Destination:

Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Cape Verde’s unique geographic location, troubled history of slavery and invasion, and fascinating mix of transatlantic cultures has given rise to a place unlike any other on the globe, a place as joyful as it is full of longing, a fact perhaps best reflected in Cape Verdean music and the hauntingly beautiful ‘morna’. The sometimes harsh, drought-prone conditions of this mid-Atlantic scattering of islands have seen the flourishing of a fascinating Creole culture and the most stable democracy in Africa, which is currently enjoying its moment as a sought-after, yet still under-discovered, vacation destination.

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Cape Verde
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Cidade Velha (Santiago)

Cape Verde's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cidade Velha (simply 'Old City') was the first European settlement in the tropics, and once an important point in the Portuguese Empire. Parts of the original city still remain, including two churches, the town square and the imposing Fort de São Filipe, looming over the area from the hilltop. It is the perfect place to begin exploring Cape Verde's fascinating past.

Praia (Santiago)

Praia is Cape Verde's capital, largest city and centre of economic, political and religious life. The city boasts a distinct mix of African and Mediterranean vibes throughout the downtown area (known as Platô for its location on a small plateau), with its charming old quarter and rapidly expanding urban infrastructure.

Barracuda (Sal)

Barracuda, a wonderful and quite popular seafood restaurant, boasts a privileged location on the gorgeous Santa Maria beach. You can be sure that your meal will be served with the freshest seafood, caught by the local fishermen who dock their small boats right in front of the restaurant.

Adress
Praia de Santa Maria, Sal
Chez Pastis (Sal)

Another high-end restaurant in Santa Maria, Chez Pastis stands out as much for its unique location and quirky ambiance as it does for its great food and service. They take pride in serving only the highest quality Brazilian beef, though the menu includes local specialities and seafood, as well.

Adress
Rua Amilcar Cabral 5, Santa Maria
Djunta Mo Art (Sal)

Djunta Mo Art is one of the premier handicraft shop in Cape Verde, offering tasteful and elegant handbags, scarves, trinkets, jewellery and home decor with vibrant colours and impeccable designs. All their products are fair trade and sustainable, directly benefiting local artisans.

Adress
Rua 1° de Junho, Santa Maria
Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Sao Vicente)

You might think that from the outside it looks more like a museum than a market, but it is in fact the municipal market of the city of Mindelo, a vibrant, colourful and meticulously-kept space filled wall to wall with the freshest island produce and the smiling faces selling them.

Adress
Rua Lisboa, Mindelo

Airports

There are four international airports in Cape Verde: Amílcar Cabral International Airport, SID (Sal), Nelson Mandela International Airport, RAI (Santaigo), Aristides Pereira International Airport, BVC (Boa Vista), Cesária Évora Airport, VXE (Sao Vicente). There are regular flights from several major European cities, including Lisbon, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Munich and several UK cities, as well as from Morocco, Boston and Fortaleza, Brazil, with most international flights traveling to Sal or Santiago. There are also domestic airports on all islands except Brava. If you will be traveling a lot between islands, it is recommended to buy a TACV Cabo Verde AirPass (only available for purchase outside Cape Verde). Many hotels can arrange a pickup service from the airport, and taxis are readily available at all terminals. A cheaper option is to take an 'aluguer', a kind of shared taxi, though this can be less convenient as they follow fixed routes.

Adress
Rua do Aeroporto, Praia

Public Transport

Besides taxis and renting a car, the only way to get around the islands is to take an 'aluguer', or collective taxis, which can be anything from modern and spacious vans to pick-up trucks. They connect even the smallest towns on most islands, picking up and dropping off passengers on request at any point along their route.