Sao Vicente island
São Vicente island is characterised by impassable mountain areas, hidden sand beaches, inactive volcano views and steep rocky coastlines. The land is as dry as the Cape verdian desert islands as even the highest peak (Monte Verde, 774m) is not high enough to stop the clouds moisture from falling down and irrigate the landscape. Due to the dry lands, Sao Vicente was settled much later than the other islands. The sheltered harbour was often used by pirates as a hiding location, but the first real settlement only came in 1794.
The main activity on the island happens in its capital city Mindelo. The vibrant city with nearly 80.000 inhabitants is the beating trading centre of the Northern islands. Mindelo lays in a sunken volcano crater that shelters the only marine harbour of the country. The character of Mindelo comes from its musical and architectural heritage. Nowhere in Cape Verde are as many colonial buildings as in the colourful city centre of Mindelo. The artistic city will make you feel inspired and shows the diverse Cape verdian culture. Home of artists, musicians and traders who formed the city to todays metropolis.
Mindelo - São Vicente highlights - culture - tips and tricks - transport
The republic of Cape Verde, also known these days as Cabo Verde, is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, in front of the West coast of Africa by Senegal.
The islands are becoming more popular as a holiday destination and the most important reasons for this are the favourable subtropical climate and diversity in landscapes.
The Cabo Verde islands are named after the Senegalese Green Cape, the closest land to the islands. This was a Cape with a lot of green vegetation. However don't be mislead by this name. Not all the islands are green and they can be classified by landscape. There are 10 islands in total of which 9 inhabited:
- Sal, Boa Vista and Maio: deserted, dry islands with long white sand beaches
- Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Santiago, Brava: mountain islands with green valleys and steep rocky coastlines
- Fogo: volcanic black mountain landscape
- São Vicente: a mixture of dry areas, some green parts, few white sand beaches, volcanic mountains and steep rocky coastlines
- Santa Luzia: protected nature area with dry steep mountains and white sand beaches
The best known islands for tourism are Sal and Boa Vista. Here you'll find endless white sand beaches with clear water, palmtrees, temperatures who never drop under 21 degrees and the sun shining almost year round.
The flights from Europe are around 6 hours flying, so for many the destination became the African Caribbean or new Canary islands.