5 things to do on a Cape Verde islands holiday

Tucked away off the west coast of continental Africa, Cape Verde is an archipelago that sits on the historic trade route between Saharan Africa and the colonial “new worlds” of South America and the Caribbean. The Cape Verde Islands have a one-of-a-kind cultural blend with influences from Portugal and Africa.

Cape Verde Islands São Pedro, São Vicente fishing boats
Fishing Boats in São Pedro, São Vicente, Cape Verde: Photo F Mira / CC BY-SA 2.0

Top 5 Things to Do in Cape Verde Islands

But what are the most important things to add to your “to do” list if you decide to take a ? We look at five of the best attractions below.

1. Hike the verdant valleys of Santo Antão

Replete with stunning scenery and sugarcane plantations, the volcanic valleys of Santo Antão are an idyllic place for an energetic walk. The island has a subtropical climate that boasts a rich range of verdant vegetation, including forests of fir and pine. Citrus fruits, almonds, papaya, coffee, maize, lavender and eucalyptus are all harvested from Santo Antão’s bountiful slopes.

Top 5 Things to Do in Cape Verde Islands Santo Antão
Santo Antão: Photo Mickaël T. / CC BY 2.0

2. Go clubbing in vibrant São Vicente

Home to the party capital of Cape Verde Islands, Mindelo, São Vicente has a whole host of tantalizing entertainments for you to enjoy. You can take in live music daily at the bars and restaurants across the city.

At night, the many discos come to life and draw huge crowds. Travellers arriving during carnival time are in for a real delight, as the locals celebrate through day and night.

Carnival Time Mindelo Cape Verde Islands São Vicente
Carnival Time on São Vicente: Photo on Flickr by Caroline Granycome / CC BY-SA 2.0

3. Enjoy the beach life on Boa Vista

Those looking for azure seas and sun-bleached beaches should visit Boa Vista. Named “beautiful view” in Portuguese, the island lives up to its name, with over 50 km of beach that are still spared the excesses of mass tourism. Rare sea turtles make pilgrimages to the island to lay clutches of eggs, providing a further attraction for nature lovers and conservationists.

Cape Verde Islands Sal Rei Boa Vista Iberostar
Sal Rei, Boa Vista: Photo niall62 / CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Go surfing on Sal

This island has boomed since the arrival of an international airport. A flat island that features abundant sand in beaches and desert, Sal is increasingly a Mecca for surfers from across the globe. The low lying landscape means very little rain, so it is a beach bum’s paradise too. As a result, most people who live on the island are under 40 years old.

Cape Verde Islands Local surfer, Santa Maria, Sal
Local surfer, Santa Maria, Sal: Photo on Flickr by IDS.photos / CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Make the most of the morabeza

The constant beat of music on the islands and the charming blend of creole food and culture makes for a most welcoming stay. Morabeza is the local lingo for “hospitality” and a visit to the islands is practically guaranteed to nurture your faith in humanity. The islanders include many among their number who are visitors who simply couldn’t leave.

Cape Verde Islands Mindelo Carnaval
Mindelo Carnaval: Photo Caroline Granycome / CC BY-SA 2.0

With a rich history, alluring landscapes and a unique creole Portuguese-African culture, this island group promises much to those who wish to fly in for a break. Put a holiday in the Cape Verde islands on your bucket list and you’ll enjoy a trip that gives you memories to last a lifetime.

About Sam

Samantha is passionate writer and traveller who loves to discover new things and experience different cultures. This is the reason why she sets aside ample time and monetary resources to visit tourist attractions that are known for their diversity. Now she brings you captivating articles about travel and leisure.

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3 Responses

  1. Five reasons why you should visit Cape Verde | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] archipelago nation of Cape Verde consists of ten islands, nine of them habitable. From the tourist hotspot of Sal to the dramatic […]

  2. Avatar for Sam


    Good info and Cape Verde is a nice place too, but it is the most expensive place. Can you please tell me the best ways to enjoy Cape Verde on a budget.

  3. Avatar for Sam


    These photos are so beautiful! I only saw Sal and Sao Vicente so far and I am already in love with this country. I wrote a short post about Sal, I hope you enjoy the read.


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