CAPE VERDE – Atlantic Archipelago With A Potuguese Twist

CAPE VERDE – Atlantic Archipelago With A Potuguese Twist

Why go? Ten volcanic islands make up Cape Verde – but most tourists see only one of them. Sal has an international airport and an awful lot of sand; the windsurfing’s good too. But there’s more to this Atlantic archipelago, lurking 570km west of Senegal. Santiago, the biggest island, has lush and craggy mountains, good for walking. Its UNESCO-listed Cidade Velha was the first city built by Europeans in the tropics and has impressive remains including a royal fortress and Pillory Square. Sao Vicente is the place to dip into Cape Verde’s musical heritage; hit the bars of its main town, Mindelo, to hear live morna and coladeira – the area’s creole-inflected music. Perhaps most worth a ferry ride is Santo Antao, a geological wonder of high peaks, where villages teeter on verdant valleysides and seemingly everything grows – from banana palms and pineapples to pines, carobs, eucalypts, dates and almonds. Driving the old road from Porto Novo to Ribeira Grande will showcase the island’s rugged richness.

Cape-Verde-Sal-pool

You can seek out Vila das Pombas, where tiny pastel-painted houses line the promenade against a backdrop of coconut palms.

When to go: Cape Verde is sunny and warm year round. Rainy season is July-October.

How to go: Charter flights fly direct from UK airports to Sal and Boa Vista (6hrs); scheduled flights require a change in Lisbon. Domestic flights hop between islands (except Santo Antao and Brava, which don’t have airports). Ferry services operate but can be irregular; there is a daily ferry between Sao Vicente and Santo Anao.


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