Cape Verde, Ilha do Sal: when to go and what to do
Cape Verde, Ilha do Sal. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, not far from the African coast (just 500 km from Dakar, the capital of the State of Senegal) is an archipelago of ten islands and several islets named Cape Verde. Among these is Ilha do Sal, where I travelled to last January. The climate is tropical, dry, semi-arid and constant: the average of 26 ° C making it the ideal place to visit all year round. Especially in the winter and spring. Here are 8 things not to miss on Sal and the complete photo-diary of my trip!
Cape Verde, Ilha do Sal: 8 things to do and see
1. Ponta Preta beach. 8 km of white and fine sand that runs along the south of the island of Sal, where most of the resort are located and overlook. Among them the Crioula Club Hotel & Resort, where I’ve stayed. There the color of the ocean is a crystal clear and inviting, but in January the temperature was too low and the wind too strong for me to jump in. Only after a good dose of sunbathing I was able to get close and to put the feet inside of it!
For swimming I recommend you take advantage of the beautiful swimming pool set right on the beach: it is sheltered from the wind and the water is the sea water but warmer and less rough! All around the pool there is also a solarium area with a gazebo and sun beds with mattresses. While on the beach are located the hammocks!
I’ll talk about later, but also in Ponta Preta, as everywhere on the island, you can easily hire out surfboards.
As I often do when I travel, one morning I got up early, before sunrise, and then went back at sunset. The pitcures shot with those lights are always the best!
2. The village of Santa Maria. Just five minutes walk from Crioula on the road along the beach you will find Santa Maria, one of the biggest villages of Sal Island. After the closure of schools is populated by children who run, play, paint murals and you completely get infected by their beautiful smile!
Colorful houses, climbing bougainvillea… Santa Maria is really nice and quiet village, even at night. I recommend a place to enjoy a delicious smoothie made of fresh fruit, sitting on huge colorful cushions: it is called Cape Fruit!
3. The sea shells beach of Santa Maria. On the eastern side of Santa Maria beach is a lawn of shells. Unfortunately not all intact, because the fishermen break them with their boats. However it is not usual to see so many all together!
4. Quad excursion. Among the best ways to see Ilha do Sal is definitely a tour by quad. You can reach magnificent points of view!
5. Sal dunes. On the south-western side of the island it is a very special landscape: dunes are formed with sand from the Sahara, transported there by the trade winds. Climbing them is pleasant and on the other side they go down to the ocean, which at this point is far more warm and quiet for bathing!
6. Wind-surf and kite-surf at Paradise Beach. Thanks to the constant wind, its waves are perfect for water sports. This spot is known worldwide.
7. The fishing villages. Except for the capital Espargos, Sal is inhabited by small fishing villages. Very characteristic. Palmeira has been my favorite, I think because of its colorful murals.
We arrived just as the fishermen started cleaning fish on the harbor steps, under the supervision of a number of dogs!
Continuing the walk through the village we found a large number of children playing peacefully, and then fruit and typical items for sale at the corner of the streets.
8. Pedra Lume salt crater. Ilha do Sal literally means island of the salt. That is still extracted, but only for domestic production, in an ancient volcanic crater that is located in the north-east of the island. You can even swim inside of it!
These are my top 8 things to do and see in Ilha do Sal! Hope they’re useful for you if you’re planning to go there!
A huge thanks to Cabo Verde Time for giving me the chance to make this wonderful winter holiday!
I wish you all a good Monday and a happy start to the week!