Cape Verde Travel Guides


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Cape Verde

The Republic of Cape Verde is an archipelago of volcanic islands located west of Africa’s coast at Mauritania and Senegal in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the five archipelagos in the Atlantic, known as Macronesia, along with the Canary Isles, Savage Islands, Azores and Madeira.

 

The archipelago consists of ten major islands (9 inhabited) and five smaller islets. Six of the islands to the west side are inhabited and have a mountainous terrain whereas three of the islands have beautiful long sandy beaches. The islands are steep, rocky and rugged. The highest point is Mt.Fogo on Fogo Island, at 2, 800 m. The islands were uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered them in 1456. They brought slaves from Africa to work on the plantations. Therefore, most Cape Verdeans are a mix of European and African origins. Cape Verde gained its independence from Portugal in 1975.

 

Most of the inhabitants of Cape Verde are Creole and about twenty-five percent are of African descent. Portuguese is the official language although some people also speak Crioulo - which is an African version of Creole Portuguese. The inhabitants mainly are descendants of the Africans and white Portuguese settlers. The Cape Verdeans are notorious for their hospitality and friendly nature. The country is mainly Catholic with also some Protestants and indigenous religions. With its sunny climate and beautiful scenery, the islands are a great tourist destination.

 

Some of the main attractions of the Cape Verde Islands are the beautiful beaches which give visitors access to all types of water sports, including fishing, diving, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing, to name a few. The volcano on Fogo is popular for hikers. Tennis, golf, horseback riding, walking, trekking, mountain biking, bird-watching and canyoning are also available.

 

The capital, Praia is situated on the island of São Tiago. It has two lovely beaches west of its center. There are some interesting day-trips from Praia, including the old city (Cidade Velha) which was the first town built by the Portuguese. At the northern end of the island is Tarrafal which is most famous for its beautiful miles of beaches. The island of Sal is another popular place to visit, which is the site of the airport. The place to go for nightlife is São Vicente and its city of Mindelo. There are lots of bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

 

Scuba diving is popular in the Cape Verde Islands as it has offers some fascinating rock formations, canyons, and several shipwrecks as well as a plethora of interesting sea-life. There are several diving schools where equipment can be rented and guided tours arranged.

 

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