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Cape Verde

Cape Verde travel guide

A little piece of Portugal floating off the west coast of Africa, sun-kissed Cape Verde offers fine sand, atmospheric city streets and soulful music

Set sail from the west coast of Africa and 500km later you’ll reach the islands of Cape Verde. Uninhabited until they were discovered and colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century, Cape Verde may be part of Africa but it feels like an intoxicating mix of Europe and the Caribbean.

The remote islands of Cape Verde (there are 10 main islands in all) are home to endless white dunes, lush valleys and lofty peaks. On Santo Antão  hike among the pine trees and canyons or head to popular Sal and Boa Visa where windsurfers flock to the beaches for the mega waves.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. On Sal - float in the dense briny lake in the Pedra de Lume collapsed volcano; drive through the desert marvelling at the mirages.
  2. On Santiago - visit the central market in Praia; wander round the pelhourinho (pillory) and old streets of Cidade Velha; the colonial prison at Tarrafal is being restored as a museum.
  3. On Mindelo - have a strange round of golf; visit a guitar maker; take a day-trip across to scenic Santo Antão.
  4. Discover the soulful songs of Cape Verde

Wanderlust tips

Look out and listen for Cesária Evora, Cape Verde’s smoky voiced barefoot diva who is hugely popular in Portugal and France.

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