispers began to ripple through Europe in the '70s, telling tales of secluded shores and year-round sunshine, drawing curious holidaymakers to these volcanic isles. But even today few have heard of Cape Verde holidays, helping it remain an unspoilt paradise.

The Portuguese influence has also led to Cape Verde being one of the most developed African countries. It's known as a safe destination, the locals are generally very friendly and they'll welcome you with open arms.

Laidback days

Despite its quiet reputation, there are plenty of activities to keep you active – if you can peel yourself from your sun lounger or hammock.

Wind and kite surfers flock from all over the world to Boa Vista and Sal's west coast. The strong winds, especially in January and February, make waves here top-notch.

Although surfing here isn't advisable for beginners, the nearby beach bars are a great place to sit back with a cocktail and watch the professionals show you how it's done. The sunset's pretty spectacular too, so remember to bring your camera.

Chilled evenings

Cape Verde isn't known for its bustling nightlife and the majority of resorts and islands enjoy calm relaxing evenings listening to live music in warm friendly surroundings. The exception to this is Santa Maria which has a nightclub in the town but even the locals prefer the to enjoy themselves at cool cocktail bars.

Among the live music to find in Cape Verde, the island is known for its distinctive musical style called Morna, which expresses emotion in a similar way to Portuguese Fado music, giving visitors the opportunity to connect with the culture of the islands in the venues where it is performed.

Cape Verdean cuisine

The island's Portuguese influence is very evident in the local culture and food, though the extent does vary between the islands. Food is a delicious combination of Portuguese seafood, garlic and olive oil, and African stews, maize and beans.

The deserts usually incorporate the islands' home grown fruit such as coconut, papaya or mangos while cheese puddings and coffee puddings are also popular.

Forget about judging a book by its cover here as the restaurants will look peculiar from the outside but are home to delicious tastes and new experiences inside.

Island markets

Holidays in Cape Verde are still very non-commercial which maintains the islands' natural charisma and this is reflected in the shopping options where you're very unlikely to find any branded goods.

Markets are held around towns selling homemade crafts which reflect Cape Verde's Portuguese and African culture blend while there are small selections of clothes shops selling t-shirts and shoes but mostly surf and sportswear.

Getting there

Did you know Cape Verde is actually on the same latitude as Barbados? This means you get the island and sun combo, just without the price tag. The flight time is much shorter too, at just six hours from the UK, you can have warm, soft sand between your toes by the afternoon.

Once you've touched down in Amílcar Cabral or Rabil Airports in Sal and Boa Vista respectively, transfer times to your hotels are usually very short thanks to the small size of the islands. A taxi ride from the airports should never take longer than half an hour to reach your accommodation.

Where to stay in Cape Verde Islands


Monthly Temperature


Best time of year to visit

Cape Verde's climate is a consistently alluring all year round as the temperatures rarely sway from the mid-twenties in degrees Celsius. Winter months stay at an average temperature of 23C while summer and autumn hovers around 27C.

The islands are famous for its population of turtles with the best time to catch a glimpse of the creatures being July through to December. The parents lay their eggs on the beaches until September and between then and December the babies will hatch. The beaches of Boa Vista and Santa Maria present rare opportunities to see the animals in the wild.

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