Visiting Cape Verde
With all the islands off the coast of Africa, probably the most stunning is the rocky landscape of the Cape Verde archipelago. Burst forth from the sea by great volcanoes millennia ago it remained uninhabited until the 15th century when it was colonized by the Portuguese.
I first discovered Cape Verde by sailboat after a long Mediterranean sail. I had never been and a couple that was sailing with us said it was well worth the trip. The sail was beautiful and I was very surprised by what I found when we arrived.
The Atlantic pounds the rocky shores making a dramatic ocean landscape that is filled with every type of water sport. Sailing charters and dive trips are popular among the visitors as are fishing trips that provide some of the best sport fishing found anywhere in the world. Windsurfers can be seen jumping the waves like sailfish breaching the surface.
One of the many benefits of Cape Verde Holidays is that it was not until 2001 that tourism kicked into high gear. This makes for modern accommodations and a relatively quiet holiday destination. You are able to walk the streets without being bombarded by touristy surroundings that are found in most other destinations. The old world charm and local way of life is the majority, not something that needs to be sought out.
Only 16 degrees north of the equator makes Cape Verde an idyllic year round holiday destination. The weather stays warm year round and the ocean breezes keep it from getting uncomfortable hot. The hottest month is September when the temperatures reach a high of 30c and February when the high is 25c.
Besides water sports there are a wide range of land based activities to do on the islands. With its rugged volcanic landscape there are numerous mountains to trek and explore. Bike rentals and land tours are a great way to explore the rural areas.
Of the 10 islands that make up the archipelago, only 9 are inhabited. The most populated island is Santiago where the nation’s capital Praia is located. The remaining islands are quickly gaining popularity for tourists and as a result are offering more and more to do every day. The islands of Boa Vista and Sal have recently built large tourism developments.
When flying in from the UK, jet lag is never a concern because the time zone is only one hour earlier. The flights are plentiful and relatively short coming from anywhere in Western Europe. Transportation is readily available on all of the islands.