Cape Verde is a small country – the capital is Praia on the island of Santiago – lying in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Senegal. It is made up of an archipelago of 10 islands: Santiago and São Vicente are the largest, with São Antão, Boa Vista, Fogo, São Nicolau, Maio, Sal, Brava and the uninhabited Santa Luzia –making up the remaining eight.
Each of the islands that make up Cape Verde is a world in itself; the country boasts a wealth of natural and urban landscapes, making it a destination for all. Indeed, here you can choose to ‘do nothing at all’, or ‘absolutely everything’.
It’s a paradise that is rich in contrasts, where visitors will find unspoilt beaches, as well as stretches of fine white sands, soaring cliffs topped by plains, with volcanoes that seem to rise up from the depths of the Earth to display all their splendour. The countless leisure and sports options are guaranteed to make any holiday an unforgettable experience, with activities such as scuba diving, trekking, fishing, windsurfing or simply relaxing on the beach.
With its warm, dry tropical climate and low levels of rainfall, Cape Verde boasts a temperature that is nothing short of perfect, ranging from 20ºC in winter to 25ºC in summer, with an annual average of 24ºC. Although it doesn’t rain very much, the wet season runs from August to October, whilst November to July is the driest period.
A quick tour of the islands brings us to Sal, where the most eye-catching highlight is the crater of the ancient Pedra do Lume volcano, where visitors will discover an artificial tunnel dug in 1804 to access the salt deposits. On São Antão, the greenest of the islands, the major attractions are the walking trails in the area known as Ribeiras, which take us through the steep rugged valleys of the eastern side of the island. Hiking lovers that opt for this excursion will have the time of their lives. The island of São Vicente is the perfect spot in which to enjoy a wide range of water sports. Baía de São Pedro is ideal for surfing, windsurfing and bodyboarding, whilst the lagoon situated in Baía das Gatas Bay is perfect for swimming. Santiago is the largest and most important island in Cape Verde, and its volcanic origins can clearly be seen in the two mountain ranges that run the entire length of the island, reaching a maximum height of 1,392 m at Pico da Antónia. Of all the islands in the archipelago, Santiago is undoubtedly the most diverse in terms of scenery, with dense forests nestling at the foot of majestic mountains that soar up towards the sky, as well as valleys of fertile farming land. If you visit Santiago immediately after the rainy season, you’re guaranteed a fabulous spectacle of truly breath-taking landscapes.
Boa Vista, covering an area of 620 km2, is the third largest island in the archipelago. Regardless of whether they have a passion for adventure or prefer a peaceful relaxing holiday, this island, with its desert-like landscapes, exerts a special charm on visitors who are guaranteed a truly unforgettable stay. It is famous for its white sand dunes and stunning beaches (most of which are untouched by man) bathed by crystal-clear turquoise waters, such as Praia de Santa Mônica or Praia de Chaves where you will also be taken aback by the ruins of a former factory. Boa Vista is an ideal destination for lovers of water sports such as windsurfing or scuba diving.
Other interesting spots on Boa Vista include Curral Velho, Monte Negro, Cabeça dos Tarafes and Baia das Gatas. Also not to be missed is a visit to the north-eastern part of the island, renowned for its beauty and the shipwrecks that can be seen on its beaches, such as that of the Spanish vessel Cabo Santa María. Boa Vista is also famous for the large numbers of turtles that come here to lay their eggs in June; if you have the chance to visit the island at this time of year, make sure you don’t miss out on this marvellous natural sight.
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a luxury 5 star hotel on Boa Vista: the IBEROSTAR Club Boa Vista. This hotel offers guests the chance to indulge in some well-deserved pampering at the spa & wellness centre, as well as savouring the delicious local and international cuisine, and enjoying the various water sports and seemingly endless stretches of sand”.