Often overlooked in favour of the more glamorous (not to mention more expensive) Caribbean, Cape Verde is made up of ten beautiful, volcanic islands nestled in the Atlantic, off the coast of Africa. With year-round sunshine warming its idyllic beaches, this is an affordable option when it comes to winter sun holidays.
So if you fancy a change from the Canary Islands or your budget won’t get you to Barbados, take a look at Cape Verde for an out-of-season sunshine break, away from the crowds.
It’s easy to get to:
Unlike long haul spots like Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean, you can get here in around six hours.
You’ll find a range of direct flights to Cape Verde’s most popular islands – Sal and Boa Vista – and package holidays from the big operators, to make getting away effortless.
A year-round sunny climate:
Like in the UK, the temperature drops over winter – but their ‘cool’ is still a respectable mid 20s in December and January. Along with the warm sun, a gentle breeze keeps humidity down, making the climate a welcome contrast to winter at home.
Tasty local food & drink:
From exotic fruit to every kind of fish you can think of, Cape Verde is a food lover’s dream, with inspiration from African and Mediterranean cuisine. A pastel is a must-try – it’s a bit like a samosa, stuffed with fish and served with a spicy tomato sauce.
Relaxed beach life:
With stretches of golden sand, palm trees and crystal clear water, the islands’ spacious beaches are a perfect place to relax. Sal’s beaches have the most facilities and if you fancy trying your hand at water sports, diving or sailing, Boa Vista is the destination for you.
Colourful carnival fun:
Normally held in February or March, the Creole Festival is celebrated with colourful carnivals that fill the streets with friendly locals in fabulous costumes and lively music. Celebrated across all the Cape Verde islands, the most famous parades are on Sao Vicente and Sao Nicolau.
Amazing volcanic landscape:
Breathtakingly dramatic, the island of Fogo (Portuguese for ‘fire’) boasts the islands’ highest peak, Pico do Fogo. You can drive up to the village of Chã das Caldeiras, home to around 1,000 people, which is amazingly situated in the crater!
Looking for a winter sun getaway with all the amenities?
Sal – this island is the most developed - with a range of hotels to choose from - and the main town Santa Maria, with its selection of restaurants, shops and market stalls.
Boa Vista – the most easterly island - known for sea turtles and music - is a treasure trove for souvenir shoppers in the town of Sal Rei, where you’ll also find a harbour to wander.