Country 60/196: Cape Verde
Destination: Sal island
Our last African destination was a great one – Cape Verde or more precisely Sal island. It’s hard not to fall in love with this tiny island in the Atlantic, which is located almost halfway between Portugal and Brazil. Desert landscapes, beautiful beaches, a colorful city, welcoming people, spectacular salt ponds, and a gorgeous resort to celebrate (and mourn) the end of a great adventure. It was an absolute pleasure! 🙂 ♥
Things to see and things to do
Cape Verde consists of 10 islands and 5 islets off the west coast of Africa. It is mostly renowned for its lovely beaches, endless deserts, and volcanic peaks. Sal is the most touristic island in the country (and the least ‘African’), but as it offers many amazing sights, our destination was easy to choose. 🙂
As the island is only 29.7 km long and 11.8 km wide it’s easy to explore. Nevertheless, here are some of the island’s top attractions.
Sal offers lots of gorgeous beaches, but Santa Maria is considered the most popular one. It is located in the southern part of the island and is famous for its golden sands and turquoise sea. You can go snorkeling, surfing, take a boat tour, or a simple walk along the beach. There are also some great restaurants to be found in the small town of Santa Maria.
Espargos is the largest city on the island. The city, located in the heart of the island, charmed us with its colorful architecture and relaxed vibe. We took a walk through the old city center and enjoyed the countless nice sights.
Pedra de Lume salt evaporation ponds
The salt ponds are located in the crater of an extinct volcano near the village of Pedra de Lume. The ponds are considered the number one attraction on the island. We enjoyed the amazing views and had a lot of fun bathing in the salt lake. Due to its high salinity/density, it’s really easy to float on the water, which is definitely a must-do when in Cape Verde! 😉
Other attractions include some of the world’s most renowned kitesurfing beaches, some fishing villages on the west coast of the island (e.g. Palmeira), and Buracona (also known as the Blue Eye) – a natural pool with turquoise waters and an underwater cave.
Where to stay
There are lots of wonderful hotel resorts as well as simple guesthouses to be found on Sal.
We have had the great opportunity and pleasure of staying at the most romantic honeymoon resort on the island – the fabulous Meliá Tortuga Beach Resort and Spa. We loved the food, the big pools, the spa facilities, the villas, and the amazing beachside restaurants. We got a bottle of champagne and celebrated the end of our African adventure on the beach under the light of a million stars. ♥
Are you planning a trip to Cape Verde? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount! 🙂
Visiting Sal or Boa Vista can be quite expensive. If you are on a tight budget it may be better to visit some of the lesser-known islands. On Sal, an all-inclusive deal usually costs around 117 USD (100 EUR) a day. Prices for guesthouses start at 29 USD (25 EUR) a night. You can save a lot of money by preparing your own meals and eating in local restaurants or roadside stands. A ride in a shared taxi-van (aluguer) costs 1-3.5 USD (0.85-3 EUR), depending on the distance.
Best time to visit
Sal is a year-round destination. The weather tends to be pleasantly warm (20-28°C) and extremely dry all year, even during the so-called rainy season (from August to October). From October until July it tends to be rather windy.
Soil, air, and water pollution, as well as overhunting/overfishing, are the main culprits of biodiversity loss. In recent years several bird, reptile, fish, and plant species became endangered. Prolonged droughts (due to climate change), severe deforestation (due to the increasing need of wood for fuel) and improper use of land (overgrazing, crop cultivation on hillsides) have led to desertification and soil erosion.
Romance and adventure
Sal is a wonderful island full of natural wonders, romantic sights, and amazing adventures. You can explore the unparalleled Pedra de Lume salt evaporation ponds, visit the Viveiro botanical garden, discover the underwater cave of Buracona, or have a relaxing holiday on one of the many gorgeous beaches, where you can go snorkeling, diving, canoeing, kitesurfing, or simply enjoy the view of the turquoise sea.
Found lots of LOVE in Cape Verde. 😉 ♥
Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♡♡
Cape Verde, or at least Sal island, is a great honeymoon destination. It offers picture-perfect beaches, colorful cities, amazing resorts, and countless beautiful sights and adventures. 😉
* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.
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