Around 570 km off the West coast Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean, sits the Cape Verde 10-island archipelago. From the 350-annual-days-of-sun in Sal to the incredible dunes of Boa Vista to the cultural capital of São Vicente, each of these islands boast their own characteristics — but they all offer the same relaxing vacation for families. Here are just six things you can look forward to during a holiday in Cape Verde.
1. Hit the beaches of Sal
As this islet receives so much sunshine, it’s no wonder that its Santa Maria beach has such a great reputation. Take a walk along the pier and watch fishermen at work, rent out a sun lounger for some serious bathing or simply park your towel on the white sands. Lots of water sports take place in the sea, so there are loads of activities for the whole family to get involved in. Otherwise, take along a picnic, a good book, and watch the kids make a splash in the clear waters.
2. Visit a UNESCO site
The town of Cidade Velha in the south of Santiago was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics in the 18th-century. Today it has gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status and you can stroll around to see fascinating remains from its 16th century roots, including churches, a fortress, and Pillory Square. It’s a great way to learn some history.
3. Listen to Morna music
This music and dance genre is native to Cape Verde and is influenced by a mix of Portuguese, African, Brazilian and Cuban music, using the accordion, clarinet, piano, violin, and guitar. Look out for cafes and bars that are putting on live music and you’re sure to find yourself in the midst of great times with the locals — maybe even by dancing!
4. Diving and snorkeling
There are lots of snorkeling and diving sites in Cape Verde — regardless of your skill level. Colorful fish and loggerhead turtles will dart around you as you swim around beautiful coral reefs, eerie volcanic craters, caves, and boulders. Be sure to research the best operators before you head to Cape Verde.
5. Take a hike
This intriguing archipelago has a mixed terrain of volcanic plains and green valleys, against the vibrant shorelines. Take walks up volcanoes like Mount Fogo in Santiago. After a three and a half hour trek, you will experience panoramic views of the surrounding island — a real pinch-yourself moment. If you’re not much of a walker, there are plenty of nature parks to visit like Jardin Botanique de Sao Jorge and Paul Tal valley.
With such a mix of culture, history, adventure and relaxation for all ages and interests, it’s no wonder that visitors to Cape Verde only ever seem to have wonderful things to say about it. It’s definitely worth going to see what all the fuss is about for yourself on your next family vacation.