If you are looking for a sunny destination to spend your Christmas, or if you simply want a winter getaway that doesn’t involve sitting for hours on a plane, you may want to consider the Cape Verde Islands. There are 10 islands to choose from but some of the smaller, less developed islands have very little in terms of accommodation or infrastructure.
The most popular islands are Sal, known as the sunniest of all the Cape Verde islands and Boa Vista that offers a more relaxed ‘away from it all’ atmosphere. Sal Island has undergone huge development over the last 10 years including the completion of an international airport which means you can now fly direct from many European countries in less than 5 hours. Originally the island has a moon-like landscape, covered in sand with vast dry valleys. Now you will find 5 star resorts, beach clubs and the vibrant town of Santa Maria that is filled with colourful bars and restaurants.
Unsurprisingly (with it being surrounded by water!) watersports are BIG on Sal. The coastline has winds that are perfect for surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers and if you want to try out any of these sports while you are on the island there are several companies that offer beginner courses or equipment hire for experienced surfers. Of course, if you fancy a more sedate holiday this can be catered for too. Temperatures on Sal tend to hover in between 21 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius (they can often reach well into the 30s though) so if sunbathing and relaxing with a book is your thing there is plenty of opportunity to just lie and soak up the sun! The soft white sands look like the Caribbean and the sea temperature is often in the 20s so you will really feel like you are in paradise.
The islands are full of all kinds of wildlife from giant gecko lizards to flamingos and bats. The seas surrounding the islands are also full of exciting creatures from blue whales to dolphins and moray eels. Fishing excursions are readily available or you can go out and spot a whale or too if that’s not for you! If you visit the islands during summertime you may be lucky enough to see endangered loggerhead turtles nesting on the beaches, a real treat for nature lovers!
The range of accommodation on Sal Island really does suit all budgets and requirements. Over on Ponta Preta Beach on the south east coast there are a number of great new resorts popping up. Melia Tortuga, Paradise Beach Resort and Vila Verde Resort all offer a great range of high spec apartments and villas. The resorts are still a work in progress in terms of onsite facilities but swimming pools are open, communal areas are furnished with loungers and poolside bars are opening gradually. It’s actually a really good time to snap up a bargain holiday on these resorts as the lack of onsite facilities is reflected in the rental rates. Santa Maria with all the amenities you’ll need is just a 5 minute car journey or a 25 minute walk away; so you get a top quality villa or apartment as a base and you can easily get into town for meals, shopping and nightlife.
View our full range of villas in Cape Verde.