The 7 reasons to visit Cape Verde all year round

Cape Verde

If you’re in search of a vacation spot that combines plenty of activities with stunning beaches, yet you don’t feel like travelling somewhere too far across the planet, then look no further. Imagine a place where the sun shines almost all year round, and where both you and your children will find endless entertainment. Yes, it is the Cape Verde Islands you might’ve heard about from someone before.

Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the west coast of North Africa, Cape Verde is an archipelago consisting of ten islands. Each island offers its own unique charm and attractions, ensuring that every visitor will find something to their liking. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply looking to relax on pristine beaches, Cape Verde has it all.

In recent years, Cape Verde has been gaining popularity among travellers worldwide. But what makes it so special? The answer lies in its unique blend of African, Portuguese and Brazilian influences, its vibrant music scene, its warm and welcoming people, and of course, its breathtaking natural beauty. From hiking in lush mountains to exploring colourful markets or simply soaking up the sun on a secluded beach, Cape Verde offers an unforgettable experience for every traveller.

Great weather all year round

If you’re seeking a nearby exotic getaway where you can escape the chill of winter, Cape Verde is an excellent choice. With a flight time of just around 6 hours, it’s one of the closest tropical destinations. What makes Cape Verde even more appealing is its lack of mass tourism. The beaches are often half-empty, providing a tranquil setting for a truly relaxing holiday.

Cape Verde boasts sunny weather all year round, with temperatures typically ranging between 24-38 °C. This makes it an ideal destination for sun-seekers. But if you prefer cooler climes, the mountains offer a refreshing respite from the heat.

The rainy season in Cape Verde runs from July to November. However, it’s characterized by infrequent heavy rains interspersed with predominantly sunny days. Even during September, which is the rainiest month, you can still enjoy your visit to Cape Verde. For those who find the heat a bit too much, the mountains provide a cooler alternative. So, no matter what time of year it is, Cape Verde promises a memorable vacation experience.

Absolutely unique landscape

The unique dried-up mountainous landscape created by volcanic activity with its mystical impression will enchant every visitor. Everything is dominated by the volcano and the highest mountain of Cape Verde – Pico do Fogo, which lies on the island of the same name Fogo (Portuguese “fire”). You will need 3-6 hours to ascend and descend, depending on your physical condition. You can arrange a guide to help you reach the peak, from which you will also learn a lot of interesting information.

Other natural attractions are the salt pans near the village of Pedra de Lume, located on the island of Sal. The locals call them “Salinas” and salt was mined here until the 18th century. Today it serves only as a tourist attraction with a possibility to experience swimming/floating in salt lakes (recommended!). It is also interesting that the basins, surrounded by mountains and separated by stone walls, have a remarkable pink, green or blue colour, depending on how old they are.

Do you prefer a greener nature? You will also find it here in Cape Verde. Follow it to Santo Antao Island, where you will find tropical greenery and majestic mountains. You can go on a trek through terraced fields and mountain villages, where tradition and a simple way of life still prevail.

It is also worth seeing the breathtaking Buracona Bay on the island of Sal, Table Mountain Monte Verde and the historic town of Cidade Velha.

Rich underwater life

Hawksbill Turtle in Cape Verde

Cape Verde is not only known for its unique landscapes and stunning natural beauty, but it’s also celebrated for its abundant marine life. The surrounding sea is a sanctuary for a diverse range of species. It houses five different types of turtles and an impressive count of 639 fish species. This includes majestic creatures like manta rays, whales, and dolphins.

The islands of Boa Vista, Sal, and Maio are particularly renowned for their rich marine biodiversity. These areas witness the highest concentration of marine animals. Whether you’re an avid snorkeler or simply a nature enthusiast, these islands offer a multitude of opportunities to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Sailing, surfing and relaxing on the beach

From December through June, the islands of Cape Verde experience a strong wind known locally as the “harmattan”. This wind, carrying with it sand from the Sahara, creates ideal conditions for water sports such as surfing and sailing. The presence of the harmattan adds an adventurous twist to the islands’ appeal, attracting thrill-seekers from around the world.

But what if water sports aren’t your cup of tea? Fear not, Cape Verde has something for everyone. The islands are dotted with tranquil areas that are sheltered from the wind. Here, you’ll find stunning beaches adorned with fine white sand – perfect for those seeking a more relaxed vacation.

Imagine spending your days lounging under the shade of palm trees, with the gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore. Whether you’re a book lover looking for a peaceful reading spot, or simply someone who enjoys basking in the beauty of nature, these serene beaches offer the perfect retreat. 

Listen to the local music

Cape Verde is a treasure trove of not just exotic wildlife, but also a distinctive musical style known as “morna”. This genre was brought into the limelight by the renowned singer Cesaria Évora. Her soulful melodies continue to echo in many parts of Cape Verde, particularly in her birthplace, Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente.

Here, you’ll discover an array of cafes, restaurants, and bars where the rhythmic beats of morna music fill the air. These melodies are sure to stir your emotions and leave a lasting impression. As you explore these venues, you’ll find yourself immersed in the vibrant local culture and music scene.

Adding to the charm of Cape Verde is its relaxed island atmosphere. This laid-back vibe is further enhanced by the presence of various street artists. From musicians to painters, these artists contribute to the lively and creative spirit of Cape Verde. So whether you’re a music lover or an art enthusiast, Cape Verde promises a rich cultural experience that’s sure to captivate your senses.

See the monuments from the period of colonization

cape verde fortress

For a significant period, the Cape Verde Islands remained untouched and uninhabited. This changed in the 15th century when Portuguese sailors first set foot on these islands. They were the ones who named the islands and laid the groundwork for a culture that still resonates in Cape Verde today.

The influence of these early Portuguese settlers is evident in various aspects of Cape Verdean culture. From architecture to traditions, their impact is deeply ingrained and continues to shape the islands’ identity. However, the cultural tapestry of Cape Verde is not solely Portuguese.

Over time, Cape Verde has absorbed influences from West Africa and other European countries, adding to its cultural richness. This fusion of cultures has resulted in a unique blend of architectural styles, traditions, and customs that sets Cape Verde apart. The islands are a melting pot of diverse influences, making them a fascinating destination for those interested in cultural exploration.

Taste the unique blend of Creole, African and Portuguese local cuisine

Cape Verde’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of Creole, Portuguese, and African flavours, offering a wide array of dishes to explore. The national dish, Cachupa, is a testament to this blend. It’s a hearty stew made with corn (hominy), beans, and either meat or fish. Slow-cooked to perfection, Cachupa comes in various forms and is a common feature in every household.

Another dish that stands out is Polvo a modo ze de lino. This traditional stew is typically made with octopus, tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers, oil, and bay leaves. The ingredients are simmered until the sauce thickens and everything becomes tender. It’s usually served with jagacida (a combination of rice and beans) and a fresh green salad on the side.

For dessert or a snack, Gufong is a popular choice. Made with flour, sugar, salt, cornmeal, baking powder, and oil, these treats are fried until they turn golden brown. They’re often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.

Beyond these dishes, Cape Verde’s cuisine also features an abundance of freshly caught seafood including tuna, wahoo, bica and lobster. And for vegetarians, there’s good news. Many hotels cater to vegetarian diets by offering specific dishes or preparing meals on request.

How to get to Cape Verde from the UK

If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful island of Sal in Cape Verde, you’ll be pleased to know that getting there has never been easier. TUI Airways operates direct flights from several cities in the UK, making your journey to this tropical paradise both convenient and straightforward.

Departing from cities such as London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Glasgow, these direct flights eliminate the hassle of layovers and lengthy travel times. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or planning a family vacation, these direct flights offer a stress-free start to your holiday.

But that’s not all. If you prefer a stopover in the vibrant city of Lisbon, TAP Air Portugal also offers flights to Sal from these same UK cities. With just one stop in Lisbon, these flights provide an excellent opportunity to experience two distinct cultures on one trip. Soak up the rich history and lively atmosphere of Lisbon before continuing on to the tranquil beaches of Sal.

To book flights with TUI, visit their website.


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