The African Caribbean
Relax, take a deep breath and enter your holiday mode in Sal. The golden sand beaches, soothing waves and beautiful sunsets are daily views on the island. Tourism in Cape Verde started here already in the 1970’s. Due to the many all-inclusive resorts Sal has the highest amount of tourists arriving every year. It’s a year-round great place for a beach vacation with day time temperatures never below 23 degrees.
This fishing village grew out to the main tourist village of the country, but it always kept its authentic atmosphere. Wander around the cobble stone roads of Santa Maria, get your hair braided in the African Salon, have an Italian ice-cream, a Brazilian Caipirinha and a fresh caught Cape Verdean tuna fish. The mixture of culture and people feels very welcoming. Staying in a local guesthouse or apartment will connect you easier with the culture than staying in an all-inclusive resort.
As one of the oldest Cape Verdean islands Sal has flattened over the years. The landscapes are dry and desert like with rough inlands and volcanic rocks. Unfortunately there is little rainfall to provide the land from much needed water. The South part of the island is known for golden beaches, with sand blown from the Sahara desert. Sal isn’t the best island for nature lovers, but sun-seekers will be more than pleased with its amazing beaches.
Float on water in the salt mines of Pedra de Lume
Highlights of Sal
Santa Maria: relax in one of the beach clubs, get into the no-stress vibe, listen to live music with lobster dinner and stroll down the main road.
Ponta Preta: the favorite spot of Cape Verdean surf worldchampions. Spectacular waves in winter time and year-round an unspoilt white sandy beach with 2 beach restaurants.
Kite beach: an amazing spot to learn kitesurfing with onshore wind. Practice with the local teachers and champions. In summer time the place to spot turtles nest on the beach at night.
Murdeira: a quiet area to stay in hotel-apartment by the rocky coastline. There a lovely bays for snorkeling and surfing.
Espargos: the capital city is the trade centre of the island and is expanding fast. Most of the local inhabitants live here, so this is a good place to visit if you want to feel the local vibe.
Shark Bay: a nursery reef for lemon sharks on the East coast of Sal. A must visit if you’d like to walk in between the harmless baby sharks.
Buracona: a coastline site famous for its natural pools and the ‘Blue eye’ cave. In summer time the sunlights hits the cave at the right spot and creates a shimmery blue shade reflecting in the water. Best seen between 10:30-14:00. In winter time the crashing waves on the rocks are a spectacular sight.
Mirage: spot a Fata Morgana or mirage in the driest area of the land, Terra Boa. The hot surface and strong sunlight create the shape of water in an optical illusion.
Pedra de Lume: the salt mines and lakes are definitely the highlight of the island and the main tourist attraction of Cape Verde. The salt mines were an important export product, but are now only used as a bathing place. The high salt level in the lakes makes you float and it works a treat for your skin.
Where to stay