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This African country was part of the Portuguese empire in 1495 and subsequently is a mix of Portuguese and African people and language. The islands became independent in 1975 and the ancestry and history is evident throughout the ten stunning volcanic islands. Expect flavours, colours and
experiences influenced by a landscape founded in old volcanic lava and rock. The eruptions seem to have added to the colour and vibrancy – Cape Verde’s islands are bursting with fruit and fauna. There is so much to sample, taste and enjoy. Here are some of the country’s most desirable spots.
More about Cape Verde
Each of the volcanic islands of Cape Verde is worth seeing, for the diverse collection of wildlife, flora and fauna. This landscape of lava is both extraordinary and extreme and each island has its own character and personality to invite and excite a visitor. From walking the tails along craters to eating papaya on the
porches of Assomada, hopping around the islands gives a taste of a country full of culture, history and wild beauty.Enjoy the sea, the sun and the many flavours of these islands all formed with their own story and scenery.
Top 5 things to do in Cape Verde
This fishing town in the south of the island is the biggest tourist spot in Cape Verde. Founded in 1835 for its production of sea salt, visitors can expect some fantastic seafood restaurants and swimming. As a top tourist spot there are is a lively scene and fun bars to sample. Santa Maria is an ideal stop for its palms trees, sea, sunbathing and evening fun - all set in a beautiful landscape.
The busy and bustling market town gives visitors a real taste of local life. Sample the spicy sausages at the market for lunch and pluck papaya for a refreshing snack. The pastel and neon homes are decorated by trees dripping with fruit, form grapes to pineapples. It’s a rare and riveting experience that stimulates tastes buds and the senses.
Cha das Calderias (Place of Craters)
These villages offer visitors a walk through volcanic lands and extraordinary views of volcanic eruptions. It is otherworldly and striking. These vast plains of old lava are evidence of the last volcanic eruption, in 1995. There are early sunrise walks to the craters, where tourists can buy souvenirs made locally by the children.
Also in Calderias, this amazing museum offers visitors the chance to see a film that shows the story behind the 1995 volcano. The Pico Do Fogo eruption had a month-long lava flow changed locals lives forever. This film follows the resettlement and repair to so many lives and is a wonderful chance to see the endeavour and courage of local Calderias people.
This is the largest and most populated island in Cape Verde. African in culture, it is mountainous and beautiful and houses two capitals – old and new. There is the ancient Cicade Velha and the modern capital, Praia. This is a bustling and vibrant destination, bursting with agriculture and development. Expect museums, markets, bazaars and a buzzing nightlife. It’s a place that offers a great variety of sights and is a perfect stop when touring the islands for an all-round experience of a Cape Verdean island.
10 facts about Cape Verde
Cape Verde lies 500 kilometres off the coast of West Africa, making it a serious sun trap for those that love their holidays hot.
Sal's capital city of Espargos means 'asparagus' in Portuguese, referring to the wild vegetable asparagus stalk which grows in sandy areas around the island.
The easiest and cheapest way of getting around Cape Verde is by buses known as 'aluguers’. Often packed, you’ll have to shout when you want to get off!
The islands’ main industries are basket weaving and clay sculpture, you can pick up some of these crafts at one of the island’s markets.
The active volcano, Pico Do Fogo on the island of Fogo, is the highest peak of Cape Verde at 2,829 metres above sea level.
You can fly between the islands of Cape Verde with TACV, but you’ll have to take a ferry to the smaller islands of Santo Antão or Brava.
The island of Säo Vicente boasts Cape Verde’s only golf course. It is a simple course but fun for an afternoon of practicing your putt.
Sal and Boa Vista are the best places to go whale watching and you can even see turtles nesting between the months of June and October.
You’ll be surprised at the array of nightlife in Cape Verde and a night of dancing to local Creole bands is a must.
The beautiful Cova Krater in Ribeira Grande contains rich plant life which thrives on the volcanic environment.