The Cape Verde consist of 10 Islands just off the coast of West Africa, each island offering is own unique blend of culture, topography and attractions from the Volcano on Fargo to the stunning beaches of Boa Vista. Cape Verde is the great destination for the a Kitesurfing holiday during the winter months as it is the ONLY wind reliable, hot, destination just a short haul flight from the UK. This makes it our number 1 recommendation for all levels of kitesurfer from November to April whether for a family kitesurf holiday, traveling as a group as well as having lots to offer for non-kitesurf partners or friends.
The main Islands to visit in Cape Verde are:
Sal – this is mostly a beach resort with some of the best Windsurf, Kitesurf and Diving facilities of all the islands apart from Boa Vista. The beach of Santa Maria has a good choice of nice small, but good, hotels including one of our favourites, the Morabeza hotel. Santa Maria town offers a few nice spots to eat out and a couple of bars that get quite lively from Thursday to Sunday. There is little else on Sal Island but it does have a good network of flights to the other islands.
Boa Vista – this island has the most stunning beaches to be found on the Islands and is less developed that Sal in terms of tourism. Like Sal there are some first class Windsurf, Kitesurf and Diving facilities with a better range of conditions from very flat to big waves. Boa Vista has some beautiful small villages to visit as part of a day tour around the Island. There is a good range of accommodation from all-inclusive beach resorts, spread out along the west coast, to small town hotels, for a more authentic Cape Verdian feel.
Santiago - With a unique blend of diverse landscapes, volcanic rocks, green valleys, barren regions and beautiful beaches Santiago is esthetically pleasing. Hiking is popular here as this is one of the few islands with a refreshing hinterland which can be very rewarding. Ornithologists will be in their element as most of the species endemic to Cape Verde can be spotted here. A 1-2 day fly in visit to this Island from Sal or Boa Vista makes a nice addition to your holiday if you have the time.
Sao Vicente - São Vicente is home to some of Cape Verde's greatest musicians, writers and thinkers. Generally considered the cultural hub of the island, Mindelo is proud of its rich tradition of music and art and has a vibrant nightlife with a lively buzz of music throughout the pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. If you're looking for culture and a traditional experience then São Vicente will not disappoint. As with Santiago a 1-2 day fly in visit to this Island from Sal or Boa Vista makes a nice addition to your holiday if you have the time. You can also get a ferry from here to Santo Antao allowing a full day visit to explore here.
Fogo - The crater on Fogo is one of the highlights of Cape Verde and has created what is a very fertile land; coffee is grown on the outside slopes whilst the vines used to produce the famous Fogo wine are grown inside the crater. We highly recommend you try both. The scenery on Fogo is impressive: dark rocks and black sands give an impression of a lunar landscape. São Filipe, the capital of Fogo is a pretty town full of Portuguese squares, cobbled streets and sobrados, pastel houses decorated with quality woods and tiles from Portugal. The views from the promenade are of the island of Brava and a severe drop down to the black sands below. Visitors to Fogo tend to embark on a hike up the volcano with a rewarding lunch at the top in a restaurant offering magnificent views.
Cape Verde is pleasant year-round. Even during the so-called rainy season from mid-August to mid-October, weeks can go by without a downpour. Thanks to cooling ocean currents and offshore winds, Cape Verde has the lowest temperatures of any country in West Africa, and also some of the most moderate, ranging from a minimum night-time average of 19°C in February to a maximum daytime average of 29°C from May to November. Summer temperatures, especially in the northern islands, can be cooler than in Europe, though the southern islands, especially Fogo, can get hot and sticky. From December to March you may need a sweater in the evenings, especially at higher altitudes. Winter months are also marked by gusty winds, which blow in dust all the way from the Sahara.
Ask your travel health expert (e.g. GP, practice nurse or travel clinic) to provide you with up to date information and vaccines to ensure your travels are safe and enjoyable.
British Passport holder may buy a tourist visa on arrival at a cost of E25. Other passport holders should consult their respective consulates.
The unit of currency is the Cape Verde escudo (CVE), divided into 100 centavos. It’s not a hard currency, but it’s stable; in January 2002, it was pegged to the euro. Most businesses also accept US dollars and euros. Banks are found in all the main towns and even some of the smaller ones, and most have ATMs that accept bankcards and Visa. Many also change travellers cheques and cash in all the main currencies (except the West African CFA). Many also give cash advances with a Visa card. Credit cards are accepted only in very upmarket establishments.
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