Sun, beach and Cape Verdean island life

Situated off the northwest coast of Africa, Sal is one of ten islands which, together with several islets, constitute the volcanic archipelago of Cape Verde. The Cape Verde islands are a holiday haven for sun seekers, nature lovers and water sports fans alike. Graced with a breathtaking combination of miles-long sandy beaches, agreeable temperatures and almost year-round sunshine, the Cape Verde islands tick all the boxes, especially in the way of weather and climate. The winter months are the best time to visit for those who prefer warm to hot temperatures.

The flattest of the Cape Verde islands, Sal boasts crystal-clear water, steady northeast trade winds and a rich diversity of marine flora and fauna, making it a sun worshipper’s paradise and a unique setting for scuba divers, wind and wave surfers.

Quick facts Sal (Cape Verde)

Flight time

06:10 h

Distance

4714 km

Time difference

- 3 hours CET

Exchange rate

CHF
1.00
=
CVE
103.19

Language

Portuguese, Creole

A cup of cappuccino costs around

CHF 1.95

Salt – the white gold of the island of Sal

The island’s name “Sal” means salt in Portuguese and stems from its long history as a salt mining centre: between the 18th and the early 20th century, up to 30,000 tons of salt a year were mined from the salt evaporation ponds (“salinas”) of Pedra Lume (“fiery rock”). Nowadays, salt mining is for personal use only – or in connection with tourism. That being said, the “salinas” are still well worth visiting; the saline lake is an impressive place to swim in – though, given its remarkably high salt content, visitors can expect to float rather than swim in the lake

Santa Maria – white sandy beaches and plenty more

Sporting first-rate seaside weather and white-sand beaches bordered by luxury hotel resorts, the town of Santa Maria in the south of Sal island is a dream come true for bona-fide beach lovers. Cosy outdoor restaurants, pastel-hued houses and a slew of boutiques provide for a relaxed ambience and are an invitation to saunter. The erstwhile weighing house down at the old harbour is one of the town’s most distinctive landmarks and reminiscent of Sal’s salt trading era. Santa Maria is also the perfect choice for water sports enthusiasts with plenty on offer for surfers, kite surfers and scuba divers.

Palmeira – fishing village with charm

The picturesque fishing village of Palmeira is home to Sal’s largest and most important port. Most of the goods brought to the island are shipped in through this port. Despite its large wharf and port facilities, Palmeira’s picturesque centre has not lost its original character and includes a charming market held in the old market hall. Scuba divers diving off the coast of Sal will not want to forgo the fantastic underwater caves and reefs located some three miles (5 km) north of Palmeira. This area also includes the rock-encased Buracona Lagoon with the blue-coloured underwater cave Olho Azul (“blue eye”). Swimming is possible in the lagoon when the water is calm.

Island hopping

Visitors looking to discover the rich diversity of Cape Verde can venture on an island-hopping tour: whether it be white sand dunes on São Vicente, traditional villages on the green island of Santo Antão or impressive volcanic landscapes on the isle of Fogo, this lovely corner of the world has it all. The Cape Verde islands are best reached by plane. Flight tickets can be booked via your travel agent or directly at TICV.