Top Reasons to Visit Cape Verde, Island of Sal (Why visit Cape Verde?)

Last Updated on January 2, 2022

Here you can read our guide on the top reasons why Cape Verde and the island of Sal is truly a paradise place, to help decide Cape Verde as your next destination. Some 40 years before Christopher Columbus caught the Saharan trade winds and set sail for the New World, the Portuguese settled in Cape Verde. There are plenty of spots to visit here but a particularly special place is the island of Sal. For travelers, Sal is still unchartered territory for even the most dedicated beach hunter.


A different kind of island

What makes Sal different is its simplicity. There are no mountains, gorges, even trees. It exists in the east Atlantic slipstream, one hour from Dakar in Senegal, yet only four hours from Fortaleza in northern Brazil. Instead you can find the crater of an extinct volcano (don’t worry, it’s not remotely active) and a series of salt-evaporation ponds now refashioned as a natural spa amphitheatre.

Take time to visit these for a totally re-energising experience before basking in the baking hot sun on the nearby beach. If you’re after a tourist-free trip, the beach at Sal will be just what you’re looking for.

kitesurfing Cape Verde
Sun, fun and more sun

Sal breathes character and soul. The people are gregarious, the portions are generous and the sun never stops beating down – more than one day of rain a year is, frankly, unthinkable.

Head down to the harbor after 4pm to watch the fishermen bring in their nets and feel the atmosphere change as the beach suddenly starts to buzz with much more merry activities.

Get sporty in Sal

Water sports fans will love Sal. Kite surfers, bodyboarders, windsurfers, jetskiers, paddle surfers, even fly boarders are all out in force most days and it’s easy to get some lessons if you’re beginner or a pro. The water is perfect and the wind is enough to comfortably carry a kite. One sport which is particularly popular here is skim boarding.

Skim boarding is perfect for those who aren’t that confident in the water. Unlike surfers, skim boarders begin on the beach by dropping their boards on to the thin wash of retreating waves. They then use their momentum to skim out to breaking waves, which they catch back to shore.