Cape Verde islands - how to prepare for a trip and what are the top attractions?

Cape Verde islands become more and more popular holiday destination. The most picky traveller will enjoy a stay there as Cape Verde is one of the most beautiful places in the world. How to prepare well for a trip and what are the top attractions of Cape Verde?

The Republic of Cabo Verde is an island country spanning on the archipelago of 10 bigger islands and 5 small uninhabited islands. There are many exotic plants, examples of colonial architecture, beautiful beaches and ideal locations for water sports. The best time for a trip to Cape Verde is the period between October and May when the temperature is very pleasant – on average 25°C.      


Preparing for a trip

All visitors entering Cape Verde require a visa, although in 2018 visa-free access for EU passport holders should begin. Remember that Cape Verde agency for visa issuance may not be available in your country, but you can obtain a visa at the respective embassy or consulate in different country or upon arrival in Cape Verde at the airport. Before a trip it is good to find out more about current customs entry regulations as they often change.

Before buying travel insurance for Cape Verde we recommend to check first if it is considered sufficient there and covers the costs of hospital care and medical transportation. Vaccinations are not mandatory, but if you are in transit in any African country on your way to Cape Verde, yellow fever vaccination is required. Recommended vaccinations include viral hepatitis, for example hepatitis A or B, and tetanus. During your stay on the islands remember to protect yourself against bug bites and avoid stagnant water, for example lakes or ponds, as the risk of catching there tropical disease like bilharzia is very high. 

If you plan to travel to Cape Verde on your own and not with a travel agency, you should remember that not all islands are accessible by car – such is possible only in Santiago and São Vicente. Travelling between the islands is possible only by air and sea.

During your stay in Cape Verde be careful of pickpockets. It is better to leave bigger sums of money, valuable things and documents in a hotel deposit.  


Top attractions

For tourists the most attractive islands are São Vicente with the best viewpoint on Monte Verde, Boa Vista with the best beaches, picturesque dunes and the possibility to watch sea turtles, and Sal with the best conditions for water sports.

For those who love colonial atmosphere and its architecture we recommend Santo Antão island with numerous bridges and aqueducts or beautiful city of Mindelo on São Vicente island, the place with unique atmosphere, Portuguese colonial architecture, the seaside boulevard and charming harbour. Mindalo is the culture capital of Cape Verde, where Cesaria Evora came from. You can find interesting architecture in the towns of Ponta do Sol and Sal Rei with their narrow streets and small colourful houses surrounded by coconut trees and date palms.

A must-see is the island of Fogo with its active volcano named Pico do Fogo which is the highest summit in all the islands of Cape Verde. Tourists attractions are coffee plantations and caves scattered along the coastline.

If you have enough time we recommend to see not only the most popular places but also less crowded destinations not influenced by mass tourism yet. A must-see place is a village where native inhabitants of Cape Verde live in small thatched houses made of stone. You will have a great chance to understand the meaning of “Morabeza”, life motto of Cape Verdeans.


The best souvenirs from Cape Verde

We recommend to bring home wooden and wicker crafts, local fabrics and batik. Try to find local specialities like the salt and the grogue, type of rum distilled from sugarcane. In bars and taverns the grogue is served in Portuguese wine bottles and some lime liqueur is added for better taste. On Santo Antão, the greenest of Cape Verde islands, the sugarcane is cultivated and it is edible.


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