Untouched sand, year-round sunshine and amazing wildlife sightings, Cape Verde holidays offer that off-the-beaten-track feel without traveling too far. Africa’s answer to the Caribbean, this exotic chain of 10 islands is only a short six hours from the UK. From its fascinating mix of cultures to the verdant meets volcanic landscape, there are few places that dish up so much diversity. With an incredible coastline, Sal tends to come out on top, while Boa Vista is often favoured by families thanks to its choice of Blue Flag beaches.
Things to do
Whether you want to relax along the sand, soak up the vibrant music scene or test out the exhilaring watersports, you certainly won’t run out of things to do on your Cape Verde holidays.
Everyday is a beach day here, and we suggest you start your shore-hopping adventures in Sal. From its oceanside drinking spots, to its impressive set of watersports and swim-friendly waters, Santa Maria’s coast is a fantastic option for families. Wander east and you’ll come to the aptly named Kite Beach.This windy spot attracts some of the world’s best riders, all waiting to catch the perfect wave. Want to get involved with the surfing action? There’s a school where you can book lessons right on the sand. For quiet sunbathing stints surrounded by rolling sand dunes, Boa Vista’s Praia de Chaves is a great spot for romantic strolls.
Sightseeing on the sand is also an option on your Boa Vista holidays. Head to Praia de Atalanta and you’ll find an old Spanish cargo ship deserted in the water. Today it is a must-visit attraction, not to mention one of Cape Verde’s most photographed spots. Those looking for a relaxing float should swap Cape Verde’s beaches for the salt pans of Pedra de Lume. Home to an extinct volcano, the water is said to be saltier than the Dead Sea, while the mud from the lake will do wonders for your skin.
If you like your Cape Verde holidays with a slice of action, don’t miss out on the long list of adrenaline-fuelled activities. Scuba diving is a great way to see the local marine life with opportunities to swim alongside turtles and mantas. Buracona (or, Blue Eye) is a natural cave and a must-visit for submerged adventures. And even if you don’t dive in, it’s worth a visit just for its incredible waters, which change to a beautiful turquoise colour under the sunlight.
If you don’t fancy getting wet, there’s plenty of land-based action too. Ride a quad bike across its mars-like desert or hop on a saddle and enjoy a horse ride along the beach at sunset.
After all of the activity, it’s time to slow things down in the island towns or fishing villages. Santa Maria in Sal is a great place to start with its local market and fantastic restaurants, where you can tuck into dishes influenced by Portugal, Africa and Brazil. If you come here after-dark, the place has a totally different vibe, so don’t be surprised if you get drawn into one of the bars playing Cape Verdean ‘morna’ music. This combination of guitar, violin and soulful lyrics, is a musical experience you won’t want to miss.
Unsure of the best time of the year to visit? Check the weather in Cape Verde to see which month is right for you.