Cape Verde Holidays 2019 / 2020
The Cape Verde Islands are located off the coast of West Africa. Popular among those seeking consistent warm weather, you’ll be delighted to discover the climate remains warm and dry throughout the year.
Besides warm weather, crystal blue waters and stretching beaches, these volcanic islands have a unique Portugese and African influenced culture, which make them a fascinating winter sun and beach holiday destination.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 6h 20m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Things to do in Cape Verde
Cape Verde deserves a visit purely for its natural beauty, however, if you’re looking for a little more culture and adventure, you won’t be disappointed.
Top things to do in Sal
- Water sports - Sal is great for water sports like surfing and kiteboarding thanks to the abundant Atlantic winds.
- Desert biking - Sal has a mainly desert landscape making it the perfect place to enjoy some quad biking.
- Santa Maria - The coastal town of Santa in southern Sal. Enjoy a range of local restaurants and live music venues.
Top things to do in Boa Vista
The island of Boa Vista offers much of the same in pleasant beaches and water sport activities as Sal, but the capital Sal Rei is a wonderful addition to your to do list. Discover the Cape Verdean history and culture through stunning architecture.
Cape Verde family holidays
Family holidays in the Cape Verde Islands are a wonderful experience. With a range of hotels in the Cape Verde Islands you can keep the whole family entertained.
Two top resorts on the island of Sal include the Melia Dunas Resort in Santa Maria and Sol Dunas, located just outside of Santa Maria. There'll be swimming pools and organised games and activities at the Dunas hotels which will delight the little ones while mum and dad enjoy a cocktail or a well-earned nap!
There is loads of family-friendly fun to explore on the islands, with horse riding, volcano hikes, meeting turtles among the highlights.
Cape Verde culture
The Portuguese discovered the Cape Verde Islands in 1456 with the islands gaining independence in 1975. All destinations in Cape Verde have a rich cultural heritage, with influences from Africa and Europe and South America contributing to a lively, diverse and fascinating environment. Praia is the cultural hub, with stage performances, musical performances and historical artefacts aplenty to be found at the Cape Verdean Cultural Centre.
The musical tradition of Cape Verde is strong. The islands are abuzz with local musicians such as the unique accordion and iron bar sounds funana and its African flair, and the cafés and nightspots offer plentiful opportunity to sample it. European tastes are reflected in the morna style of music, which is a Portuguese-inspired ballad. The islands also have a budding scene of literature and arts, with the pride and varied ethnicity of the local people contributing in a big way to the experience you’ll take from your holiday.
Cape Verde nightlife
Although the Cape Verde Islands aren't particularly known for their nightlife, the blend of African, Portuguese and South American styles result is a truly different experience that make evenings in Cape Verde memorable.
Santa Maria on Sal and Sal Rei on Boa Vista are the hotspots when it comes to evening entertainment - particularly in the festive season when these cities come to life.
In Sal, there’s a fantastic range of bars and clubs including the well-known Disco Pirata for dancing the Atlantic night away. Plenty of the nightspots also have local bands playing their unique beats, and if you’re visiting in September you’ll love the Beach Festival of Santa Maria for its contemporary Zouk vibes.
Boa Vista generally is a quieter island, however if you head to the capital of Sal Rei you'll find nice little bars where you can enjoy a drink or two for the evening.
Cape Verde beaches
Cape Verde’s main attraction is without a doubt its silky sands and dreamy waters. There is a cluster of beautiful beaches around the two popular islands of Sal and Boa Vista.
Boa Vista has an abundance of beautiful beaches:
- Santa Monica Beach - Powder white sands and gentle waves make this a hit!
- Praia de Chaves - Perfect for walks along the beach, you can also enjoy lunch at nearby restaurants.
- Praia de Atalanta - An isolated beach best-known for its shipwreck of a Spanish cargo ship. you'll need to take a tour to get there.
Sal is home to some of the most popular beaches that Cape Verde has to offer:
- Santa Maria Beach - Sal's most popular beach and is often considered one of the best in the world.
- Ponta Preta Beach - Great beach which is perfect for water sports like kite surfing, surfing and snorkelling.
- Kite Beach - As the name suggests, this beach is a kite surfers haven. Great if you wish to learn or practise.
Best Cape Verde Island for couples
The Cape Verde Islands are simply a couples’ paradise. Whether you’re looking to explore the islands’ vast natural treasures such as turtles, volcanoes or costal walks, or whether it’s more a feet up experience that’s on the cards.
Santa Maria in Sal is the perfect place to find a 5-star holiday in Cape Verde. Melia Tortuga Beach Resort and Spa places you right on the beach whilst offering a range of facilities and amenities. Whilst Sol Dunas is in prime location for a visit to the beach and Viveiro Botanic Garden. But, if you're still unsure as to where you and your partner can find adults only holidays, read our guide on finding which Cape Verde Islands is best for you!
Cape Verde food
Thanks to the location and fine water of the Cape Verde islands, many eateries offer a sumptuous selection of seafood, as well as an interesting mix of South American and Portuguese cuisine.
Sal and Boa Vista islands share the majority of the restaurants on the islands. All of which serve up a range of cuisine from traditional Cape Verdean foods to international favourites. Eating out in Cape Verde can be quite cheap with prices lower than some European destinations like Belgium and the Netherlands.
Boa Vista restaurants:
- Naida - Based in Sal Rei, Naida is a well-known restaurant in Boa Vista.
- Bar Bahia - Located on Estoril Beach you can enjoy seafood dishes here.
- Grill Luar - Admire the stunning views of the nearby harbour as you indulge in grilled meat and seafood dishes.
- Compad - Situated in Santa Maria, this is a hit with the locals boasting local Cape Verdean cuisine.
- Farolin (Hotel Odjo d’Agua) - Found in Santa Maria, Farolin looks out to the sea and lets you dine with great views and service.
- Cape Fruit - Also based in Santa Maria, there is a great atmosphere to soak up in Cape Fruit. Here you can enjoy natural smoothies, vegan and vegetarian dishes, gluten free foods and fresh fish.
People also ask
What is the best month to go to Cape Verde?
Cape Verde enjoys fantastic temperatures during our colder months making October – April the best time to visit.
How long does it take to fly to Cape Verde?
Approximately 6 hours from the UK.
Can you fly direct to Cape Verde?
Yes, you can fly direct from the UK to Cape Verde. Although, TUI provide the only direct flights to the islands, flying to Sal’s Amílcar Cabral International Airport and Aristides Pereira International Airport in Rabil, Boa Vista.
Do they speak English in Cape Verde?
The official language of Cape Verde is Portuguese. Cape Verdean Creole is also spoken on the islands.
What currency can I use in Cape Verde?
The currency used is the Cape Verde Escudo. However, Euros are often used on the islands too.