Exploring Tourism in Cape Verde
Cape Verde
icon Worldwideicon
Places to Visit Details

Top 5 Islands Of Cape Verde

Sal, Cape Verde

The Cape Verde islands are mostly mountains and deserts, with a few green valleys and forests sprinkled in. It’s warm and dry – some islands rarely get rain, so it makes a good year-round travel destination.

1. Sal Island

It’s easy to guess what Sal’s main industry once was: The name translates as “salt.” Most of the salt mined in the 19th century was exported to Brazil; salt today is mined mainly for tourists to take home and for local use. Sal is now a popular tourist destination, having the main international airport in Cape Verde. It’s mainly a flat, sandy island, with winter trade winds turning it into a Mecca for surfers.

2. Boa Vista Island

Mountains, desert, sand beaches combine to make Boa Vista, Cape Verde’s third-largest island, a good place to visit. With a name that translates as “beautiful view,” could it be anything else? More tourists are discovering the island, the closest to Africa since an international airport opened in 2007. Be sure to check out the beautiful colonial-style church near the square in Sal Rei, the island’s capital city. The salt once produced here was deemed “royal” because of its high quality.

3. Santiago Island

Santiago Island is the largest Cape Verde island; it’s where half the country’s people live. The first of the islands to be settled, it is home to the country’s capital, Praia. The island is a good place to see some of nature’s endangered species, including 38 plants and several rare birds. The island has a diverse landscape to enjoy: mountains, green valleys, sandy beaches, and the country’s largest and oldest tree, kapok that is 500 years old.

4. Sao Vicente

Sao Vicente is an arid island that is marked by low-lying mountains. On a clear day, you can see other islands. Most of the island’s 80,000 residents live in Mindelo, known as the cultural center of Cape Verde. The city is known as the birthplace of the country’s traditional music styles, though globalization means you can hear a variety of music here.

5. Santo Antao

Santo Antao, the second largest of the Cape Verdean islands, is famous for its mountains. Though it seems desolate in some places, the island also features lush subtropical vegetation, such as fir, pine, and the date and coconut palms. Ribeira Grande, the island’s capital and largest city, is a lively place. Be sure to take in the food and clothing markets, and experience a sense of peace at Nossa Senhora do Rosario church.

Check out more Places to Visit