Cape Verde vacations for those keen to get off the beaten track

Are you in need of a change of scenery? A place to escape the monotony of daily life and recharge your batteries? If so, Cape Verde vacations are for you

Cape Verde vacations offer you the chance to disconnect and enjoy spectacular nature

For many, the idea of Cape Verde vacations is shrouded in mystery - reserved only for the most intrepid travellers. Yet, whether you're a beach bum, an adventurer, or a culture lover, Cape Verde has something for everyone. You can spend your days lounging on the sand, swimming in the turquoise waters, or participating in water sports like windsurfing, kite surfing, or snorkelling. For the more adventurous, the Cape Verde islands offer fantastic opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring the local villages and markets. If you are in need of inspiration, here is our hotlist of the best things to see and do.

The best time to book your Cape Verde vacations

Located off the coast of West Africa, Cape Verde is an archipelago of ten volcanic islands, each with its own unique personality. The island chain is a melting pot of African, Portuguese, and Brazilian cultures, and is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and year-round sunshine. Its strategic location makes Cape Verde holidays all the more appealing as visitors can enjoy high, springtime temperatures all year round.

Since the islands sit further south than the Canary Islands, temperatures are even hotter. Yet, just like all islands, there is a rainy season and for Cape Verde, this is in April. If wall-to-wall sunshine is what you are after, then the best time to visit the islands is between June and November. However, if you wish to explore the island and try your hand at the Cape Verde activities on offer, November to June is a good time to visit.

Make the most of your holidays in Cape Verde and travel between islands

With so many islands to choose from, it is hard to settle for just one! Luckily, there is a good ferry service and inter-island flights that will ensure that you can make the most of your travels. It is worth planning your travel in advance to ensure that you don’t miss a connection to your chosen Cabo Verde islands or end up paying over the odds for a seat. So, now for the fun part. Which of the ten islands will be on your Cape Verde vacations list? 

The Mindelo coast on the north coast of São Vicente is worth exploring on your Cape Verde vacations

The picturesque Mindelo coastline is definitely worth visiting when on São Vicente island

Start your travels in Santiago, Cape Verde:

Santiago Island, Cape Verde is the largest and most diverse of the islands. It is also home to the country's capital city, Praia, and visitors will be treated to impressive views of its lush greenery, rolling hills and dramatic landscapes. 

Santiago is a great place to start your Cape Verde vacations

Santiago is a great place to start your Cape Verde vacations thanks to the wide range of things to do such as visiting the vibrant street markets, the historic Fort of São Felipe, or wandering through the colourful streets of the historic Ribeira Grande. Beach lovers cannot leave without stepping foot onto Praia do Tarrafal, recognised as one of the best beaches in the area. You can even take a horseback ride along the coast. This island is full of fun and surprises!

Discover the white beaches of Sal, Cape Verde:

Sal Island, Cape Verde is a beach lover's paradise. Relax and soak up the sun on its endless stretches of pristine white sand, or dip your toe into its crystal clear waters. Water sports like windsurfing and kite surfing are popular here, so if you get bored of lounging around in sunbaked bliss, put your adrenaline levels to the test. For those looking for a more active adventure, Sal Island is also a great place for those wanting to enjoy an eco-friendly vacation. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, or explore the nearby desert landscapes on horseback. As the sun dips behind the horizon, head to Santa Maria, one of the most popular island neighbourhoods. Here you will discover the best Sal Cape Verde nightlife hangouts. Dance the night away and enjoy a lazy beach day the morning after! What’s not to love?

The Santa Maria beach is the ideal spot to enjoy your Cape Verde vacations

Imagine soaking up the sun on the white sand of Santa Maria beach in Sal

Enjoy peace and serenity on Boa Vista Island:

Boa Vista holidays are ideal for those looking for peace and quiet. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and hit the beach. No Cape Verde vacations are complete without long stretches of pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and serene landscapes, and Boa Vista ticks all the boxes. Let time slip away as you soak up the warm rays of sun and if you are keen to adventure further afield, take a boat trip to one of the many nearby desert islands. Nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy taking a trip to the salt lakes, located at the heart of the island, where if you are lucky it is possible to see pink flamingos glide through the shimmering waters.


Soak up the Cape Verde winter sun on Fogo Island:

Imagine spending your Cape Verde vacations on the foothills of a volcano. Fogo Island is home to a towering peak known as Pico do Fogo. Adventure lovers will jump at the opportunity to hike to the summit, especially when the reward is breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape.

Fogo Island is home to a towering peak known as Pico do Fogo

To make your stay truly memorable, be sure to visit the stunning Chã das Caldeiras, a lush green valley surrounded by steep cliffs, where you can hike through the lush vegetation, see the waterfalls and take a dip in the hot springs.

The towering peak of Pico do Fogo is a must visit on your Cape Verde vacations

Experience stunning volcanic scenery at the foothills of Pico do Fogo on Fogo Island

Enjoy Cape Verde tours of São Vicente Island:

São Vicente is the best Cape Verde island for culture lovers. If you are curious to experience the unique melting pot of African, Portuguese, and Brazilian cultures, this is the island for it. It is here where you can get a taste of authentic Cape Verde life. Explore the bustling street markets, attend live music performances, or visit the historic museum of Mindelo. Of course, no Cape Verde vacations are complete without a trip to the beach, and Praia de Calhau offers an ideal place to sunbathe on the sand, go for a swim, or watch the sunset over the ocean.

Beach lovers will adore the São Vicente beach on their Cape Verde vacations

Is there a better place to catch rays than the white sandy shoreline of São Vicente beach

Take a boat out and enjoy whale watching in Cape verde on Maio Island:

Looking to discover a hidden gem during your Cape Verde vacations? Maio Island is definitely it!  Celebrated for its laid-back atmosphere and tranquil beaches. Visitors can relax on the sand, swim in the clear waters, or take a boat trip to one of the nearby desert islands. It is popular for whale watching and if you want to try snorkelling in Cape Verde, you will be fascinated to discover that the island is home to a sea turtle population. For a unique experience, be sure to visit the local villages, where you can learn about the island's traditions and customs and meet the friendly locals. It should also not come as a surprise that the island is also home to some of the country's best seafood, so be sure to try the fresh catch of the day at one of the local restaurants.

Cape Verde is nature at its purest. See it up close on Santo Antão Island:

Lush green landscapes? Steep cliffs? Rushing waterfalls? Yes, Santo Antão has it all. If you are wanting to try a Cape Verde sailing adventure, it's the perfect place to explore the island's stunning natural beauty both onshore and offshore. If you prefer dry land for your Cape Verde vacations, grab your trainers and hike along the scenic trails, admire the views from the peaks, or visit the historic villages and see the local way of life. 

A stop at the Ribeira da Torre, a dramatic gorge surrounded by towering cliffs, is definitely worth a visit

A stop at the Ribeira da Torre, a dramatic gorge surrounded by towering cliffs, is definitely worth a visit, but pack a swimsuit as you can swim in the natural pools there and admire the views of the valley below.

Ribeira da Torre is a fantastic place for nature lovers to explore on their Cape Verde vacations

Don’t pass up the chance to go hiking through the stunning landscape of Ribeira da Torre

Cape Verde family holidays on São Nicolau Island:

If you are a family that likes to explore the path less travelled and dreams of hiking in Cape Verde, then a trip to São Nicolau Island is one for the books. It is a place of contrasts, where the lush green landscapes contrast with the rugged beauty of the volcanic peaks. Famous for its hiking trails, be prepared to ramble for miles along the picturesque coastline. For a unique experience during your Cape Verde vacations, be sure to visit the historic Ribeira daCruz, a quaint village surrounded by rolling hills, or attend a traditional music performance in the local square.

Step away from it all with a Cape Verde islands vacation to Santa Luzia Island:

Imagine stepping off the ferry and onto a small remote island with stunning beaches and serene landscapes at every turn. Santa Luzia Island is just that and so much more. What this island lacks in entertainment it makes up for in spectacular vistas. Dive into nature and spend your Cape Verde vacations sunbathing, swimming or exploring the many caves and lagoons. Visitors can sunbathe on the sand, go for a swim, or explore the nearby caves and lagoons. Seafood is very popular here and the best way to enjoy it is to venture into one of the local fishing towns and order the catch of the day.

The Mindelo coast is a fabulous place to explore on your Cape Verde Vacations

The Mindelo coastline in the north of São Vicente island offers endless ways to discover the island’s beauty

Brava Island, the best Cape Verde island to visit for contrasts:

Lush green landscapes are juxtaposed against rugged, volcanic peaks creating a stunning natural contrast. If you listen carefully, traditional music floats on the salty island breeze, ricocheting off the cliffs and echoing across the valleys. Brava Island is a small and remote island ideal for spending your Cape Verde vacations away from the rest of the world. For a unique experience, be sure to visit the Monte Fontainhas, a picturesque village perched high on a hilltop, or hike the trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints over the island and the sea beyond. If you are looking for interesting off-the-beaten track Cape Verde short breaks this is an island that's worth exploring.