Situated off the West African coast and framed by the dramatic Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Verde archipelago is a collection of spectacular volcanic islands.

With long stretches of powder white sands, breathtaking scenery, historic towns and delicious cuisine, this is a holiday destination just waiting to be explored.

However, what truly recommends it is the fact that it is still relatively untouched and is only now starting to appear on the tourist radar. A melting pot of various cultures including African, Portuguese, Caribbean and Brazilian, a holiday here is truly unforgettable.

Where to stay

Sal is one for the beach lovers, and you won’t have to fight for a spot on its long dreamy shores. Its fascinating salt pans are great for bathing in and the impressive waves make for exciting watersports options, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. It also showcases some great restaurants and bars, so head to Santa Maria if nightlife is high on your holiday agenda.

Alternatively, Boa Vista is a popular option with beautiful beaches such as Estoril and Santa Monica showcasing stunning spots to flop with a great book and a long cool drink. Sal Rei is the island’s capital and the African market in the main square will allow you to pick up those all-important souvenirs, while the pretty collection of colourful cafes and shops offer further opportunities to splash some holiday cash.

What to do

If you want a break from relaxing on the beach, then Cape Verde offers plenty of exciting options to make some wonderful holiday memories.

Feeling active? Don your hiking boots and head for the hills with a walk up the mountains on Sao Nicalau. Impressive Monte Gordo is the highest and the ascent will treat you to incredible tropical scenery, just don’t forget your camera to capture those views.

If you fancy delving into the cultural heart of Cape Verde, head to Mindelo, the cultural capital. Maybe you fancy trying out some local cuisine which focuses on seafood and fish in many of its dishes. The national dish of cachupa – a slow cooked stew is delicious washed down with local grogue or rum and afterwards you can kick back and relax to the sounds of traditional music.

For a real adventure, why not consider heading out into the desert from Boa Vista? Jump into a 4×4 or hire a quad bike and expect a bumpy, adrenalin-fuelled ride as you race through sand dunes and experience the freedom and adventure that only such exciting holiday experiences can bring.

Whale and turtle watching are other popular options so keep your eyes peeled to spot the majestic creatures off the coast of Boa Vista or go out on the high seas via boat with a guide.

For a relatively untouched island paradise full of adventures, make sure Cape Verde is top of your winter sun holiday wish list.

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