We spent recently a week in Cape Verde, the African Islands located on the Atlantic Side, in front of Senegal (Dakar). It’s located only 1h30m flying from Senegal and aprox 4h flight from Europe (Lisbon), direct flight with TAP
Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) is a former Portuguese colony, discovered by Portuguese sailors back in the 14th hundreds, 600 years ago. It’s name comes from Cap-Vert, the Westernmost Point of Africa, in the coast of Senegal. It’s comprised by 10 islands, 9 of them inhabitated, known as: Ilha da Boavista, Ilha do Sal, Ilha do Fogo, Ilha de Santiago, Ilha de Santo Antao, Ilha de Sao Vicente, Ilha de Sao Nicolau, Ilha do Maio, and Ilha Brava (Ilha means Island in Portuguese).
The advantage of visiting Cape Verde for a Portuguese is: Language (the same, Portuguese), currency Escudo (former Portuguese currency before the Euro) and warm people. It has only a population of 500.000 and most working in the tourism industry, being Sal Island and Boavista the most popular. It’s still a poor country, under development, where the minimum monthly salary has been recently settled in just 100EUR !
Last, but not the least, you can travel there any time, it’s always warm and comfortable for getting a relaxed vacation, because the temperature never goes below 20 celsius (68 F) and usually only rains one or two days per month !
We decided for Boavista island, and for only one reason: less explored, less visited by the crowds, and less developed than Sal. Unfortunately we didn’t get very good weather, and wind was blowing strong the whole week. We did several trips around the island, which is small, and explored the hotel facilities, gardens, pools and grounds. There’s just a small population of 4.000 people, where 2.500 live in the capital Sal Rei.
For hotel, we choose the 5-star IberoStar Club Boavista located at the beautiful Praia de Chaves. It’s outside the main city and the crowds, but not too far. Riu Touareg was another option to consider, but too far from the capital, Sal Rei, on the south part of the Island. Although, the island is quite small, you can cross it from north to south in 30min. The hotel has only the option all-inclusive, and has 270 rooms spread around the beach coastal line.
First Class Flight with cockpit takeover/landing
Airport Arrival (Boavista – Sal Rei): This is really a small airport, serving only few daily flights. One gate, one luggage delivery belt:
IberoStar Clube Boavista 5*
The meals and the food at the hotel are assorted, variety is fine and quality above average. I believe could not expect more. It’s a 4 out of 5:
During our stay, we visited multiple places with our private tour guide, who provided escorted tours starting/ending from our hotel. Driving is not recommended in Boavista, unless you know what you are doing.
Places to be visited:
– Praia de Chaves
– Sal Rei e Salinas (capital)
– Praia do Ervatão
– Cabo de Santa Maria & Ship Wrek
– Espingueira (Spinguera EcoLodge)
– Joao Galego
– Fundo das Figueiras (Restaurant Nha Terra – Great Lamb)
– Cabeço dos Tarafes
– If time allows, Curral Velho and Morro Negro
Hotel: IberoStar Club Boavista 5*
Tours: Local Tour Guide Emiterio with transportion SUV: +238.9974515
Currency: Escudo Cabo Verdiano – Don’t bother taking money, any hotel can exchange Euro or USD and most hotels have ATM. Bring cash Euro/USD.
Language: Portuguese (most hotel staff speak fluent English)
Disclaimer – Please note: some of the experiences listed here may have been sponsored, but this review is independent and reflects exclusively my personal experience.