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Cape Verde Delights

I’ve just got back from a Cape Verde holiday and must say it was a very refreshing change from our usual December Canaries trip. The weather was just fantastic, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the whole place was laden with charm. Cape Verde’s motto “No Stress” really is true. It really is no wonder that this place is dubbed the “African Caribbean.”

We stayed in the Rui Garopa hotel, just 30 minute from the airport, which was perfect as we’re not great fans of being packed into hot, stuffy coaches for long periods of time. The hotel’s facilities were really good, and it was really great that we could use the facilities of its sister hotel, Rui Fanana too. This meant we had a choice of four really lovely sparkling pools, shame they were all freezing! The hotel grounds were very tropical, and I could always get a sun bed and parasol. They even supplied the towels, which was a great plus with luggage allowance. Rooms were fab – large and clean with air conditioning, bliss after a day in the glorious weather.

We booked with Thomson, and I must say the little added extras made all the difference. Priority check in, extra luggage allowance and first drop off made us feel that little bit special. Far less stressful too! The Rui Garopa is a Platinum property, so relaxed and laid back it was perfect.

As the hotel was 24 hour all inclusive, we didn’t feel pushed to be ready and eat as much as we could at any particular time, which was great. We could grab food or a drink whenever suited us, not anyone else. There was a varied menu too, and we never heard a complaint from a fussy eater. As early birds, the only downside for us was that the all inclusive pool bar didn’t open until 10.30am, though it wasn’t too big a deal.

The hotel provided a range of fun activities throughout the day and entertaining shows on an evening. It was pretty funny watching my husband turn red as he was chosen to participate in a game! Although we didn’t travel with children it was clear that there were plenty of things to keep the little ones entertained.

Both hotels were right on the sea front, with stunning views. The beach was so exotic, it was so easy to forget we were just a six hour flight from the UK! The sand was so clean and soft. It got pretty hot though, so don’t forget to pack your flip flops!!

At the moment Cape Verde is pretty non-commercialised which is great if you love to get a taste of another culture whilst away. The resort is a mix of old and new with charismatic cobbled streets and beautiful little cafes. I’d guess though in 5 years time lots more bars and restaurants will pop up, which would be great for some, but not really for us.

Off shore diving here really is a must, especially as the waters are so crystal clear! It’s such a fun experience, and I’d highly recommend it. Otherwise, there isn’t a great deal to do on the island, though some excursions take you to explore the mainland’s culture. Locals are so friendly too, so don’t be afraid to chat to them. For us though, our hearts were stolen by the miles and miles of feather soft beaches, so unlike anything I had ever seen before.

One thing to remember is that you need a visa to go to here. It’s 25 euros on arrival but free if you pay online before you go, something I wish we’d known! Take lots of euros because if you use your debit or credit card to book excursions Thomson will charge an extra 5%. Cape Verde holiday packages really are perfect for an exotic chillout break, but if you’re a late night party animal after late nights and clubs it’s not for you!