When you’re dreaming about a holiday in Cape Verde, you’ve come to the right place.
With its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, stunning natural landscapes, and year-round great weather Cape Verde provides a breathtaking backdrop for an amazing holiday. We’ve visited 6 different Cape Verdean islands so we know that this is all true.
In this Travel Guide, we’ll give you amazing deals, answer all your Cape Verde burning questions, and give you insider tips for a memorable holiday adventure. Get ready to explore this captivating paradise like never before!
Ready to book a holiday to Cape Verde?
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Popular Holidays Cape Verde
Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, is a beautiful island nation located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa. Made of ten islands and a few islets, it forms an archipelago bursting with natural beauty and cultural richness. The islands are very different from one another, from stunning beaches, and sandy deserts to lush green mountains, making it a paradise for everyone.
Perhaps you still have the question in the back of your mind, is Cape Verde good for a holiday?
Cape Verde is an excellent holiday destination. Its diverse landscapes, from stunning beaches to volcanic mountains, offer something for every traveler. Cape Verde’s affordability, warm hospitality, and diverse offerings make it a fantastic choice for a beach/ watersport/ cultural or hiking holiday.
Cape Verde’s warm tropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year, makes it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and beach lovers. You’ll discover a rich cultural blend influenced by African, European, and Creole traditions, providing a unique experience. Also on your holiday, you will experience friendly locals, lively music, and a vibrant arts scene that adds to the country’s charm. And watersports enthusiasts will love the excellent conditions for activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and snorkeling.
Now let’s get to the amazing holiday deals!
All-Inclusive Holiday Cape Verde
On the two most popular islands Sal and Boa Vista, you can find the most amazing 5-tar all-inclusive hotels and resorts in Cape Verde. To make things easy here are the top 3 best all-inclusive resorts in Cape Verde, make sure to check them out for the latest holiday deals:
Top 3 Picks: Best All-Inclusive Holiday Resorts Cape Verde
Family Holiday Cape Verde
When you wonder, Is Cape Verde any good for families?
Cape Verde is an excellent family holiday destination due to its safety, welcoming atmosphere, and plenty of family-friendly activities to choose from. The country has beautiful, child-friendly beaches with calm waters and soft sands. Santa Maria Beach on Sal Island, for instance, offers gentle waves ideal for kids.
Also, there are many resorts on Sal and Boa Vista that cater specifically to families with family-friendly amenities, including kids’ clubs, pools, and special activities.
And besides going to the beach you can explore the outdoors through activities like snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, dune buggy rides, turtle watching, whale watching in Boa Vista, and other fun boat trips. Also, the rich Cape Verdean culture provides opportunities for children to learn about different traditions, from music to local cuisine. The diversity of Cape Verde ensures a memorable and enjoyable family vacation.
Top 3 Picks: Best Hotels For Family Holiday Cape Verde
Adults-Only Holiday Cape Verde
Cape Verde is a great choice for an adults-only holiday. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, want some action and adventure, or looking for a cultural getaway. Cape Verde can offer it all.
The country’s vibrant culture comes to life through its music and cuisine, allowing adults to indulge in local flavors and enjoy a more refined dining experience. With the opportunity for water sports, spa treatments, and cultural exploration, Cape Verde offers a well-rounded and luxurious getaway for adults seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And there are plenty of adults-only resorts to choose from.
Top 3 Picks: Best Hotels For Adults-Only Holiday Cape Verde
Couples Holiday Cape Verde
Cape Verde is an ideal destination for couples seeking a romantic getaway. Its beautiful beaches, like Santa Maria Beach on Sal Island, offer serene and picturesque settings for leisurely strolls and intimate moments. Or if you want to go on a hiking adventure Santo Antão is a great island to explore with each other. For a deeper dive into the cultural heritage of Cape Verde and the place to enjoy the Cape Verdean music scene, the islands of Santiago and São Vicente are great choices.
Whether you’re lounging by the pool, indulging in spa treatments, or exploring the islands’ natural beauty, Cape Verde provides a perfect backdrop for creating lasting memories with your loved one, making it an excellent choice for a couples’ holiday. Check out these top picks for amazing deals:
Top 3 Picks: Best Hotels For Couples Holiday Cape Verde
Last Minute Holiday Cape Verde
Cape Verde is a year-round great destination due to its warm tropical climate. Especially on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista, you can enjoy a nice beach holiday every month of the year. So when you’re looking for a last-minute getaway to the sun Cape Verde is a good idea in both summer and winter. Curious about the last-minute deals? Check them out right away here.
Top Destinations Cape Verde
The most popular holiday island of Cape Verde is Sal. Right after that comes Boa Vista. But besides these sunny beach holiday islands, Cape Verde has more to offer. If you’re wondering which island is best to visit in Cape Verde here is a quick summary of the top destinations in Cape Verde.
Santa Maria – Sal
Known for its stunning beaches and lively atmosphere, Santa Maria is a hotspot for tourists. It offers opportunities for water sports like windsurfing and kiteboarding, as well as an amazing nightlife with a variety of beachfront bars and restaurants.
Boa Vista is famous for its tranquil ambiance and breathtaking landscapes. It features golden sand dunes, pristine beaches, and a serene environment, making it perfect for relaxation and beachcombing. Also, in the months March-May you have the opportunity to go on a whale-watching tour to spot humpback whales on the shores of Boa Vista.
Cidade Velha – Santiago
Cidade Velha, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the historic heart of Cape Verde. Visitors can explore its colonial architecture, and ancient fortresses, and learn about the country’s history.
Praia – Santiago
Praia is the capital city of Cape Verde, offering a mix of urban and natural attractions. You can explore markets, and museums, and enjoy the city’s lively atmosphere while still having access to nearby beaches.
Mindelo – São Vicente
Mindelo is Cape Verde’s cultural epicenter, offering a vibrant music scene, lively nightlife, and numerous cultural events, such as the yearly tropical Carnival in February/ March. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in local music and art.
Beyond Mindelo, São Vicente Island features stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, and hiking and water sports opportunities. It’s a quieter alternative to Sal and Boa Vista.
Fogo Island is a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts. It’s home to Pico do Fogo, a volcano you can hike up, and lush landscapes dotted with charming villages like Chã das Caldeiras.
Santo Antão is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. It’s known for its rugged mountains, deep valleys, and picturesque hiking trails, making it an adventurer’s dream.
The diversity makes Cape Verde such an awesome holiday destination. We’ve made travel videos about different islands of Cape Verde. But more about that later in this article. Here is a video of the beauty of all the different islands.
Map Of Cape Verde
Getting Around Cape Verde
To make the most of your Cape Verdean holiday experience, it’s essential to understand the various transportation options and tips for getting around. When you wonder how to get to Cape Verde, you can fly directly into any of the four international airports on the islands of Santiago, Sāo Vicente, Sal, or Boa Vista. Most major European cities have direct or connected flights to Cape Verde. From the UK, only TUI Airways has direct flights to Cape Verde. Or you can fly via Lisbon, Portugal.
Depending on which islands you want to visit in Cape Verde, you can fly or take a ferry between the islands. Some islands, such as Santiago, Sal, Boa Vista, Sao Vicente, and Fogo, have airports. But islands such as Santo Antão and Brava don’t have an airport, so you need to take the local ferry.
Ways Of Transportation In Cape Verde
- Rent a car – I recommend renting a car via Rentalcars.
- Take a taxi – These are readily available on most islands. They are a convenient way to explore the local areas and are generally affordable. However, agreeing on fares before hopping in is always a good idea.
- Transfer Shuttle – Many resorts and hotels offer a free transfer between the airport and the hotel.
- Use alugueres – These are shared taxis or minibusses that are common on several islands. They operate on fixed routes and are an inexpensive and adventurous way to move around.
- Local Buses – Public buses are available on some islands, including Santiago and Sal. They are an economical way to travel but may have limited schedules.
- Exploring on Foot – Many towns and tourist areas are easily explored on foot. Hiking enthusiasts will find numerous trails, especially on islands like Santo Antão and Fogo. We even hitchhiked a couple of times, which was a fun experience.
- Book a Tour – The easiest way to get around is by booking a tour. Booking guided tours is an excellent way to explore the islands, particularly if you want to experience specific activities or attractions. I recommend booking your tours via Get Your Guide.
Things To Do in Cape Verde
Here is a list of the best things to do in the most popular islands of Cape Verde:
Santa Maria Beach: Relax on the pristine Santa Maria Beach and enjoy water sports like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and snorkeling.
Shark Bay: Visit Shark Bay to observe and swim with lemon sharks and other marine life in their natural habitat.
Salt Mines: Explore the Salinas de Pedra de Lume, the island’s salt mines located in a crater.
Buracona: Hop on a tour to visit Buracona to admire the ‘Blue Eye’.
Praia de Chaves: Relax on Praia de Chaves, a stunning beach with golden sands and turquoise waters.
Turtle Watching: Witness loggerhead turtles nesting on the beaches by going on a turtle-watching tour in the months mid July – October.
Quad Biking: Go quad biking through the island’s desert-like landscapes and sand dunes.
Whale Watching: In the months of March-May you can go on a whale-watching tour to see humpback whales in the shallow waters around Boa Vista island.
Cabo Santa Maria: visit the famous wreck of the Cabo Santa Maria.
Viana Desert: Go stargazing in the Viana Desert.
Cidade Velha: Explore Cidade Velha, a UNESCO World Heritage site with historical landmarks like the Royal Fortress.
Praia: Discover the capital city, Praia, with its markets, museums, and vibrant atmosphere.
Serra Malagueta: Hike in Serra Malagueta National Park, which offers breathtaking views and diverse flora and fauna.
São Vicente Island
Mindelo: Enjoy the cultural scene in Mindelo, known for its music, nightlife, and tropical carnival celebration.
Baía das Gatas: Visit Baía das Gatas for its annual music festival and its serene beaches.
Monte Verde: Hike to the summit of Monte Verde for panoramic views of the island.
Sea Turtles: You can swim and snorkel with sea turtles.
Pico do Fogo: Hike to the summit of Pico do Fogo, an active volcano, and explore Chã das Caldeiras the lava village next to the vulcano.
Wine Tasting: Taste local wines produced from the volcanic soil in the wine region of Cha das Caldeiras.
Coffee Plantation: You can visit a local coffee plantation and taste one of the softest and rarest coffees in the world.
Exploring Villages: Visit charming villages like São Filipe, known for its colonial architecture.
Santo Antão Island
Hiking: Embark on scenic hikes along the Santo Antão‘s rugged terrain and lush valleys.
Ribeira Grande: Explore Ribeira Grande, the island’s largest town, with historical sites and local markets.
Paul Valley: Explore the most beautiful valley of Cape Verde.
Road Trip: Drive the old route through the mountains from the harbor to Ribeira Grande for stunning views of the island.
Fontainhas: Visit the village Fontainhas which is on the National Geographic list of the villages in the world with the most beautiful view.
Cape Verde Weather
Cape Verde enjoys a pleasant tropical climate throughout the year, making it an attractive destination for holiday seekers looking for sunshine and warmth throughout the year. Average temperatures typically range from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F), ensuring comfortable weather for most outdoor activities year-round.
With relatively stable temperatures, the archipelago experiences little seasonal variation, but there are variations among the islands. Flatter islands such as Sal, and Boa Vista have more stable weather compared to mountainous islands such as Santo Antão. São Vicente, Santiago, and Fogo.
The dry season, which runs from November to July, offers plenty of sunshine and is ideal for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts. The wetter season, from August to October, sees occasional rain, but it’s a great time to witness the islands’ lush, green landscapes.
Additionally, Cape Verde benefits from trade winds, especially in the winter months, which not only cool the air but also create ideal conditions for windsurfers and kitesurfers to enjoy their sport to the fullest. These winds are a true asset for both weather and adventure seekers exploring the unique microclimates of the Cape Verdean islands.
Let’s answer some weather questions to help you determine when you want to book your holiday to Cape Verde.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Cape Verde?
The best time to visit Cape Verde is between November and June. The average day temperature is around 24°C (75°F), the sea temperature is 25°C, and there is almost no rain. Perfect for a white-sandy beach holiday. And other activities: hiking, watersports, tropical carnival (São Vicente), and whale watching (Boa Vista).
What is the best month to visit Cape Verde?
The warm climate throughout the year makes every month a great month to visit Cape Verde. But there are months that are better to visit depending on your holiday desires. So let’s take a closer look:
- The best months to visit Cape Verde for a beach holiday are between November and June.
- The best months to visit Cape Verde for hiking are November and December.
- The best months to visit Cape Verde for snorkeling and diving are between July – December.
- The best months to visit Cape Verde for kitesurfing and windsurfing are December – March.
- The best months to visit Cape Verde for Whale Watching are March-May
- The best months to visit Cape Verde for Turtle watching are from July to October
- The best months to visit Cape Verde to celebrate Carnival are February/ March (check the exact data)
What are the hottest months in Cape Verde?
July and August are typically the warmest months in Cape Verde, with temperatures reaching up to 30°C (86°F) or higher in some areas.
What are the coldest months in Cape Verde?
The coldest months are January and February in Cape Verde, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 24°C (75°F). However, Cape Verde is generally warm and pleasant, even in the cooler months, with plenty of sunshine and little rainfall.
Which Cape Verde Island is the hottest?
Santiago is the warmest island of Cape Verde.
Where is the warmest place in Cape Verde?
The capital city, Praia, on the island of Santiago, is the warmest place in Cape Verde.
Which Cape Verde Island is the coldest?
São Vicente is the coldest island of Cape Verde.
Holiday Cape Verde | Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cape Verde a cheap destination?
Cape Verde is a mid-range destination in terms of cost. Prices can vary depending on the island you visit and your travel preferences. While some accommodations and restaurants may be relatively affordable, others, especially in high-end resorts, can be more expensive. Especially during the Christmas holiday season. Overall, Cape Verde offers a range of options to suit different budgets.
Which is the best island to visit in Cape Verde?
The best islands to visit in Cape Verde for a beach holiday are Sal and Boa Vista. These islands are perfect for families, couples, and watersports. Santiago, São Vicente, Santo Antão, and Fogo are the best islands to visit in Cape Verde for hiking, nature, and cultural experiences. São Nicolau, Brava, and Maio are the most authentic islands to visit.
- Best Cape Verde Island for nightlife: Sal, São Vicente, and Santiago
- Best Cape Verde Island for families: Sal & Boa Vista
- Best Cape Verde island for couples: every island depending on what you want.
How many days do you need in Cape Verde?
The ideal duration for your Cape Verde trip depends on your interests and how many islands you plan to visit. For a single island, a week can provide a well-rounded experience. If you wish to explore multiple islands, two weeks or more would be ideal to immerse yourself fully in the diverse offerings of Cape Verde.
What is the best area to stay in Cape Verde?
The best area to stay in Cape Verde depends on the island you choose and your preferences. In Sal, Santa Maria is popular for its beaches and vibrant atmosphere. In Boa Vista, Sal Rei offers convenience and a beautiful coastline. Santiago, Praia provides access to historical sites. São Vicente, Mindelo is known for its cultural scene. Santo Antão offers charming accommodations in various towns.
What are the best beaches in Cape Verde?
The best beaches in Cape Verde are found on the islands; Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago, and São Vicente. Both Sal and Boa Vista are known as beach holiday destination, and most activities on these islands are beach related. The islands Santiago and São Vicente are perfect for combining a beach holiday with cultural activities and hiking.
- Best beaches in Sal: Santa Maria Beach & Ponta Preta
- Best beaches in Boa Vista: Santa Monica Beach & Praia de Chaves
- Best beaches in Santiago: Tarrafal & Quebra Canela Beach
- Best beaches in São Vicente: Laginha Beach & Baia Das Gatas
What is the food like in Cape Verde?
Cape Verdean cuisine reflects its rich cultural heritage. You’ll find a mix of African, Portuguese, and Brazilian influences. Common dishes include “Cachupa,” a stew with corn and beans, and fresh seafood like tuna and lobster. Fruits like papaya and mango are abundant. Don’t miss trying “Grog,” a local alcoholic beverage. Dining options range from street food stalls to upscale restaurants, offering a variety of culinary experiences.
Can you swim in the sea in Cape Verde?
The best Cape Verde Islands to swim in the sea are Sal, Boa Vista, São Vicente, and Santiago. These islands have nice areas to take a refreshing dive, especially when weather conditions are great. On the islands of Fogo and Brava, it’s not recommended to go swimming in the sea because of the strong currents and rough sea conditions. Fortunately, these islands have natural pools which are suitable for swimming.
How long does it take to fly to Cape Verde?
It takes about 5 to 7 hours to fly to Cape Verde from major European cities. If you’re traveling from the United States or other international destinations, the flight duration will be longer and could range from approximately 8 to 15 hours, depending on your departure city and any layovers or connecting flights.
Read more: Cape Verde Flight Time – Travel Guide
Can you directly fly to Cape Verde?
You can directly fly to Cape Verde through TUI Airways. They operate direct flights to Sal and Boa Vista from Birmingham, Manchester, and Gatwick airports in the UK and other major European cities. These flights are scheduled to run at least twice a week. TAP Portugal operates direct flights from Lisbon to Cape Verde daily.
Read more: How To Get To Cape Verde: Full Travel Guide
What’s the time difference between the UK and Cape Verde?
Cape Verde follows Cape Verde Time (CVT), which is typically one hour behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). However, when daylight saving time is in effect in the UK (from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October), Cape Verde will be two hours behind the UK.
What language do they speak in Cape Verde?
The official language of Cape Verde is Portuguese, but the most widely spoken language is Cape Verdean Creole (Kriolu). English is not as commonly spoken, but in tourist areas, you can often find English-speaking staff in accommodations and restaurants. Learning a few basic Portuguese or Creole phrases can be helpful for communication.
Cape Verde Travel Planning Guide
🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for Cape Verde?
100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $2 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Safety Wing, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.
💧Can you drink tap water in Cape Verde?
No — It is generally recommended to drink bottled water in Cape Verde. While tap water is generally safe for showering and brushing teeth, it may not be suitable for drinking. Bottled water is readily available and affordable throughout the country. Or you can buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water.
🚗 Is it safe to rent a car in Cape Verde?
Yes — Renting a car in Cape Verde is one of the best ways to see the islands. I always rent with Rentalcars, which checks international and local Cape Verdean companies, so you get the best rates.
🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Cape Verde?
🛫 What’s the best site to buy Cape Verde flights?
⛵️ Where to book the best tours in Cape Verde?
For the best tours in Cape Verde, I highly recommend booking your trips at Get Your Guide.
🛂 Do I need a visa for Cape Verde?
Likely Not — U.S. and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Cape Verde. Most travelers will receive a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival.
😃 Which is the safest island of Cape Verde?
Santo Antão – Although all islands are safe to travel to, Santo Antão is the safest island of Cape Verde. It is known for “Morabeza,” a Creole word meaning very friendly Cape Verdean hospitality. In the capital Praia on the island of Santiago, you must be somewhat careful but not need paranoia.
🗣 Do they speak English in Cape Verde?
Yes – Most staff speak English, and some are multi-lingual. The official language of Cape Verde is Portuguese. The mother tongue of virtually all Cape Verdeans is Cape Verdean Creole. (Read more)
⭐️ What is the best time to visit Cape Verde?
The best time to visit Cape Verde is between November and June. The average day temperature is around 24°C (75°F), the sea temperature is 25°C, and there is almost no rain. Perfect for a white-sandy beach holiday. However, Cape Verde has many attractions and activities throughout the year:
- The best time to visit Cape Verde for Hiking: November & December
- The best time to visit Cape Verde for Snorkeling and Diving: July – December
- The best time to visit Cape Verde for Kitesurfing: December – March
- The best time to visit Cape Verde for Whale Watching: March-May
- The best time to visit Cape Verde for Turtle Spotting: Mid-July – October
- The best time to visit Cape Verde for Carnival: February/ March