What to see in Cape Verde, an itinerary shared by a traveler on vacation on the white beaches of this archipelago of the Atlantic ocean with capital Praia.
Sal, also called the salt island for having large deposits of salt exploited since ancient times, extends over a mainly flat surface for about 216 square kilometers and is surrounded by a sea with very beautiful shades of water color that compensates widely the arid nature of the soil.
Despite a rather bleak appearance at first sight, Sal is the main tourist center of the archipelago thanks in part also to the presence of the international airport Almicar Cabral of Espargos and the numerous hotel complexes located on the enchanting beach of Santa Maria.
To visit the island, I spent a day using a car rented with the local company present with its office inside the Morabeza hotel, where I stayed, in the town of Santa Maria.
I found myself very well in this hotel which is the oldest in Sal and offers a bar restaurant service with free availability of deck chairs and umbrellas.
I visited Santa Maria where the Aldeiamento Turistico de Moroerira cultural center is located in an old restored Portuguese house and an animated market of African products, especially from Senegal, crossing a picturesque maze of narrow streets overlooking the sea.
On the white sandy beach there is a characteristic wooden pier which is also used by fishermen to move around with their small boats.
In Buracona I saw the natural swimming pool which opens up to an underwater cave where the volcanic rocks testify to the eruptions that occurred in the past which ended in the sea.
I really liked the old salt pans of Pedra de Lume, located inside the crater of an inactive volcano, characterized by thousands of colored shades due to the many minerals present result of a very slow evaporation of the water.
Santiago and Boavista islands
After the island of Sal I visited, on my pilgrimage, also the two islands of Santiago and Boavista for which I had to use the plane, as there were no regular sea transport services.
- It is not possible to visit Santiago Island in one day, in a limited time you can only get a rough idea of it.Recommended readings
- Cape Verde: useful information
- Cape Verde: what to see
Despite being of volcanic origin, it has a less bleak appearance than Sal, thanks to the presence of greater water resources, and for this reason it is characterized by the presence of green areas enclosed between steep rocks located in narrow valleys.
In Santiago there is the capital of Cape Verde, Praia which means beach. Praia is the largest city of Cape Verde and the main tourist, commercial and port hub with the presence of one of the two international airports.
The center of this city is located on a plateau of limited size called for this Platò and in the surrounding area are Cidade Velha, Porto Gouveia, Porto Mosquito, Santa Ana.
At the Alexandre de Albuquerque square, there are old buildings dating back to the colonial period including the Igreja Matriz, the Palacio de Justiça, the Câmara Municipal.
Continuing along the main street Avenida Cabral, I arrive at the lively municipal market where the sale of fruit, exotic vegetables and glass jars with ancient remedies to treat diseases is practiced.
A few kilometers from Praia are the remains of Riberia Grande, an ancient city with today's name of Cidade Velha, with its Cathedral da Sé, the marble column of the Pelourinho where rebel slaves were punished and the convent of San Francesco with the neighbor ancient liquor factory Grogue.
- The island of Boavista, also known as the sand island, is characterized by the presence of the Viana desert, with an area of about six square kilometers, white dunes and lush oases.
The name legend has it that it derives from the cry of relief (good eyesight) made by a sailor who sighted this island when it was now believed almost lost during a furious storm.
Traveling along the perimeter of this island I met many really beautiful beaches with a clear blue sea.
I visited the desert of Viana, the beautiful beach of Praia Curalinho nicknamed Santa Monica by some American tourists for its similarity with the famous Californian beach, the ancient settlement of English origin Povoação Velha with the characteristic colored houses, the beach of Praia Curalinho which it stretches uncontaminated for 20 kilometers in absolute peace.