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santa maria sunset

Sunset at Santa Maria on Sal Island, Cape Verde

Sunsets in Cape Verde are very often beautiful. This picture was taken at Santa Maria on Sal Island as the sun sets over the beach and the moored boats. You will be very unlucky if you visit Cape Verde and don’t see a lovely sunset. The opportunities for taking a lovely sunset photograph are many. The sun could be setting over the sea, over a neighbouring island, or behind mountains.

New Solar Farm in Cape Verde

Work has recently started on a large photovoltaic installation on the island of Sal in Cape Verde. This is part of the Cape Verdean government’s aim to supply all of the country’s energy from renewable sources. Águas de Ponta Preta (APP) is constructing this new solar farm at Ponta Preta.

The new installation will supply 2.03 GWh/year, consequently it will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels by 10%. The solar farm will comprise 3,480 panels and will cost €2.03m. Through an agreement with CERMI – The Centre for Renewable Energy and Industrial maintenance – 8 students are involved in the assembly and operational stages.

Cape Verde has almost unlimited sun therefore the use of this free resource to provide electricity is an obvious one for this country.

jet skiing in sal

Jet skiing in Santa Maria, Sal

Water sports are a big attraction in Cape Verde and the opportunities include diving, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, sailing and jet skiing.

british soldiers in sal

British soldiers on rampage in Cape Verde

A group of british soldiers has caused a bit of a ruckus in Cape Verde. The 130 men were on their way to the Falkland Islands when their transporter plane stopped to refuel in Sal. The onward journey was delayed because of a technical fault with the plane. The men had to be put up in hotels in Sal, while the problem was fixed.

They found themselves in the ‘all-inclusive’ 5* Melia Tortuga hotel. Holidaymakers, including a number of families, were a bit surprised to see the soldiers behaviour. Some were sunbathing in their underwear and others arguing loudly with each other. It is understood that some of them also swore at the hotel bar staff whilst ordering drinks. Two of the men were arrested by police, appeared in court and were fined £150 each for brawling. The British Army confirmed that those involved would be disciplined. The cost of accommodating the soldiers following the problem with the plane is estimated at £40,000. Main source – Daily Telegraph news paper.

pedra de lume

Visit Pedra de Lume

Salt has been produced in the Cape Verde islands since the 18th Century. Pedra de Lume on the island of Sal (Salt in English) was one of the main areas for production. In 1985 the operations at Pedra de Lume ceased, but the site has become an interesting place for visitors. You can see the remains of the conveyor system, that could transport 25 tons an hour. A bathe in the water, which is only about 600mm deep is an interesting experience. The salt water makes it easy to float, and the experience is similar to bathing in the Dead Sea. So, if you are visiting Sal, include Pedra de Lume on your itinerary and take a dip in the water. Take some suitable shoes to use in the pool because of the sharp salt crystals.

 

 

maio sunset

The Daily Telegraph rates Cape Verde.

Once again The Daily Telegraph has featured Cape Verde in its Travel Destinations. This is a second feature in three months on this country from one of the UK’s leading newspapers. It is an indication of the growing importance of Cape Verde as a holiday destination.

The article describes Cape Verde as ‘a year-round sun spot with alluring beaches, volcanic hiking routes, and a lively music scene, not to mention direct flights from the UK at under six hours, and no [significant] time difference – so no jet lag to contend with.’

Online searches increased

The amount of online searching for Cape Verde is showing significant increase. One organisation – Global Travel Search – lists in order the destinations that have the greatest increase in searches over the past 12 years. It states that Cape Verde has shown the largest increase, at 3000% since 2004. In 2017 this small country came second only to Barcelona

Whilst the searches online have increased dramatically, not all searches automatically turn into visits. Tourism to the archipelago is, however, on the increase. In 2016 this small African country welcomed 644,000 tourists, an increase of 13.6% on 2015.

Henry Morley, Founder of True Luxury Travel, says: “A key reason for the increase in search volume for Cape Verde is due to much greater accessibility to the islands.

“Recent years have seen greater availability of direct flights from the UK, which will have brought the country to the forefront of people’s minds as a potential holiday destination.”

The Daily Telegraph’s travel writer Rachel Cranshaw, visited the island of Sal in 2017. She expects its popularity will continue to increase. She writes “Its main selling points are that it’s a six-hour direct flight from the UK, with little or no time difference, and better guaranteed year-round sunshine than the Canaries,” she notes. “But it’s much cheaper – and closer than the Caribbean.”

santa maria beach sal

Santa Maria beach – one of the finest

Santa Maria beach on the island of Sal is considered to be one of the finest beaches anywhere. The white sand beach is some 8km in length and lapped by the azure waters of the Atlantic. Water sports of all kinds can be enjoyed there. These include kite surfing, wind surfing, board surfing, swimming, diving and jet skiing. The town of Santa Maria offers a variety of restaurants, bars and nightlife. Tours of the island can be arranged or can be undertaken by car or quad bike. Sal is only 6 hours by plane from much of Europe. It makes an ideal holiday destination for those who love the beach, but want something a little more also.

 

 

tropical resort sal

Tropical Resort, Sal

An apartment in Tropical Resort on the island of Sal provides an excellent base for your holiday. The apartment is only 300m from the beautiful beach of Santa Maria and only a short walk from the town centre. The garden is beautifully laid out and the free-form swimming pool is an attractive feature.

sal cape verde the telegraph

The Telegraph features Cape Verde

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:

Boa Vista

Brava

Fogo

Maio

Sal

Santiago

Santo Antão

São Nicolau

São Vicente

kite surfing sal

Kite surfing on Sal Island

As we enter the windy season in Cape Verde, the attraction of these lovely islands increases for the lovers of kite surfing. Kite beach on Sal island is a mecca for kite surfers. This beach has even been renamed because of its popularity for this sport. The wind conditions here are perfect. There is a cafe/bar and instruction and equipment hire is possible. If you are interested in this sport, why not try Cape Verde, excellent conditions with lovely warm weather and beaches to relax on as well as participating in water sports.