With glorious stretches of soft sand, incredibly turquoise water and dormant volcanoes along the coast, the beaches in Sal are a highlight for any holidaymaker. Many of them are scattered – meaning you won't find any thriving tourist areas or busy promenades. Instead you'll be greeted with your own private beach and tons of space. This island is known as a surfer's paradise thanks to the strong breezes from the north, so there's lots of opportunities to test out your kitesurfing and windsurfing skills. Whether you want to perfect your tan or hit the water on your Cape Verde holidays, there's a coastline here for you.
This is by far the most popular beach on the whole of Sal. Along the white sandy coast you'll find several resorts offering their guests a front-row seat at the ocean show for their holidays to Sal. There's also plenty of cafes, beach bars and even discos where you can enjoy a lively nightlife scene.
Praia de Santa Maria has one long pier heading out into the water, and if you're visiting at midday you'll be able to see local fishermen hauling their nets onto the dock. Make sure you've got your camera ready – it's a great photo opportunity. Praia de Santa Maria has a strong northerly wind blowing through it, making it a great place to do a bit of surfing or to hire some jet skis. There's normally quite a few locals selling their goods down on the beach, and if you haggle right you can pick up some unique souvenirs.
For something a little different from the normal sandy-beach experience you can head to Buracona. This small bay in the north-west is home to an underwater cave called the Blue Eye. This natural pool is famous for its stunning royal-blue water. You can also bring your swimming gear and hop into the natural lava-pool that is located right next to it. This will definitely be a trip to write home about and is one of the island's most-visited spots.
If you're looking for a secluded spot to soak up the sunshine, Ponta Preta is the beach for you. This coastline has soft sand, and its volcanic rocks act as an ideal shelter from the strong wind and waves. There's just one wooden beach bar here and a small souvenir shop, so if you're planning a whole day on this coast it's best to bring your own food and drinks along. Ponta Preta is also a great place to do a bit of windsurfing or kitesurfing, and the quiet surroundings will mean there's no crowding when you get in the water.
You can probably guess what Kite Beach – also known as Shark Bay and Fragata – is known for. That's right – it's Sal's hub for all things watersport. It's easily accessible and a great spot for both beginners and experienced kitesurfers to hit the water. This beach contains a huge lagoon and the wind blows consistently throughout the year. There aren't any lifeguards on Kite Beach so make sure you know what you're doing before getting in the water.