Cape Verde

Bespoke Tailor Made Honeymoons & Holidays to Cape Verde

There is a legend that the islands of Cape Verde were formed when God had finished with creating the world and brushed the crumbs from his hands which fell to the ocean and scattered like pearls, forming Cape Verde Islands.  Each of these islands is actually volcanic in origin and each island has it’s own distinct characteristic. The archipelago of Cape Verde sits in the Atlantic Ocean about 280 miles from the coast of Senegal in West Africa, and around 620 miles south west of the Spanish Canary Islands. Nine of the ten islands are inhabited and island hopping to several of them is a great way to spend a holiday in Cape Verde.

The constant sun and tropical temperatures make Cape Verde an all year round holiday destination and a great option for a winter break from the UK. There are islands to suit whatever you want to do whether you want diving, sailing, walking or culture. There are long white beaches surrounded by turquoise and emerald waters and dramatic mountains in the interior of some islands. Dolphins and whales regularly visit the waters of Cape Verde and turtles lay their eggs on quiet beaches. There are fantastic opportunities for kite surfing, fishing, hiking and horse riding too.

Sal, Boavista and Maio have miles of sandy beaches and are flat, desert like islands. Black volcanic sands and mountains are found on Fogo and Sao Nicolau. Sao Vicente has a red brown barren landscape contrasting with the lush green valleys on Santo Antao, the two islands only being a 50 minute ferry ride apart.

The villages on these islands are built in a Portuguese style and painted in bright colours on the hillsides with traditional thatch and stone buildings along cobbled roads. One of the main towns, Praia has a distinctly African feel to it whilst Mindelo has a lively European atmosphere.  The mix of African and European heritage is most evident on Santiago the largest of the islands where you find Praia, the capital city of Cape Verde.  This island has a mix of beach and barren coastlines and fertile valleys and mountains in the middle. The history of Santiago stems back to the slave trade which once made it a rich island.

Be aware that tourism in Cape Verde is still establishing itself so the infrastructure is not what you may find in other destinations. The centre of the tourist industry at the moment is on Sal where there are some hotels and simple restaurants along the beachfront at Santa Maria village but there is a lot of development taking place with land being sold for apartment blocks and resorts. Another island that is expected to soon receive an increase in tourists and property buyers is Boavista.

The culture of Cape Verde is quite unique speaking their own language which is a variation of Creole called Crioulo although Portuguese is the official language. There local language was created when slaves were banned from speaking their own language so had to find a way of communicating. Poetry and song are particularly important to the people of the Cape Verde islands. Drumming and dance in batuque style is found here and festivals and folk gatherings are popular.

Seasonal events that you may want to incorporate in your holiday to Cape Verde include the World Wave Surfing Championships on Sal in February and carnival processions the day before Lent begins. The Gamboa Music Festival runs for three nights on Santiago and the Baia das Gatas Music Festival happens on Sao Vicente’s beach over August’s full moon weekend.  There are plenty of other festivals and events, ask me to check dates to fit with what you want to see.

Some highlights of visiting Cape Verde Islands should include walking for miles along long sandy beaches on Boavista and exploring the valleys and mountains of Santo Antao. Surf the waves on Sal at Ponta Preta or climb the Pico, volcanic cone of Fogo and trek in the vineyards and fruit farms of the crater. Visit the vibrant African market in Praia on Santiago and watch fishermen wade ashore balancing huge fish at Santa Maria.

So whatever you want to do and whichever islands you want to visit, get in touch to arrange your own bespoke holiday to Cape Verde.

Julie's knowledge of wildlife tourism to Africa is nothing short of excellent, she always comes up with some gems of ideas that you would never think of or find for yourself!
Rich & Cheryl – Rwanda (November 2012)
December 15, 2012

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July 4, 2011

One of the things I have come to love about you, Jules, is that you listen and take on board what makes me tick, and then tailor the holiday to fit me, not just try to convince me to fit a holiday in a brochure!
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June 30, 2011

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