Cape Verde; the alternative Caribbean
If you’re looking to relax on sandy beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters, holidays to Cape Verde are the ultimate choice for you. One of the most popular destinations in the Cape Verde islands is the fishing port of Santa Maria, located in the south of the island of Sal.
This bustling area with its palm trees, cobbled streets and colourful houses is filled with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. It’s such a picturesque destination, you’ll be in awe the whole time.
But it’s the eight kilometre stretch of fine sand, appearing to disappear off into the distance, that is the real attraction. At a fast walking pace, it takes around an hour to get from one end of the beach to the other. Cape Verde holidays offer so much to all kinds of holiday goers, and whether you choose to walk along the beach or bask in the sun, it will feel like paradise.
Sea life in the Cape Verde Islands
The Cape Verde islands offer a fantastic array of marine life that make your holiday extra special. You can whale-watch between May and September, go snorkelling and diving, or experience some turtle-watching on Sal and Boa Vista. The crystal clear waters of Cape Verde make snorkelling and diving an incredible experience that can’t be matched – be sure to take an underwater camera for some jaw dropping photos.
On holiday in Cape Verde you’ll learn that it’s one of the most important nesting areas in the world for big loggerhead turtles. There’s plenty of excursions available so you can enjoy this incredible phenomena. For example, you can take a night safari and watch the turtles come ashore ready to lay their eggs.
Cape Verde holidays’ delicious cuisine
The rich and varied culture across Cape Verde hugely includes Cape Verdean food. Influenced by Creole, African and Portuguese flavours – it’ll be nothing like you’ve tasted before.
Most of the produce used in the dishes you’ll try – onions, tomatoes, cabbage, dried beans and kale – is all home grown across the islands. Fresh locally caught fish is incorporated into much of the food, and you can even watch the fishermen sell their day’s catch on the piers!
A dish you must try is the Capucha rice: a slow-cooked stew with marinated tuna, beans, mashed corn and vegetables. It’s Cape Verde’s national dish, so it would be rude not to!
Another way to immerse yourself and have fun is to visit the traditional African markets where you’ll get the chance to try plenty of different flavours. But if tasting the local delicacies doesn’t tickle your fancy, you’ll also find plenty of other delicacies on the islands – including the universally known and loved pizza.
Complete your Cape verde Holiday and enjoy the views of this paradise island by putting your feet up on a sun lounger with a glass of rum – Aguardiente is the traditional tipple and available at most beach bars.
The charming islands of Cape Verde
Cape Verde holidays are perfect for a bit of island-hopping, because why only see part of this paradise when you can see it all! Every island has an alluring history you’ll be keen to experience.
For starters, an interesting fact is that Sal is actually Portuguese for ‘salt’, as it was once a centre for salt production. If you head to Pedra Lume Salt Crater, you can lie back and experience the strange sensation of floating Dead Sea-style in the warm volcanic water. You can even indulge in a medicinal clay bath afterwards.
Old Colonial buildings on the islands serve as a stark reminder of their slave-trade past. In Sal Rei, the capital of Boa Vista, there are colonial buildings as well as an impressive church. However, the elegant Mindelo Port in Sao Vicente is considered the cultural capital of all the islands.
Boa Vista – meaning ‘beautiful view’ – has 55km of uninterrupted sandy coastline which is abundant with a plethora of creatures, plus with 350 days of sunshine every year it’s all the more pleasant to explore.
Nature lovers will adore Cape Verde holidays for there’s so much wildlife to see. Take a day trip to Santiago to see as many of the island’s inhabitants as possible. It’s the largest of the Cape Verde islands, and also boasts green, or verde, valleys, which is a special sight given its proximity to the Sahara desert. Capturing pictures here will make for a magical scrapbook!