cape verde sal beach

7 things to do in Cape Verde Sal

7 things to do in Cape Verde Sal

 With the cold weather here, and the holidays right along with it, it is the time to take a trip to somewhere nice, warm and sunny. Fortunately for you, I have the perfect place to go to, known as Cape Verde. Cape Verde is a collection of about 10 islands that attract tourist all year round, because of the year-round warm weather and lots of activities to do. With Sal being one of its main islands, it’s not hard to see why. In case you plan to do go there, here are 7 things you can do:

1. The Beach:

This should be pretty much standard with any area that’s near the sea. Sal is home to some of the world’s best beaches, and Santa Maria is where you’ll experience clean white sand stretching off into the horizon for as far as the eye can see. If you’re into snorkelling then you’re in luck as there are tonnes of opportunities for you offshore, there is also a turtle hatchery near the Riu Funana hotel, and if you’re lucky you can catch the little critters make for the waves in the winter months. Despite its popularity, the beach remains unspoilt.

cape verde sal beach

2. Surfing:

If you’re near the sea and the beach, then you must try surfing. Luckily for you, Cape Verde Sal is the perfect place for all kinds of surfing. From November to June trade winds blow steadily, and you’ll find the place crawling with windsurfers and kitesurfers. You can rent yourself a board if you need lessons then those are provided as well. So grab a board and go nuts.

cape verde sal surfing

3. Have a peek underwater:

In addition to beaches and surfing opportunities, Sal Island provides excellent opportunities for some underwater exploration as well. Sal Island provides several fantastic underwater caves to explore along with reefs. About five kilometres to the north of Palmeira port is Olho Azul, a water inlet that you can peer into and witness an iridescent ‘Blue Eye’ of seawater gazing back at you. The best views in Cape Verde are from below, and you’ll find yourself face to face with mantas, turtles, even sharks! Scuba diving trips are available to 19 different dive sites along the coast and even into an old shipwreck. So when you get there, grab your gear and get ready to explore the hidden treasure below.

cape verde sal scuba diving

4. Salt Lake:

I know what you’re thinking but bear with me. The town of Pedra Lume is famous for its volcanic crater filled with what’s known as the ‘Salt Lake’. Sal means ‘salt’ in Portuguese, and the island was an important source of this precious mineral during colonial times. Nowadays, Salt Lake is the perfect spot for a relaxing float.

cape verde sal salt lake

5. Quad Biking:

Always wanted to see what driving on Mars would be like? Well, in Sal you can. At 35 kilometers long by 12 kilometers wide, it’s easy to explore Sal by bike or car, and the parched desert that has been compared to the planet Mars is perfect for quad biking. Get yourself a quad bike, and get the experience of roving on Mars right here on Earth.

cape verde sal quad biking

6. Luxury Boat Ride:

No island or beach experience is ever completed without a luxury boat tour. A full 8-hour day costs €99 and includes lunch and snorkelling stops. Enjoy floating along on a catamaran flanked by a variety of marine wildlife. You can get yourself a tour down at the pier in Santa Maria.

7. Island Hopping:

I told you earlier that the Cape Verde is made up of ten islands of varying size. The thing is that they differ remarkably in terms of size and geography, and take my word for it, they are worth exploring. But I’d recommend saving a whole day for exploration. Where Sal is largely flat, Fogo has a volcanic peak rising to more than 2,800 meters, and the island of Santo Antão offers beautiful canyons and tropical plants to visitors. The easiest way to travel between the islands is by air and for that reason, flights with airline TACV can be booked through local travel agents.

cape verde sal boat ride

Do you have a favourite thing to do in Cape Verde? If please share in the comments below

Cape Verde Sal fishermaan

Cape Verde Sal

Visit Sal – The Most Wonderful Island in Cape Verde

When you hear the word Africa, the last thing you think about is the sea and the islands. Most of the people consider that Africa has only vast deserts and jungles but in fact, the black continent is much more diverse. So if you are up for a new type of African adventure then book yourself a ticket to the small country of Cape Verde.

rock building in cape verde

Where Is It?

Cape Verde is a small country, consisting of ten small volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. They are located some 350 miles from the western shores of Senegal in West Africa. The largest of the islands is called Santiago and it is also a home of the country’s capital city – Praia. The most beautiful island with amazing sandy beaches is called Sal. It is the centre of tourism in the country, with many marvellous resorts and plenty of water sports activities. Cape Verde is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa with stable democracy so you will be completely safe, unlike some other places on the continent. There are a few airports on Cape Verde and one of them is located on the Sal Island, so reaching it isn’t a problem at all.

views in cae verde sal

History – A Young Country

Cape Verde does not have a very long history since all of the islands were completely uninhabited until the 15th century. That is when they were discovered and settled by European colonists mostly from Portugal. Since that moment the archipelago became an important part of the world trade as a bustling centre that attracted merchants from all corners of the Earth. Sometimes they would also attract pirates which used to attack the cities but Cape Verde kept its position as a prosperous region with fast development. After the WWII the people from Cape Verde started their struggle for independence from Portugal which was crowned with success in 1975. Ever since this small country has made tourism its main branch of the economy, so most of the people live from foreign visitors. That position makes them perfect hosts and they know how to treat travellers ensuring a pleasant stay.

salt lakes in cape verde

What To See And Do?

Sal is a tourist heaven, there are many great places to stay and even more things to do or destinations to visit.  The island used to be a centre of salt productions and even its name comes from the Portuguese word for salt. That is why you should definitively visit the Pedra Lume Salt Crater. This is an old salt mine with a huge crater filled with salty water. Having a bath here will be a unique experience, just be careful of your eyes. Also, visit the Viveiro Botanical Garden which is a true oasis on an island mostly covered with sand. It is a nice place to have a rest from all the daily activities.

Santa Maria is the main urban centre on the island with many interesting places. The old church is one of its most popular destinations and kitesurfing/surfing being its most popular sport. It is also a great place to have a walk along its beautiful beaches where you can meet the local fishermen returning with their catch.

When it comes to daily activities, a must do is rent a quad or at least a bike. Sal’s surrounding is perfect for this kind of venture and will make you feel like you’re on Mars. Of course, most of the events are happening on the beach. Scuba diving is something everybody should try while on Sal since there are so many great spots to check out. The ocean is clear blue, and you will be amazed at its beauty, you’ll get to see some turtles and other interesting sea beings. If you enjoy staying above the water then don’t miss a chance to visit Turtle Beach where you can witness a unique view of small turtles hatching and rush towards the sea. A big sport on Cave Verde is surfing and kitesurfing, the wind here is ideal for all kinds of surfing.

baby turtles hatching inn cape verde

Accommodation On The Island Of Sal – Excellent Location And Numerous Hotels

The main and most interesting island, Sal, will offer a vast variety of lodging, but the most popular are hotels and private apartments or resorts. There are all kinds of hotels, ranging from the most luxurious ones to somewhat modest variants, but still decent enough to make your vacation unforgettable.

One of the best-known hotels on the island of Sal in Cape Verde is most certainly Club Hotel Riu Funana. The luxurious hotel provides its guests all-inclusive, 24-hour service as well as a vast number of additional amenities like excursions, sports, and never-to-be-forgotten gastronomy. No wonder many of the tourists decide to stay in Club Hotel Riu Funana. It also has a private beach that provides you with a peaceful, and beautiful atmosphere, suitable for all those who yearn to have some rest and enjoy the great weather.

Another excellent hotel, located exactly on the white, sandy beach is Morabeza Hotel. The main reason visitors book accommodation in this hotel particularly is a great offer and even better service. Morabeza hotel has three outdoor swimming pools, so if you feel like staying in the area of the hotel, you can spend time enjoying the shade of the gardens or having a bath in the pools.

The island of Sal also offers services of many other five-star hotels, including Hotel Melia Tortuga, Hotel Dunas Do Sal, and Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea. But should you decide book somewhat modest lodging while on the island, you can still find four and three-star hotels such as Hotel Crioula, Aparthotel Ponta Preta, and Hotel Oasis Atlantico Belorizonte. Each of them will undoubtedly surprise you by the service offered as well as the polite staff, and most of them have wonderful gardens and outdoor swimming pools. Don’t hesitate to think about cheaper variants, because you still get excellent service and you save your money.

Of course, if you are a budget traveller, then the best option is to rent an apartment on the island of Sal. The apartments still provide you with a great location. Apartments range from around £200 for a week’s stay.

When it comes to apartments just make sure you firmly agree on a price. I, unfortunately, got scammed by Blinky Tours with my apartment, and to cut a long story short got charged an extra 75 euros because I used the spare room in my apartment and had a friend from England stay with me. This was the only negative on the whole island of Cape Verde Sal.

surfing in cape verde

Gastronomy – A Great Chance To Enrich Your Nutrition

Having in mind that Sal is an Island, you can predict the main dishes here. Of course, seafood dominates, and if you are one of those who enjoys Tuna, then Sal is the right place for you.

When it comes to the traditional cuisine, then it has to be admitted Sal has a hearty cuisine. The main national dish is the so-called ‘cachupa’. It’s a kind of a stew, consisting of many ingredients, including mashed maize, onions, green bananas, potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage. ‘Cachupa’ is also seasoned with various spices some of which consider bay leaves, pimento and garlic. Therefore, should you visit the island of Sal, don’t miss the chance to taste ‘cachupa’ since it can be eaten at any time of the day, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

In addition, there is another delicious and excellent dish, called ‘canjy de galinha’, which is simply a must at every wedding. It is a kind of a rice soup with chicken, and not eating it while on Sal will be among the biggest mistakes of your life.

There are also other national meals like caldo de peixe, beaf de atum, carne guisado or lapas. They will all enthral you with the ways of preparation and most certainly the taste.

food in cape verde sal

Things To Do While On Sal

Visiting Sal means having the opportunity to enjoy in numerous water sports and activities. Tourists usually decide to spend some time fishing or scuba diving as the clean water and interesting coral reeves will enthrall every nature lover. You can also go hiking or canoeing. Whilst there are many things to do in Cape Verde, you must take at least one day to do the island tour. More on things to do on my other post, things to do in Cape Verde. (coming soon).

scuba diving in cape verde sal


Cape Verde Sal is perfect for kitesurfing and has many spots for this great sport, on shore, off-shore, cross-shore, flat-water and even a spot with incredible waves. The only place to stay if you’re coming for kitesurfing is Santa Maria. Why? Because then you are on top of all the best kitesurfing spots and Kite Beach is just a short taxi ride for 5 euros. Santa Maria is a small town and can be walked across within 15 minutes, so the location of your hotel/apartment shouldn’t be a problem.

Should you take your own equipment or hire? It will cost you £100 return to take your own equipment of 2 kites, board, harness etc. To hire all the needed equipment it would cost you around £45 per day or £220 for a week.

Do you need a wetsuit? I didn’t, the water was lovely and warm whilst iI was there in November/December and shorts was plenty. If you decide on a wetsuit then a shortie would be more than enough.

When to visit for kitesurfing? It’s said to blow constant wind from November to April, so this would be the perfect time for Kitesurfing in CapeVerde.

Is Cape Verde good for learning? Yes. Cape Verde has some great kitesurfing schools, and with so many different kitesurfing locations it makes learning kitesurfing a breeze. ”No Stress” is the saying in Cape Verde and with that saying alone shows they will teach you well and have all the time in the world for teaching you.

On Kite Beach, there are plenty of people to help with the launching and landing of your kite.

Kite beach does have a bar where snacks and drinks are available.

One company that stood out more than the rest was Surf Hub.  This company really couldn’t do enough for me. From taking me to kite beach to lending me snorkels and SUP boards when the wind was down. Everyone in this company was so friendly. It almost felt like I was a part of their Cape Verde family. Surf Hub also has a very nice apartment for rent, so it’s worth checking with them if this is available. This really is your one-stop shop for Cape Verde Sal, cheaper transfers, kitesurfing equipment, other water sports equipment, tours, and apartments.

Cape Verde has beautiful beaches, so it is also perfect to bring the wife and kids while you’re out kitesurfing, and if you’re on your own, again it’s perfect as you will meet many like-minded people.

Reasons to Visit Cape Verde

11 Reasons to visit Cape Verde

Whether you’re an adrenaline junky or looking to have a nice relaxing time, Cape Verde Sal is the perfect place to go this holiday season. Located just under 400 miles off the coast of Africa, Cape Verde is made up of over a dozen islands and islets and offers a wide range of activities to do there. Here are 11 reasons why you should go to Cape Verde Sal:

1. Hike up a volcano:

Cape Verde allows you to come face to face with an active volcano, better than that it allows you to hike the thing. All you need to do is take a ferry from Praia or Brava to Fogo and ensure there’s no lava coming down the side, and you’ll be on your way.

Cape Verde volcano

2. Some of the best kite surfing experience:

So maybe hiking doesn’t tickle your fancy, and you want something more exhilarating that gets your blood pumping. Cape Verde provides one of the best kite surfing experiences in the world. Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with ample wind flow, Cape Verde is a kite surfer’s paradise. Sun, sea, sand, wind and turtles are just a few reasons that make up this  kitesurfing heaven. There are plenty of kitesurfing schools to choose from if you’ve ever fancied giving it a go. One English speaking school which comes highly recommend is Surf Hub.

kitsurfing in cape verde

3. Enjoy freshly caught seafood:

Like mentioned before, Cape Verde is located in the middle of the Atlantic, ample wind all year round isn’t its only advantage. The islands are teeming with marine wildlife and you can enjoy them in a delicious cuisine. Some of the specialities of the area include tuna and freshly caught lobster. The restaurants on the islands often specialise in seafood, and you’ll often find it cooked in Portuguese, Creole, and French styles.

Cave Verde fresh fish

4. Blast from the past:

Cape Verde is filled with ancient architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries, a treat for history buffs. There are several structures from that time period, but the main attraction for most people is the Fortaleza Real de San Felipe in Cidade Vehla, a giant old Portuguese fort complete with cannons. Other attractions to discover include the ruins of the 16th century Se Catedral and the Convento de Sao Francisco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

cape verde old fort

5. Catch some waves:

Cape Verde has numerous beaches, and with beaches, there is always surfing. With over a dozen islands, and numerous of beaches Cape Verde Sal is a surfer’s dream come true. While the old school surfing isn’t as exciting as kite surfing, it will still get your blood pumping successfully. The best time to go is between November and March, which happens to be now!

Surfing in Cape Verde

6. Dive, Dive, Dive!:

Diving is something you can do all over the world, yes; but in Cape Verde, it’s a whole other experience as you can see plenty of coral and a variety of fish. In fact, Boa Vista is one of the largest nesting places for loggerhead turtles on the planet!

dive in cape verde

7. Journey into the Mountains:

Water related activities aren’t the only things for which you’d want to visit Cape Verde. The place has some breathtaking vistas as well, the mountains on the islands go way beyond Fogo, and you can find a great place for a trek at almost any turn. The islands themselves aren’t that big, and you can explore most of them provided you rent a car and have the time.

8. Bird watching:

There’s something special about watching a bird fly, us humans have always wanted to be able to fly and watching them do so, puts us at peace; if anything they are beautiful creatures with beautiful chirping voices. If you also believe so, then you’re in luck as Cape Verde is home to over 160 bird species. In fact, there are several endemic species native only to the country, and take my word for it, they are a sight to see.

bird watching in cape verde

9. Soak up the Culture:

While most of the tourists tend to stick to Sal or Boa Vista, as most of the tourist’s resorts are based over there. But the real culture of the islands is on Santiago and the town of Praia, which are rich with local culture. The old town has great houses from the colonial era, and sitting at a cafe and people watching is a great way to pass the day. In order to make most of your trip, be sure to explore the narrow streets of Mercado de Sucupira where you can find the best deals on local clothing and trinkets.

10. Quad Biking on the Sand Dunes:

If water sports don’t tickle your fancy, but you still seek some activity that will have your heart racing, then you can go quad biking in Cape Verde. With 55km of coastline, where the island of Boa Vista is famed for its spectacular beaches and untouched natural beauty, its true pull is its desert interiors. Accounting for around a third of the island, the Viana Desert is made up of picture perfect dunes that are the ultimate playground for quad biking and 4×4 safaris. Unleash your inner speed demon on this dune. Sal or Boa Vista offer great places to hit  that adrenaline spot.

quadbiking in Cape Verde

11. Lounge up on the beach:

If all the activities I listed don’t do anything for you, then you can just sit back, relax, and lounge on the beach. The beaches offer a great place to unwind, lie down and soak up the sunshine, as you enjoy your tropical drink. There are also plenty of beach resorts where you can just make your way from your room to the white, soft sand, every day if that’s what suits you.

Cape Verde white sands

So there you have it folks, 11 good reasons to visit Cape Verde Sal. I can guarantee that you’ll want to go there for at least one of these things, and if these didn’t convince you to go to Cape Verde Sal for your vacation,  Then maybe, an evening horse ride along the white sands watching the sunset, still not? Then I don’t know what will.