Stunning beaches, friendly locals and great weather all year round…escape the winter and visit Cape Verde, a West African island paradise.
When I searched for a destination for a winter escape from Europe in February, the list wasn’t too long. We wanted to avoid long-haul flights and tiring stopovers, yet find somewhere that we could bathe in the sea. Finally, I came across Cape Verde, a cluster of islands situated in the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa.
When compared to many other holiday destinations, Cape Verde has only been on the tourist radar for a short number of years, making it still relatively undiscovered. I didn’t know anyone personally who had been there, but we still decided to give it a try. After two amazing weeks at the destination, I know we made the right choice. It’s the perfect paradise destination for a relaxing beach holiday.
So, why should YOU visit Cape Verde?
01 | The never-ending white-sand beaches
The beach is definitely the highlight of any stay in Cape Verde. I have never seen such long and wide beaches like the ones on Boa Vista Island. Every day, we went on a beach walk (on Praia de Chaves, just in front of our hotel) and loved the views.
Beautiful beaches are found throughout Cape Verde, but if you want to visit the most beautiful one, then it’s Santa Monica, situated in the south. It stretches for a staggering 9km. The stretches of white sand here are perfect for long, romantic walks at sunset and relaxing in the sunshine during the day, enjoying an occasional dip in the refreshing azure water.
I wrote another detailed post on Things to do in Cape Verde, featuring all the various activities and places not to be missed.
02 | Year-round sunshine
Every season is a great season for visiting Cape Verde. The climate on Cape Verde is so mild and dry all year round that the country’s islands are often called “the islands of eternal summer”. On the popular islands including Sal, Boa Vista or Santa Maria is the average temperature is between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius all year round.
Cape Verde has a mild oceanic climate that is impacted by the northeasterly trade winds. Compared to the popular Canary Islands, Cape Verde is just two hours extra flying time, and in February you’ll get weather that is about 10 degrees warmer. This is a difference that counts; entering the seas would be unthinkable for me in the Canary islands at this time of year.
03 | Distances are very short
Have you ever flown somewhere where it took forever to get from the airport to your hotel? In Cape Verde, it can never happen to you. The islands are very compact, so you will arrive at your hotel in under 30 minutes in most cases, often even shorter. It’s the same thing when you go for day trips; most tours are able to combine multiple locations into one trip, as the are often quite close to one another.
Size of the popular islands
|Size (km²)||Length (km)||Width (km)|
04 | No stress
“No stress” is the motto of any holiday in Cape Verde, and I can confirm this. The local people are friendly, and the resorts there take good care of their guests. You will fall in love from the moment you enter the country. There is no one out there to offer you overpriced taxies, hidden fees, or people pushing for a tip by offering dodgy services, for example carrying your luggage without being asked to then demanding a tip.
Cape Verde is just an ideal place for a romantic getaway for couples. The evenings are quiet, and you won’t find big discos and parties there. During our trip, we enjoyed uninterrupted sleep, and loved waking up earlier to go swimming or take a morning walk on the beach.
05 | It’s a hidden gem
Cape Verde is a great holiday paradise that hasn’t become too touristy yet. It only started to be on the holidaymaker’s radar within the last few years. Plus, it’s rather inexpensive compared to other tropical destinations such as Maldives and Mauritius.
There are enough hotels to choose from, yet it’s not oversaturated. Just to give you an idea: the 8-kilometer stunning beach in front of our hotel only had one other hotel (plus one more that is being constructed now). Therefore, it felt more like an exclusive place, where you can have plenty of privacy if you want to get away from others.
We stayed in Iberostar Boa Vista, and I published a detailed review here.
06 | The locals are relaxed and friendly
Cape Verde is a former Portuguese colony and the people have a unique ethnic composition – party African, party Portuguese. Everyone we met in the city area was very friendly. We only found some of the beach shopkeepers a little pushy, but they were not allowed to enter the resort.
Once I arrived in Cape Verde, I noticed there are many women employed in the hospitality sector. There were many female barkeepers, waiters, and receptionists. What a refreshing change after seeing only male employees in other countries.
07 | Deserts all around
Experiencing the desert is one of the highlights of visiting Cape Verde. On Boa Vista, for example, you can take a jeep or quad trip into the Viana Desert, known for its striking landscapes.
Another great option is to visit the vast sand dunes. In Sal, you can find dunes on Ponta Preta beach in the southwest of the island. In Boa Vista, Praia de Chaves beach that features gorgeous dunes. We were quite lucky, as they were walking distance from our hotel. On top of that, there were no entrance fees or restrictions. We even witnessed a sunset from the dunes on our last evening in Cape Verde and it was truly a moment to remember.
I hope you enjoyed this article and now see there are many reasons to visit Cape Verde. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.