Top 10 places for winter sun - the Cape Verdean Islands

Posted on Mar 02, 2023 by Ella Brundle

Blog > Top 10 places for winter sun - the Cape Verdean Islands

The Cape Verdean Islands offer a fabulous variety of diverse landscapes. All 10 islands are unique, so why go anywhere else when the top 10 places for winter sun are all in one destination?

The archipelago is located off the west coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, not far from the equator, offering radiant sunshine throughout the winter. In fact, all year round the islands offer fabulous weather. 

1. Sal

Sal is by far the first choice for holidaymakers, and it’s no surprise why it is granted a first place for winter sun by our experts. Home to many popular beachfront hotels overlooking golden sands and turquoise waters, the bustling town of Santa Maria boasts over 90 bars and restaurants within easy walking distance from all the hotels in our program. Various excursions on the island of Sal, offer tourists the chance to float in salt mines and paddle with lemon sharks. Sal successfully caters to many kinds of holidaymakers with its varying activities on offer. Whilst the Cape Verdean Islands are thought of as a winter destination, visiting in the summer offers the opportunity to enjoy the turtle season. To witness conservation at its best, Project Diversity offer tourists the chance to see how their turtle conservation efforts help the Loggerhead Turtles on the local shores. Project Biodiversity creates funds and awareness of the dwindling population of Loggerhead Turtles that visit the shores for nesting from July – September. 

2. Boa Vista

Another popular choice is the island of Boa Vista, home to endless white sands, perfect for a fly-and-flop holiday. Here you can expect all-inclusive hotels where everything you will need during your stay is ready for you, or stay in a small and friendly family-run guest house, to explore Sal Rei. Boa Vista certainly is the perfect destination for a rejuvenating holiday. Take part in excursions to explore the island's dunes and famous shipwreck.  Boa Vista is another island visited by turtles during July – September, a restricted number of visitors can partake in organised tours to not upset the ethos and protection of these magnificent giants. 

3. São Vicente

São Vicente is the island of music, home to many great musicians, pubs and restaurants, offering rich traditional music, dancing and lively nights out. São Vicente's capital, Mindelo, is proud of its rich music heritage and annually hosts the São Vicente carnival, where the streets come alive with elaborate floats and dancers, partying well into the night. If you're looking for culture and a traditional experience, then São Vicente will not disappoint. A resident turtle population in the bay offer the chance to swim with these majestic reptiles of the sea. 

4. Santo Antão

An island where lush verdant peaks and deep craters meet cliff-hanging towns. Santo Antão is ideal for hikers and walkers, offering a new adventure at every twist and turn. Experience the feeling of stepping back in time, walking cobbled streets, witnessing working donkeys and taking the chance to head up into the mountains high above the clouds. It is hard to find negatives in this rare holiday destination, untouched by tourism, earning its place in the top 10 places for winter sun. 

5. Fogo

How often do you get the chance to visit an active volcanic island? On our list Fogo just has to be featured, the black rocky landscape has eye-catching evidence from the last eruption. 
Hard lava rock becomes part of the furniture in houses. with many buried homes just showing the peak of their rooftops on the crater floor. Pico do Fogo, now stands at 2,829m and dominates the island’s landscape, producing tasty local coffee and iconic wine. Pretty Portuguese squares and fantastic trekking opportunities also await.

6. Santiago

Green valleys and lush plantations meet rugged mountains and bustling African towns. A paradise for hikers and walkers allows you to see another side of Cape Verde’s impressive diversity. The largest island in the archipelago and home to Cape Verde’s capital, Praia, Santiago is an island rich in history, while also functioning as the main hub for inter-island transport across the country. 

7. São Nicolau

Sao Nicolau is great for walkers and hikers, offering lush green mountain trails, cascading waterfalls, and spectacular rock formations. As it is less touristy than the other islands and has fewer domestic flights, this island is harder to get to, but all the more reason to try. 

8. Maio

An island in its infancy as far as tourism is concerned, and the latest addition to our Cape Verde programme. Vila do Maio is home to a mix of Portuguese and British colonial-style buildings, as well as endless white untouched sands fading into azure waters. Maio is a great place to escape, relax and take in the scenic empty beaches and mature lush forests surrounding the island.

9. Brava

Brava is one of the archipelago's most mountainous islands, boasting deep gorges and dramatic peaks. This tiny uninhabited island is known for its rich assortment of flora and fauna and is often referred to as the 'island of flowers'. Brava is the smallest island in the archipelago and the southernmost point in Cape Verde. 

10. Santa Luzia

The hardest of all to get to, with no domestic flights, you can get there by just hitching a ride by a local fisherman from São Vicente. This island was used for raising livestock, but by 1990 the island became uninhabited with its arid land and lack of water resources.

Book your holiday to Cape Verde today and make the most of some winter sun!


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