São Vicente - The Cape Verde Islands

São Vicente is home to Mindelo, the cultural capital of the islands and where you'll hear music all day long and be able to explore the city's fine architecture.

São Vicente is home to some of Cape Verde's greatest musicians, writers and thinkers.

Generally considered the cultural hub of the island, Mindelo is proud of its rich tradition of music and art and has a vibrant nightlife with a lively buzz of music throughout the pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. If you're looking for culture and a traditional experience then São Vicente will not disappoint.

Sao Vicente Beach

More about São Vicente

Mindelo is full of architectural delights that reflect the early British influences and monuments that date back to colonial times and is well worth a visit. Alternatively the beach at the Foya Branca Hotel is definitely the best on the island with crystal clear waters and shimmering white sands. A free shuttle bus takes visitors on the 15-minute journey to and from Foya Branca to Mindelo so visitors have the best of both the beach and the nightlife.

Beaches on São Vicente are not always the most aesthetically pleasing in comparison with other islands but are a real treat for windsurfers (best conditions Nov-Apr). São Pedro is arguably one of the world's finest for speed windsurfing. In fact, in 1997 Sandy Beach at Calhau was included in the European professional circuit. Baia das Gatas in the north of the island which can be reached by four-wheel drive is great for swimming because of the natural lagoon. Many visitors to São Vicente choose to visit Santo Antão, the greenest island in the archipelago. An hour-long ferry crossing will take you to this beautiful island with rugged mountains and green valleys, a popular choice for hikers and a recommended highlight of any stay.

There is a golf course on the island of Säo Vicente, which is a simple dry course therefore not for a serious golfer!


São Vicente hosts two of the most lavish festivals:

  • The Carnival each February (or 40 days before Easter). The main dates for 2017are 28th February & 1st March. This is inspired by the festivities and costumes of Rio, Brazil with a Portuguese flavour mixed in.
  • The beach music festival during the full moon in August attracts musicians and visitors from all over the archipelago.

Read more about festivals on the island on our blog. 

Hot Tip for São Vicente

Take a day trip to Santo Antão. A ferry departs daily from Mindelo and allows you to spend the day exploring Santo Antão before heading back on the afternoon ferry.

Please find below a selection of our hotels in São Vicente.