Sao Vicente Cape Verde

About São Vicente

São Vicente Cape Verde (Portuguese for “Saint Vincent”) is one of the westerly Cape Verde islands. It is a stepping-stone to the most westerly of the islands, Santo Antão. The beaches, as with the other islands in the archipelago, are plentiful. At São Pedro the beach is a windsurfers paradise and one of the best for speed windsurfing (best conditions Nov-Apr) and to the southeast of São Pedro there are beautiful, deserted beaches of fine white coral, surrounded by the reddish brown scree on the mountains. Osprays can be seen gliding above the water.

The main town of Mindelo is a tourist and cultural magnet with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Although discovered in 1462, it was only in the 19th Century that the potential of the deep harbour was appreciated by the British when it became a refuelling stop for ships. It is now a prosperous town, with restored squares and refurbished facades of its historic buildings. It is easily explored on foot and there are arts and crafts exhibitions and workshops, a cultural centre (Centro Cultural do Mindelo) an arts museum (Museu de Arte Tradicional), a lively fish market, and fruit and vegetable markets. Restaurants are plentiful and varied.

Whilst the main town of Mindelo is the hub, cultural events can be found throughout the island. The Baía das Gatas (The Bay of Cats) festival in August and one of the very few Gay Pride celebrations to be held in Africa take place on São Vicente. The Terrain is dominated by Monte Verde and the mountain ranges of Madeiral and Fateixa. From these it is possible to see Santo Antão and even the deserted islands of Santa Lucia, Branca and Raso on a clear day. There are interesting discoveries to be made if you don’t stick to the towns. Plants that have adapted to desert conditions will be found, together with palm trees and vegetable plots along with groves of acacia trees. There are small villages, such as Calhau, with its colourful houses.

The Climate is tropical and dry, and it rarely rains on São Vicente, providing an all-year destination for those seeking sun and warmth.