Cape Verde holidays offer a vast mix of tropical activities is spread out across no fewer than ten islands, making it almost impossible to take everything in with just one visit, so pulling this list together was no easy feat. Well, after much debate, we managed it – here we have our rundown of Cape Verde highlights that are truly must-dos!
Island-hopping is one of the great joys of travelling and Cape Verde’s collection of little land masses makes for a varied taste of tropical nomad life. You can take one of the local ferry services, or a puddle-jumper for some routes between major destinations (for example, Boa Vista to Sal)
#9: Trek Mt. Fogo
The island of Fogo (meaning fire in Portuguese) is home to Cape Verde’s tallest peak and active volcano, Mt. Fogo. While it doesn’t require technical expertise, the hike can take from three to five hours, so you’ll want to make sure you’re up to it – but the view from the top is a serious reward for all your efforts. A local guide is recommended, to make sure you stay on the right path and have access to help if there are any mishaps or injuries.
#8: Enjoy Santiago’s nightlife
Cape Verde nights are filled with music, staying true to its African roots with traditional rhythms wrapped in acoustic guitar and lovelorn vocals. Nightclubs are typically reserved for the major hotels, although things have gotten a little more lively over the years – particularly in and around the capital of Praia on Santiago. We love Tabu, a bar near the harbour with an outdoor disco.
#7: …followed by a lazy day on the beach
Whether you chilled to the local sounds with a cocktail or partied until the sun came up, the perfect day after the night before in Cape Verde is lazing across one of its many heavenly beaches. Take a look at our list of amazing local beaches for a glimpse of the golden sands and imposing coastlines you have to choose from.
#6: Shop in Sal Rei
You won’t find shopping malls or designer brands in Cape Verde (steer clear of those Ray-Man sunnies!) but shopping in Boa Vista’s Sal Rei is a more humbling experience of browsing local crafts, artwork and souvenirs.
Mercado Municipal – Sal Rei, Boa Vista
#5: Try your hand at fishing like a local
What better way to connect with the locals than experiencing their way of life for yourself and fishing is very much still at the heart of things in Cape Verde. There are schools across the islands offering to teach visitors how to fish like a local, although The Fishing Centre on Sal Island is perhaps the best known.
The Fishing Centre – Santa Maria, Sal Island. Phone: 0023 993 13 32
#4: Take a peek beneath the water
Cape Verde’s wonderful waters are teaming with sea life and you’re in one of the finest spots in the world for snorkelling and diving alike. Renting a snorkel mask is easy enough wherever you are, but if you want to dive, try Cabo Verde Diving on Sal.
#3: Try your hand at water sports
It probably won’t surprise you to learn waters ports are everywhere around the islands and even experienced wave hunters will have something new to try in Cape Verde. The Boa Vista Windsurf Centre is a great place to try your hand at this sport, while this list contains a range of ideas, including more sedate boat tours.
#2: Take a quad bike tour of Boa Vista
If water isn’t your thing but you still fancy a thrill ride then a quad biking tour of Boa Vista has to be one of the best experiences you’ll find on the Cape Verde islands. Quad Zone on Boa Vista is one of the best known places to go and try it for yourself.
Quad Zone – Rabil, Boa Vista 5110. Phone:00238-9243737
#1: Indulge in all the local cuisine you can
You can taste the diverse blend of culture and history in every mouthful in Cape Verde and each of the islands comes with its own spin on the local cuisine. So what better way to break up each hop between these stunning islands than indulging in the local cuisine at every stop along the way?
So there you have it. It wasn’t easy and we had to leave out some great options to keep our list down to ten. But that just goes to show you why more than half a million people flock to these islands every year – many of whom come back for more.