An archipelago of 10 volcanic islands dotting the immense waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde is a place that can astonish you in many different ways. Belonging to the western part of Africa, it’s among the continent’s richest countries, with education, living standards, and political stability better than almost anywhere else. It becomes surprising when you take into consideration Cape Verde’s remoteness and the lack of natural resources. Add the enchanting views, many wonders of nature, valleys of flowers, pristine sandy beaches and lush forests, and what you get is a perfect destination. Here’s a list of best things to do in Cape Verde that make it even clearer.
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Swimming and sunbathing
Cape Verde (especially the islands of Boa Vista and Sal, flat and covered with sand dunes) is famous for its gorgeous beaches. Sand – white and soft, waters – crystal blue and warm, sun – shining above it all, that’s what an earthly paradise is made of. Praia de Santa Maria on the Sal Island and Tarrafal Beach located on Santaigo are two fabulous examples of Cape Verde’s coastal gems. Don’t forget to pack some sun cream, take a swimsuit or trunks, head do the beach and rest like a true vacationer.
Climbing Pico do Fogo
Hundreds of thousands years ago Fogo erupted out of the Atlantic Ocean to become a great volcano, active and stunning till today. The island of Fogo is a picturesque place, with lots of charms, including natural swimming pool and lovely towns. The main one though is and has always been Pico do Fogo, the astounding stratovolcano and highest peak of Cape Verde reaching up to 2829 meters. You can climb, but remember about hiring a local guide, it’s obligatory. The hikes usually begin before sunrise (it’s worth getting up early, as the views were particularly beautiful as the sun rises) and take about 3-5 hours.
Trekking around the island of Santo Antão
Picturesque, Santo Antão is the largest and westernmost of Cape Verde’s Barlavento Islands (the northern group). Santo Antão’s greenness is a dazzling explanation of why there’s the “Verde” (which translates as “green”) in Cape Verde’s name. While for many islands the greenness is rather metaphorical than real (most of them are dry and sandy), Santo Antão with its pinewoods seems lush and flourishing. Fantastic mountainous landscapes, subtropical forests and steep meadows encourage visitors to organize hiking trips. Many trails are crisscrossing the island, especially its northeast corner.
Listening to Morna
Cape Verde is known not only for its fabulous landscapes but also its equally amazing sounds. Morna is a form of folk music and dance, considered as Cape Verde’s symbol. Lyrics are usually sung in Cape Verdean Creole and accompanied by various instruments, such as cavaquinho, violin, piano, guitar, clarinet, and accordion. Funaná, Coladeira, and Batuque are also known types of folk music, played and liked by residents of the islands. Cape Verdeans have their modern genres too, like Cabo love and Cola-zouk, mixtures of traditional music, zouk and electronic pop. Attending a concert or a live music show is among the things to do in Cape Verde that will surely bring you closer to its culture.
Escaping all the bustling and heading to Brava
The mountainous landscapes and stunning coastlines are the only dramatic part of Brava, rest of it is quiet and calming. The smallest of Cape Verde’s inhabited islands, Brava is rural and agricultural. Terrace fields, slow mules, and colorful fruit gardens can be found all across the island. It’s moist and tropical, so plants grow willingly, including a variety of lovely flowers. Brava has a small population, around 8000 residents. You can meet them in tiny, lovely towns, like Vila Nova Sintra and João d’Nole, or even smaller villages scenically scattered among the mountains. Many islanders immigrated to the United States in the 19th century, when whaling was common, and whaleships sailed from Brava to America. Some of them returned and built fanciful mansions you can now see while traveling around the island. These fabulous houses together with pretty gardens, seas of flowers and views of surrounding mountains add tons of charm to Brava’s towns. Wandering around them is one of the best things to do in Cape Verde, as well as hiking and exploring the island’s unusual nature.
Doesn’t it seem like Cape Verde is a great place to visit? Let us know what you think!