The eastern islands of Cape Verde are relatively flat with long stretches of beautiful soft sandy beaches. The western islands, however, are more mountainous and with a more rugged coastline. So whatever your preference, there is something for you in Cape Verde. This picture was taken on the island of Brava, which is sometimes known as the Garden Island. There is often cloud over the mountain, which means there is a little more rain here than on some of the other islands. Consequently, plants grow well and the gardens are attractive.
This picture was taken on the island of Fogo, and shows the sunset over Brava, the neighbouring island. Both Fogo and Brava are well worth a visit. On Fogo, there is the fascinating caldera, which has a landscape that could be on some remote planet. Brava has a lovely coastline especially at Faja d’Agua. It is easy to travel between the two islands using the regular ferry service. Fogo is a 30 minute flight from Praia, the capital of Cape Verde.
Flowers and plants are in abundance on the island of Brava. This plant was photographed in Nova Sintra, the pretty main town on the island. Here visitors will find many attractive gardens and parks. The island also has a very attractive, rugged coastline and a mountainous terrain. Brava is often known as the Garden Island.
Nova Sintra is the main town on the island of Brava. The town is about 750m above sea level and is reached by a hairpin road from the port below. The town is very attractive and the houses are neat and tidy and the gardens well tended. This picture was taken in the main square and shows the colonial nature of some of the buildings. The square is attractively laid out and landscaped. Brava is known as the garden island and it is not difficult to see why it has acquired this description.
The two islands of Brava and Fogo are quite close together. To get to Brava (known as the garden island) you need to fly to Fogo and then take the ferry. There is no airport on Brava. The main town on Brava is Nova Sintra, which is one of the most attractive towns in Cape Verde. The micro climate on the island makes it ideal for flora. The gardens are lovely with an abundance of lovely plants and flowers. One of the main attractions on Brava is Faja d’Agua. This is a tiny village nestling by the sea and only reached by a mountain road.
This picture was taken at Faja d’Agua on the northwest of Brava when the seas were usually rough. The spectacular waves in this lovely bay (often referred to as the most beautiful bay in Cape Verde) were mesmerising. Brava is a lovely island with lots of vegetation and a most attractive main town of Nova Sintra. The island is the most south-westerly in the Cape Verde archipelago and is known as the island of flowers, partly because of the gardens in Nova Sintra. The little village of Faja d’Agua developed during the 18th and 19th Centuries, when whaling ships from America landed here.
The greenest of the Cape Verde islands and the smallest of the inhabited islands is Brava. The coastline is rugged and attractive. The island’s micro-climate results in an abundance of trees and vegetation and includes almonds, coconut and date palms and oleander.
The Telegraph is the latest newspaper to feature Cape Verde in its Travel Destinations section. The article ’10 reasons why Cape Verde is the most underrated winter sun destination on Earth’ by Chris Leadbeater extols the virtues of visiting Cape Verde.
In his article Chris describes how Cape Verde is not a destination that comes to mind when considering a holiday, but he describes the 10 islands that make up Cape Verde as being ‘as beautiful as they are mysterious’.
So why is Cape Verde becoming a popular holiday destination and one that is being featured by the press? Here are just some of the reasons:
It is accessible from much of Europe
There are direct flights to the island of Sal from the UK, from airports such as Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester. There are also direct flights from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester to the island of Boa Vista. Airlines that fly there include Thomas Cook and Tui (Thomson). Other islands are accessible via Lisbon with TAP airlines or via Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. Flights are also available from many European cities, such as Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Munich, etc.
The weather is good all year round
Flying for an extra 2 hours, people who traditionally have looked at the Canaries for their winter sun, can take advantage of the Cape Verde weather. There you can enjoy the lovely temperatures that rarely drop below 20C and average between 25C and 30 C in January. The sea around Cape Verde is also much warmer than in the Canary Islands.
There is a variety of accommodation
There is a great range of accommodation available from self-catering apartments and villas to guest houses and luxury all-inclusive hotels. Something to suit every tourist. Some links to accommodation on each of the islands are included below.
It has a unique musical tradition
Two types of traditional music can be heard in Cape Verde, morna which was made more famous by singer Cesária Évora and then there is Funaná. Along with their music, cape verdeans love to dance and visitors are more than welcome to join in.
It is a chance to experience Africa
Cape Verde is an African country and Santo Antão island is the continent’s most westerly point. Santo Antão is a mountainous island and roughly half the island is dry and arid, the other half lush and green. Coffee plantations are to be found on the sides of the mountains.
The volcanic landscape
The islands a volcanic and whilst most are inactive, the volcano on Fogo island erupted as recently as 2014. The peak on Fogo reaches 2,829 m above sea level. There is a community living in the crater and the wine is produced there and is certainly worth tasting.
Island hopping opportunities
Cape Verde comprises 10 islands and each has its own distinct character and landscape. The easterly islands of Boa Vista, Sal and Maio are flatter and contain areas of desert. The western islands such as Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Brava are rugged, mountainous and ideal for the more energetic hiker. A holiday in Cape Verde should take in at least a couple of islands.
Water sports galore
There are many opportunities to enjoy water sports, from swimming to kite surfing. The winter season is the windiest and provides excellent conditions for sailing, wind surfing and kite surfing. One beach on Sal island has been renamed Kite Beach, because of its popularity for kite surfing. In addition, there are opportunities to dive and experience the marine life, which is abundant in the waters around these islands.
For accommodation on each of the nine inhabited islands, see the following links: