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praia casino

Construction underway on Praia casino

Work is now in progress on the new tourist resort and casino being built in Praia on the island of Santiago. The first stage is to build a new causeway out to the island on which the complex in being constructed. The new causeway can be seen under construction in this picture. The finished project will be a 152,700m² complex including accommodation, casino, retail, restaurants, convention centre, museum and marina. The estimated cost is €250m. The project is seen as part of the Cape Verde government’s aim to increase tourism to this island state. The development is being undertaken by Macau Legend Development. The first casino to be opened in Cape Verde was in Santa Maria on the island of Sal.

sal airport improvements

Airport improvements in Cape Verde

Over the past couple of years, airport improvements have been underway on the island of Sal. The Amilcar Cabral International Airport now has new departure lounges and an attractive courtyard for departing passengers. These improvements have made the experience of flying from Sal much more pleasant. It seems that Cape Verde is investing in its transport infrastructure, with major works also underway at Praia airport. This investment helps to confirm the future of Cape Verde as major holiday destination. In addition to this building work, the operation of internal flights by Binter CV has also made travel within the country generally more reliable.

santiago praia market stall

Market stall in Praia, Santiago

The markets in Cape Verde are colourful places. They normally have a good selection of fruit and vegetables, some of which are relatively unknown to many European visitors. The large market in Plato, the main shopping area in the centre of Praia, where this was taken, is a lively place and well worth a visit. The market stall holders are usually happy, jolly people who will be very keen to get your custom.

capital city Praia

Capital City of Cape Verde – Praia

The Praia is the capital city of Cape Verde and is located on the southern end of the island of Santiago. The main shopping area is on a raised outcrop in the centre of the city which is known as Plateau. Plateau is the main shopping area. Here there is a pleasant tree lined pedestrian street, with cafes and restaurants. Praia is gradually being smartened up now has a pleasant town centre shopping area. There is also a seafront with more restaurants and bars. The city is also home to a port and an international airport.

new praia airport building

Smart new Praia airport in Cape Verde

The extension and refurbishment of the Nelson Mandela International Airport in Praia is now well underway. A smart modern building is emerging from the building site, with a large new check-in hall, travelator and much improved taxi pick up area. If you remember the old waiting area under the tent, you will realise that improvement was necessary. Although not completely finished yet, it is already a vast improvement. Further work includes expansion of the freight terminal and a new fire station.

santiago market

Colourful market on Santiago island

You will find a fruit and vegetable market in many towns in Cape Verde. They are colourful places and this one on the island of Santiago is no exception. The various sellers will actively try to persuade you to buy their produce. Even if you are staying in a hotel, they are worth a visit. The availability of fruit and vegetables can be variable, especially on some of the smaller islands.

tui fly amsterdam praia

TUI flights start between Amsterdam and Praia

1 November saw the commencement of TUI flights between Amsterdam and Praia on Wednesdays. The flights will add Praia to the Amsterdam schedules that already include Sal and Boa Vista. This addition to the flights into Praia is hoped to improve tourism to Santiago. This island has been largely overlooked by flight and tour operators.  But the largest island in Cape Verde has a lot to offer, from the capital city of Praia, the UNESCO world heritage site of Cidade Velha, the lovely town of Tarrafal, and the majestic mountains in the middle of the island.

santiago island

Silhouette on Santiago Island

Santiago island (Portuguese for St James) is the largest of the 10 islands, and home to the capital city, Praia. The island has majestic mountains and lovely beaches.  The drive from Praia in the south, to Tarrafal in the north and passing though the mountains is beautiful. The destination of Tarrafal is an attractive town with lovely beaches.