Although next to mainland Africa and the Sahara, the Cape Verde archipelago isn't affected by the temperatures found in the desert. This is because it's surrounded by water and the Canary current, which means that the islands benefit from a fresh sea breeze.
There are really two seasons in Cape Verde – the *Tempo das Brisas* or windy season runs from October to July, and the rainy *Tempo das chuvas* from August to October.
The rainy-season months are the hottest, with temperatures averaging 27°C. September is the wettest month – but that can be a relief if it gets too hot – and even though the coldest month is January, you'll still see an average temperature of 23°C.
The islands boast sunshine on 350 days of the year and, as the temperature never dips below 21°C, Cape Verde holiday packages are fantastic for winter breaks as well as a summer ones.
Cape Verde consists of two groups of islands – the Sotavento (leeward) islands and the Barlavento (windward) islands. Luckily, if you're a sports enthusiast, Sal and Boa Vista belong to the Barlavento group. Sal and its capital Santa Maria enjoy constant north-easterly trade winds that have made the area synonymous with fantastic facilities for windsurfing, surfing, sailing – pretty much anything wind-related – and, given the plethora of opportunities, you might find yourself putting down that iPad and jumping at the chance to try a bit of kite-surfing.
Sal was originally settled in the 19th century to export salt from its mines to Brazil. Salt production is an industry that has faded and been replaced with tourism – good for visitors, as the Cape Verde islands all have Caribbean charm without Caribbean prices. With warm-to-hot temperatures all year round, the area's becoming a magnet for people from around the world all year round.
July to September are the warmest months – and stats suggest that the hottest day of the whole year is 19th September, with an average high of 30°C. The cold season is from January to March, when temperatures average 22°C to 23°C. So no matter what time of year you come, you'll manage to get a nice tan while you relax on the stunning beaches that dominate this flat island.
Located on the southern tip of Sal, Santa Maria has a semi-desert climate – which means there's little rainfall during the year. Precipitation is most likely at the end of August and least likely in mid-June. With sea temperatures averaging 23°C throughout the year, you won't be shivering at the thought of going for a dip.
This is the third largest island that you can visit during Cape Verde holidays – after Santa Antao and Santiago – and sits at the most easterly point of Cape Verde. Like Sal, it enjoys great weather and high temperatures throughout the year, with little rainfall in the August-to-October 'rainy' season.
January to March are the coolest months with temperatures averaging 22°C to 23°C – not exactly cold to a European visitor – making it a great spot to visit if you'd like some winter sun. From April to June temperatures average 25°C, and 27°C from July to September.
Boa Vista is Portugese for 'good view', and its year-round warmth means there's no temperature-related restriction on enjoying it any time you like. Grab your swimsuit and head out to relax on magnificent beaches laden with sand dunes - great for the kids to play on while you relax and catch the rays.