Which Cape Verde island is for you? Find out in our holiday island showdown!
So, you’re thinking of heading to Cape Verde (officially called Cabo Verde) for your holidays but can’t work out which island to choose? We’ve put the three most popular of the islands – Sal, Boa Vista and Santiago – head-to-head so you can decide which one is for you!
Cape Verde is a group of ten stunning volcanic islands off the west coast of Africa, which have become an increasingly popular holiday destination, particularly for those in search of winter sun. As well as a fascinating mix of Portuguese, African and Creole culture, the islands offer some of the most beautiful beaches to be found anywhere, along with a huge array of water sports. As an antidote to the winter blues, the gorgeous Cape Verde islands can’t be beaten!
Which of these beautiful islands will YOU choose?
Will it be Sal? Sal is fantastically well equipped for tourists and has some of Cape Verde’s best beaches.
Or will you go for Boa Vista, a chilled out island paradise which is a mecca for water sports?
Or might you pick Santiago, which offers lush hills, the nation’s capital of Praia, and its beautifully preserved ancient capital of Cidade Velha?
Sal is the most popular island with visitors, and offers a fantastic range of accommodation, along with miles and miles of gorgeous beaches. You can go horse-riding across the island’s strange lunar landscape (created in part by the salt industry that gave the island its name) or simply sprawl on one of its stunning sandy beaches. The most famous of all the island’s beaches is Santa Maria, a beautiful curve of golden sand lapped by calm, turquoise waters. You’ll find amenities for every imaginable water sport, including sailing, scuba diving and windsurfing. Plus, Sal is home to some natural curiosities including the Blue Eye, a natural pool which glows a vivid blue at certain times, and the Terra Boa mirage, where you can see the mirage of an ocean appear and fade before your very eyes. It’s also home to Cape Verde’s only casino and, as if all that wasn’t enough, is a popular destination with birders despite its desertic appearance.
Boa Vista is quieter and lesser known than bustling Sal, but its beaches are just as beautiful. Endless swathes of gorgeous golden sand, these include the Santa Monica beach, which stretches for 18 kilometres and the blissful Praia de Chaves beach, which boasts rippling dunes. Boa Vista is also famous for its water sports, particularly in the winter months when it becomes a Mecca for lovers of surfing, wind surfing and kite surfing. The main town of Boa Vista is Sal Rei, which is full of bars and restaurants suiting all tastes from the chilled-out to the ultra-stylish. In spring, there are whale-watching trips in search of humpback whales.This island is fantastic for chilling out, whether with your partner, alone or with friends.
Santiago is the biggest of the islands in Cape Verde, as well as one of its lushest and greenest. It’s home to the ancient Portuguese capital of Cidade Velha, now a Unesco World Heritage Site, as well as the exuberant and colourful modern capital of Praia. See a different facet of this diverse and endlessly fascinating country, by exploring the mountains, verdant valleys and fascinating plantations. This is the island to visit if you enjoy hiking and wildlife, and want to immerse yourself in the unique Cape Verdean culture.