Cape Verde is one of our favourite destinations in the world. We travelled for almost 3 months to six different islands and we’ve become big fans of Cape Verde. And we love to share all our travel tips and travel guide videos with you.
Cape Verde is a nice melting pot of different cultures and influences. You will experience a Portuguese, South American and African culture vibe with a touch of Caribbean when you arrive in Cape Verde. Every island has its own unique vibe with more Portuguese or African influences than the other. The Cape Verdeans are known for the high level of Morabeza. A word of the locally spoken language, Creole. The meaning of Morabeza is the high level of hospitality and kindness the Cape Verdeans have towards each other and travellers. Especially the island of Santo Antao is known for the high level of Morabeza.
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Cape Verde has become really popular with all sorts of travellers. Especially the islands Sal and Boa Vista are extremely popular with Europeans. These popular islands of Cape Verde are perfect for travellers who are looking for a sunny holiday with white sandy beaches and clear blue sea. Who doesn’t like that? Also the weather in Cape Verde all year round is ideal for a summer holiday or a sunny holiday in wintertime.
Besides the great weather in Cape Verde, it’s the diversity between the islands that many travellers love about Cape Verde. Every island is different from the other which makes Cape Verde a unique holiday destination. From islands with green mountains to flat islands with white sandy beaches to other islands with a lot of history and culture to experience. A trip to multiple islands is a great way to spend your holiday in Cape Verde. Even the prices are enjoyable. The average prices for accommodation, transport and food are a lot lower compared to prices in Europe. You see? There are so many good reasons why you should book a holiday to Cape Verde!
Do you want to see more of Cape Verde? Watch our video and see the beauty of the Cape Verde islands.
When we traveled to Cape Verde, we wanted to know where it is safe to go swimming in the sea. Because we are swim fanatics and swimming in t...
Cape Verde lies about 500 km off the west coast of Africa. The official name of Cape Verde is Cabo Verde and it's named after the Green Cape Peninsula; the most western point of the African mainland in Senegal.
Cape Verde has 9 larger islands and a few small ones. Some of them are closer which makes travelling by ferry between those islands possible, but mainly flying is necessary to get to different islands. It’s the distance between the Cape Verde Islands but also the turbulent weather on the open sea that makes ferry trips not always reliable and makes flying a better option. The most reliable ferry route in Cape Verde is between the islands Sao Vicente and Santo Antao. These islands are a 1-hour boat trip apart from each other. Combining these two islands on your holiday is a perfect way to experience two totally different islands in Cape Verde.
From the largest island of Santiago, it’s easy to take the ferry to the islands of Fogo or Brava. This ferry route is also a bit unreliable due to weather conditions and operational problems. Don’t forget Cape Verde is Africa so if the boat is broken, it’s very unpredictable how long they need to fix it. We advise you to fly to Fogo, Brava and Maio of you’re in lack of time.
Flights to Cape Verde
We've booked all our domestic flights in Cape Verde with the local airline Binter. On Skyscanner, you can check for the cheapest flights. From the Netherlands, you can fly directly to Sal or Boa Vista with TUI. This is only a 6-hour flight directly to the great weather of Cape Verde. And if you want to fly to other islands of Cape Verde you fly via Portugal. Make it a layover and you have a great opportunity to enjoy Lissabon for a day or two.
Weather Cape Verde
Like we expressed tremendously, the weather in Cape Verde is great. It's one of the main reasons why you should book a holiday to Cape Verde.
Cape Verde has a subtropical climate. The temperature is on average between 21 and 27 degrees Celsius all year round. With peaks to 30/35 degrees in summer and lows to 15 degrees on some islands in winter. On the mountainous islands such as Fogo and Santo Antao, the temperature can sometimes drop to a degree of 10. And on the flat islands such as Sal, the temperature may rise to 40 degrees Celsius in the summer.
In Cape Verde, there is almost always a trade wind present. The strongest wind is from January - March and provides ideal conditions for kite and windsurfing. Because of this trade wind, it can feel fresh in winter. A sweater and long pants can be necessary for the evenings.
Visa Cape Verde
All visitors entering Cape Verde need a visa (cost: 40 euros) and a passport that is valid for at least another 6 months after the travel date. If you are a European or British citizen, you can obtain a visa at the Cape Verde embassy or consulate in your country in advance. Or you can get a visa upon arrival on Sal, Boa Vista, São Vicente and Santiago international airports.
The visa allows you to stay for 90 days and you must enter the country within 180 days after the visa has been issued. You can submit your Visa application on the website of the Embassy of Cape Verde.
For Cape Verde vaccinations for DTP and hepatitis A are recommended. Make sure that you always check with your local health agencies which vaccinations are recommended!
The currency in Cape Verde is escudo (CVE). In many places in Cape Verde, you can also pay with the Euro. On average € 1, - equals about 110 CVE. Check the most recent exchange rate this website
The official language is Portuguese. The locally spoken language by the Cape Verdeans is Creole. This is an African version of Portuguese from the Middle Ages. It is very similar to Portuguese, but it's a totally different language. There are various versions of Creole on the different islands. If you can't speak Portuguese or Creole. Don't worry a lot of Cape Verdeans speak English, French and sometimes Dutch.
Cape Verde Time Time = GMT-1. That means Cape Verde Standard Time is 1 hour behind Greenwich Mean Time. And they do not operate Daylight Saving Time.
Cape Verde holiday
Most people opt for an all-inclusive holiday to Cape Verde on the popular islands of Sal and Boa Vista. These islands of Cape Verde are ideal if you're looking for a holiday filled with sun, sea and white sandy beaches. The perfect destination to recharge your batteries. With TUI you can fly directly to these islands from a lot of European cities. Everything is arranged from the flight, airport transfer and the all-inclusive resort.
Are you looking for more adventure? We recommend going island hopping. The diversity of the islands makes Cape Verde a unique travel destination with so much to explore. We've travelled through Cape Verde for 2,5 months in total and visited the islands of Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Sal, Boa Vista, Fogo and Santiago. We had an awesome time and we are always recommending others to travel to multiple islands of Cape Verde to get a real experience of the country, the vibe and the Cape Verdeans. The Cape Verdeans are super friendly and we were really surprised by the beautiful nature of Cape Verde and the unique activities you can do.
Islands of Cape Verde
This island is the cultural heart of Cape Verde. The capital Mindelo is packed with great cafes that play live music on a daily basis, nice bars and restaurants. You can walk through the cosy streets where the Portuguese influences are still clearly visible. The busiest places on Sao Vicente are around Mindelo and the harbour Porto Grande. This harbour is a visited by many sailors who stay a couple of nights before they make the crossing to the Caribbean.
On Sao Vicente is where the tropical carnival is celebrated the most on Cape Verde. Many Cape Verdeans travel to Sao Vicente to experience the carnival party in Mindelo. This capital city also has a beautiful white sandy beach and blue sea with several beach clubs overlooking the neighbouring island Santo Antao.
The nature of Santo Antao is really beautiful. For culture, you go to Sao Vicente and for nature to Santo Antao. Because this island doesn't have an airport, it is necessary to travel via the island Sao Vicente. In Mindelo, you can catch the ferry 2 times a day to Santo Antao.
There is no mass tourism on Santo Antao which is great. It's a true paradise for hikers. Deep gorges, green valleys and high peaks make this island loved by hikers and nature seekers. Above all the other islands of Cape Verde, Santo Antao is known for the high level of Morabeza. The locals of Santo Antao are so incredibly hospitable and friendly. You'll notice it immediately when you arrive on the island.
This island is next to the island of Santiago and can only be reached via the shortest flight on earth from Santiago. Tourism on this island is still not really there, while the beaches of this island are known as the most beautiful beaches of Cape Verde.
This island is the largest island of all Cape Verde islands. Its the island with the most African vibe from all the Cape Verde islands. The capital of Cape Verde is Praia and it's located in the south of Santiago. This bustling city has large and colourful markets and cosy bars with live music. The landscape of Santiago is diverse. Beautiful white sand beaches in the north, like Tarrafal and green mountains and valleys in the middle of the island. Would you like to get to know the Cape Verdean culture, enjoy beautiful nature and also spend a few days relaxing on the beach? Then Santiago is the perfect island for your holiday in Cape Verde.
This island is the most famous and most touristy island of Cape Verde. Sal is flat, desert-like and has long sandy beaches with luxury hotels, beach clubs and restaurants. The tour operator TUI has made this island known among many European tourists. On Sal most days there is a wind present which makes it ideal for kitesurfers and windsurfers. In the village of Santa Maria, there are many different restaurants, bars and shops to buy souvenirs.
Sal is a perfect destination for your holiday in Cape Verde if you are want to relax on the beach, enjoy the sun and jump in the ocean once in while. And there are still plenty of activities to do on the island, such as swimming with sharks.
This island is the slightly bigger brother of Sal, but it's less touristy. Boa Vista also has beautiful white sandy beaches and a clear blue sea to jump in. It even has a desert in the middle of the island. The Viana desert is an extension of the Sahara desert on the African continent. A great place to go quad biking or gazing at the stars at night.
The luxury resorts are spread over the whole island and are always connected to the beach. Some beaches are so widespread that you can be alone on the beach. A favourite form of transportation on Boa Vista are quad bikes which you can rent in Sal Rei the capital of Boa Vista.
We think the most special thing about Boa Vista is that it's the only place in Cape Verde where you can spot humpback whales. Every year the bay of Boa Vista is a safe haven for humpback whales that mate, give birth and raise their young calves. You can even spot turtles for a number of months per year on Boa Vista.
The island Fogo, Portuguese for fire, is named after the only active volcano in Cape Verde: Pico de Fogo. The last eruption was in 2014.
The climate on this island is largely determined by this 2800 meter high volcano. And is different to other Cape Verde islands. The capital of Fogo is Sao Felipe that has a relaxed vibe to it. This is also the city where you arrive on Fogo by plane or boat from Santiago.
The special thing about Fogo is that they brew one of the best coffees in the world. The coffee is mild in taste and is selected by Starbucks for their label 'special coffees' with only the best coffees in the world.
Especially the village of Chã das Caldeiras at the foot of the volcano is worth a visit. The locals of Cha das Caldeiras live within the crater with the lava of the latest eruptions and have vineyards spread around the crater.
This island is one of the most thinly populated islands of Cape Verde. There is little to no tourism on this island, so there is so much to discover and explore. Sao Nicolau has the most diverse landscape of the Cape Verde islands. The mountain Monte Gordo determines the climate on the islands. Therefore in the east, it rains a lot and is beautiful green and the west of the island its dry.
The neighbouring island of Fogo is Brava and is also a volcanic island. It is the smallest inhabited island of Cape Verde. And Brava can only be reached by ferry from Santiago via Fogo. On Brava this there is hardly any tourism. And a great opportunity to discover the real Cape Verdean life.