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Cape Verde is neither a cape, nor is it verde (green). It consists of ten dry brownish islands in the mid-Atlantic, close to the West Africa coast, with a surface area of a little over 4,000 square kilometers - and they're a real paradise to be discovered. The absence of mass tourism and a warm but not sweltering climate which ranges between 20º Celsius in winter and 24º C in summer are two of its main attractions. And if you add to that the friendliness of its people, its magnificent natural settings and its incredible beaches, you will see that the destination is an absolute pleasure for tourists interested in human and nature tourism with no gimmicks.
The island of Sal is the archipelago’s number one destination as it has the international airport and the majority of the tourist establishments. This island has little green and is far from exuberant: it is a practically flat desert which was developed at the beginning of the 19th century, when salt began to be exported on a large scale. Santa Maria is the most tourist-oriented city, full of houses painted in vibrant colors to contrast with the aridity of the zone. Its 8 kilometer beach of white sand and transparent waters has turned it into the ideal place for many visitors. Although Espargos, the capital of the island, does not have any attractions for visitors, on the other hand, its other zone, Pedro de Lume, does have places worth visiting. It is a strange place with a church standing on the sand, a wooden construction dating back to the end of the 19th century, and a tunnel through which the sea water is filtered and turned into natural salinas. A real discovery which could easily be the scene for a Sergio Leone movie like A Fistful of Dollars.
The vast majority of the Cape Verde natives live on the island of Santiago, the largest at 55 kilometers long and 29 wide. This was the first island to be populated by the Portuguese settlers in 1462, and is considered the most "African." In its mountainous inland areas (it has the highest peak, the Antónia de Pico, at 392 meters) there are some lush valleys full of vegetation, which contrast with the arid plain. Praia is its capital, as well as being the capital of the archipelago, a city with more than 110,000 residents and some interesting buildings as well as a life very far removed from the deserted exterior regions. What's more, Riberia Granda, known as Cidade Velha, the oldest town on all the islands and the first European town in any tropical zone, is also located on this island. It is a small town protected by the remains of the Filipe del São fortress, which serves as a reminder of what was once its glorious past.
But if you are looking for unspoiled beaches and land to explore, Boa Vista is your island. Long beaches with turquoise-crystal waters and white sand dunes make up a coastline on which the Praia de Santa Mónica and Praia Chave beaches stand out. The northwestern regions stand out with their incredible beauty and with the remains of shipwrecked boats, like the Spanish Cabo Santa María, on the shore. Its capital is Sal Rei, a large town with a little over 3,000 residents, in which the Antiguo Porto dos Ingleses stands out, with colonial-style buildings.
However the best known of all is San Vicente, as it is the birthplace of singer Cesárea Évora, its most international personality. It is an island full of life and with a great number of cultural activities (festival of theater, music, carnival, etc.), which are held almost all year round. Its capital, Mundelo, is the most cosmopolitan and bustling city throughout the archipelago’s, with an impressive nightlife and a leisure offer which has nothing to envy of some European capitals.
And don’t miss: A Spanish chef learned his trade in Santa Maria, on Sal island, and opened Geko Gourmet, an establishment which, while it exceeds the average prices on the island, also surpasses many restaurants in terms of quality and originality.
“The IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts hotels in Cape Verde bring the visitor closer to the most irresistible exotic pleasures. The excellent location of the IBEROSTAR Club Boa Vista provides guests with a unique opportunity to discover the gastronomy, festivals and cultural richness of the islands.”
from our blog Passport To...