Marooned in the mid-Atlantic, the exotic Cape Verde islands pack an incredible diversity of scenery and culture into a 10-island archipelago. Experience the ultimate island-hopping break on a holiday to Cape Verde from Glasgow Airport.
Sun, sea and sal
With its famously sunny climate and kilometres of sandy beaches, the desert-like island of Sal is a perfect hopping-off point for exploring the rest of the archipelago. Temperatures rarely drop below 24°C, even in mid-winter, making it a mecca for beach bunnies. Most stay near Santa Maria, a lively resort town with top-notch tourist facilities and a world-class windsurfing scene. If you’re looking for something more than sizzling sandy beaches, a clear blue ocean and a sun umbrella to snooze under, though, hop on a boat or a domestic flight and enjoy exploring the nearby islands.
The most extraordinary thing about the Cape Verde islands is their scenic diversity. From the spectacular canyons and gorges of mountainous Santo Antão – arguably one of the best hiking destinations in Africa – to the bucolic charm of sleepy Brava and Maio’s glorious beaches, every island brings something different to the table. Admire the lofty black volcano that dominates Fogo (the isle of ‘Fire’), experience an adrenaline-pumping road trip in Boa Vista’s desert interior, soak up the chic, Riviera-style atmosphere on São Vicente or enjoy a ramble in the hills of Santiago. There’s enough natural variety here to keep even the most world-weary traveller entertained.
It isn’t just the scenery that gives the Cape Verde islands their diverse appeal – the archipelago is thrumming with history and culture. The beating heart of all this cultural action is the colonial port town of Mindelo on São Vicente. The Centro Cultural do Mindelo is a cornucopia of exhibits and relics, while the Mercado Municipal market is a colourful insight into local life. Other cultural landmarks include Fogo’s Dja’r Fogo gallery and coffee house and the Museu Municipal in São Filipe.