Sal Island - Cape Verde Republic

You don't give up fishing when you get old,
Youn get old when you give up fishing.

Roberto by Violetto Violino.

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GENERAL news Cape Verde archipelago

Cape Verde (in Portuguese: Cabo Verde) is an archipelago of ten islands of volcanic origin, located about 500 km from the African coast in the North Atlantic Ocean. The natural heritage of this archipelago - consisting of an alternation of pristine white beaches, deserts and very green valleys has only recently been discovered by international operators who have opened the doors of Cape Verde to tourism and from my point of view they are "destroying" it. with a wild and uncontrolled overbuilding, in some cases up to a few meters from the shoreline.

The discovery of the Archipelago dates back to 1456 by Antonio and Bartolomeo da Noli who took possession of it in the name of Portugal. The islands were officially described as uninhabited. Seven years later on the island of São Tiago, Ribeira Grande, now Cidade Velha, was founded.

Following Columbus's voyage, Cape Verde was a perfect base for the stopover of ships on the route between Europe and America, thus becoming a very important center for the African slave trade. In 1747 the archipelago was hit by the first and historically recorded drought, in the presence of which the Portuguese government remained impassive and did not send any help. The subsequent decline of the slave trade also marked another setback for the economy, thus leading, in the nineteenth century, to a massive emigration of the inhabitants to the United States.

In 1997 another period of drought destroyed more than 80% of the crops and the government, in June 2002, asked the United Nations agency for world food for help denouncing the dramatic shortage of crops, many investments will be destined to the creation infrastructures necessary, but interventions for agriculture and socio-health projects will also be financed. Agriculture is not very advanced, mainly maize, beans, coffee, sugar cane and peanuts are grown. Cape Verde is trying, through green technologies, to save the little water it can use.

Amilcar Lopes Cabral was not only the main architect of the independence of Guinea-Bissau and the islands of Cape Verde, but also one of the most important ideologues and politicians of the entire decolonization process, which touched the African continent in the twentieth century. He was born in 1924 of Cape Verdean parents in Guinea, at the time known as Portuguese Guinea; he then studied in Lisbon, to return to his homeland in 1952. It is during these years that his dissent towards the colonial regime that oppressed his people matured. He was assassinated on January 20, 1973 in Conakry, Guinea. In 1975 Cape Verde finally gained independence from the Lusitanians, and on September 16 of the same year he was admitted to the United Nations membership. PAIGC (African Independence Party of Guinea and Cape Verde) took over the government in both Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. In both countries there was discussion about the opportunity to unify the two countries until 1980, when following a coup d'etat in Guinea Bissau, the Cape Verdeans separated from the PAIGC and founded the PAICV in the beginning of 1981, (Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde). The first democratic elections date back to 1991, Carlos Wahnon Veiga of the MpD (Movimento para a Democracia) is elected Prime Minister. The archipelago has been independent since 1975 and the country's government is based on the democratic principles of a parliamentary republic with a majority voting system. Despite great poverty and severe unemployment, the country has never known social or political tensions. The political elections are held regularly, democratically and without problems, the last ones held in February 2011 saw the PAICV win back for the third consecutive time.

Cape Verde adopts the division produced by the trade winds coming from the African continent, thus dividing the archipelago into two main groups: the Ilhas do Barlavento (windward islands) to the north and the Ilhas do Sotavento (leeward islands) to the south. Barlavento group consists of the islands of: Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia (hilly, desert and uninhabited), São Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista. The Sotavento group includes the islands of: Maio, Santiago which hosts the capital Praia, Fogo and Brava. Its total area is 4033 km². The climate is tropical dry, with an average temperature that fluctuates all year round around 26° C; the temperature range, between maximum and minimum, never exceeds 10°, while at sea the water temperature fluctuates between 21° and 26° C. In the mountainous islands such as Santiago, Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Fogo, the sun dominates almost all year round, while the short rainy period, at most twenty days, runs from September to October. Boa Vista, Sal and Maio, on the other hand, offer a much drier climate, due to the hot winds coming from the Sahara.

About 40% of the country's population lives on less than US $ 2 a day. The economy has been on the rise since 1975, when it became part of the middle-income nations. Fishing is one of the main resources of the country and has large reserves of tuna, lobsters and blue marlin, even if following agreements with Japan to give it the exclusive fishing they have depleted and not a little these resources. Another important source for the economy is tourism, mainly concentrated in the islands of Sal and Boavista, which has led to a large increase in GDP.

There is no native population of Cape Verde as the entire population is immigrants, coming from very different ethnic groups, both African and European, which over the centuries have mixed together, creating a unique and completely independent ethnic group, which has no equal in Africa: the Creole of Cape Verde. The annual population increase is 0.5-0.6% due to strong emigration. The good life expectancy (68 years for men and 75 for women), however, accompanies a rather high infant mortality rate of 41 per thousand.

90% of the population professes to be Christian Catholic and in many areas Christianity has incorporated elements of the African animist religion. There are also Protestant Christian, Buddhist and Muslim communities.

The official adopted language of the state is Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole is very widespread, a creole language derived from Portuguese, which differs from island to island. French is taught in schools as a foreign language as Cape Verde was a member of the International Organization of Francophonie, Italian is understood and spoken in Santa Maria due to the proximity of the many tourist villages.
The archipelago state of Cape Verde is administratively divided into counties (concelhos in Portuguese), which are in turn divided into parishes (freguesias). In some islands the counties are called municipi (municípios in Portuguese, munisipiu in Cape Verdean Creole).
The counties are united in two districts, corresponding to the sub-archipelagos of Barlavento and Sotavento; however, this subdivision has no specific administrative significance. According to 2017 data, the total population is 539560 inhabitants and only 3 cities have more than 10000 (2005 data); it is the capital Praia which has 127524 inhabitants, Mindelo about 70000 and Santa Maria which has 17000. Mindelo has always been considered the cultural capital of the archipelago.

Among the best known artists abroad are the singers: Cesaria Evora traditional interpreter of morna and Lura who interprets typical sounds of the archipelago with jazz or Brazilian music. The Cape Verdean language has its own relatively developed literature, among the best known writers and poets Eugénio Tavares (1867-1930), Carlos Barbosa, Tomé Varela da Silva, Sérgio Frusoni and Luís Romano Madeira de Melo can be mentioned.

The currency of Cape Verde is the Cape Verdean escudo ECV, in all restaurants the euro is accepted but it is changed "at par" 1 € = 100 ECV while in banks the official exchange rate is 1 € = 110.265 ECV, whatever the amount that you change the expenses are always 250 ECV.
Recently some hotels and shops (few to tell the truth) have started to accept credit cards, it is however possible to withdraw cash at the ATMs of the VISA circuit at the bank offices (some branches also accept credit cards with numbers NOT in relief, estate 2019).

N.B. In banks and ATMs, ONLY credit cards with embossed numbers are accepted (September 2011).
        For Italians: BANCOPOSTA cards are not accepted (
January 2020)

Note from the Webmaster: I have heard that the AMERICAN EXPRESS card is not accepted anywhere on the Sal island, particularly in Santa Maria (March 2011) as well as that of the MAESTRO circuit (August 2011).


FISHING STATISTICS - constantly update!!!!


Connections unless otherwise specified, from Fishbase or Wikipedia

F    I    S   H PERIOD
from - to
jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec
Blu Runner
Horse-eye Jack


Black Jack

Spinner Shark
All year                        
Galapagoses Shark
November March                        
Dusky Shark o Dusky Whaler
All year                        
Brown Shark o Sandbar Shark
All year                        
Sand Tiger Shark o Bull Shark
All year                        
February November                        
Nurse Shark
All year                        
Lemon Shark
All year                        
Pigsnout grunt
All year                        
September November                        
Hammerhead Shark
THREE specimens caught in November                        
F    I    S    H PERIOD
from - to
jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec
of capture:

Connections unless otherwise specified, from Fishbase or Wikipedia

  sunrise sunset air temperature temperature

the actual rain days in 2012

min max inc n° (day/inc)
JANUARY 6,50 18,15 18 24 22      
FEBRUARY 7,00 18,25 17 23 21      
MARCH 6,30 18,40 18 24 21      
APRIL 6,10 18,50 18 25 22      
MAY 5,00 19,00 19 26 23      
JUNE 5,55 19,10 20 29 24      
JULY 5,50 19,20 22 30 25      
AUGUST 5,50 19,30 23 30 26 2-3 0,55 16 august 0,02 inch
SEPTEMBER 6,00 19,00 24 30 27 7-8 1,30 Two afternoons Total 0,06 inch
OCTOBER 6,10 18,40 23 30 27 0-4 0,26  
NOVEMBER 6,25 18,25 22 29 26 0-1 0,10  
DECEMBER 6,40 18,15 20 27 24      

santo antÃo

Santo Antão (Sant'Antonio) belonging to the group of the Barlavento islands. The capital is Porto Novo, while the major center is Ribeira Grande. The population of the island is approximately 47,000 inhabitants. It is the northernmost and westernmost of the Cape Verdean islands.

The highest mountain is Topo de Coroa (1,979 m a.s.l.) second mountain of the archipelago, followed by Pico da Cruz (1,585 m a.s.l.).

The island was discovered in 1462 by Diogo Alfonso, and was inhabited from 1548. The current name was given to it only after 1500. In the 17th century, people from the Cape Verdean islands of Santiago, Fogo and the Portuguese from the north settled near today's Ribeira Grande. Subsequently, wine and coffee became the main resources for exports, becoming an important part of the history of Santo Antão.

Divided in two in terms of climate, arid south and north cultivated with sugar cane, cassava, banana, fruit in general, mango and papaya. The population is very hospitable and seems to have remained very attached to the island's past tradition.
Today the island is very popular with trekking lovers and offers many walking tours. The volcanic traces are still evident in the Cova crater together with the mineral waters and thermal springs. Agriculture is the main resource of the island and the land is very fertile in many places, in Coculi among the sugar cane plantations there are small workshops where a typical liqueur called "Grogue" is produced, and the production of yam is also good. cassava, bananas, mangoes and cereals.

Historically the island had only one municipality until today's division into 3 parts, which took place in 1990: the capital Porto Novo, Paul and Ribeira Grande.

This island can be reached by ship because the small airport, now in disuse, has not been used for over ten years. The only way to get there is by ferry from Mindelo (the port of S. Vicente). The connection between the two islands is ensured by two daily trips: one that lasts less than an hour, by express, and the other with a very picturesque and decidedly smaller ferry, preferred by locals, but which takes almost an hour and a half. Tickets can be purchased at the pier, before boarding, and are very cheap.

sÃo vicente
São Vicente: The island measures 16 km from the north to the south end, and 24 km from west to east, for a total area of ​​227 km². It is located between the islands of Santo Antão and Santa Luzia. Also of semi-flat volcanic origin, it still has some inactive craters today, in particular that of the Mindelo bay. The highest point on the island is Monte Verde (725 m).

It was discovered by the Portuguese on January 22, 1462 and it owes its name to the saint who happened on that day (S. Vicente). Until the mid 19th century the island remained completely uninhabited. Only in 1838 when a coal depot was built to supply ships on the Atlantic routes, the first settlements began to be created. São Vicente is one of the most populated islands of Cape Verde most of which is concentrated in the capital Mindelo, be careful in the city center where kids will follow you for a few coins or to try to snatch your wallet. Avoid isolated areas and dark streets even when in company. Rightly considered the cultural capital of the archipelago. Thanks to the very deep seabed of the port it became the "sorting center" for all the other islands, thus creating an island based on trade.

Daily flights connect São Vicente with the international airports of Praia and Sal. São Pedro airport is only 15 minutes by taxi from Mindelo. The connection by sea is guaranteed by weekly ferries, with timetables that are not always reliable, displayed at the maritime station.

The most popular sports on the island are nautical ones, in particular windsurfing which is the most favorite. One of the best places to practice it is São Pedro with its white beach, also visited by great international champions. On the island it is also possible to practice other sports such as horse riding and golf.

The climate is mainly tropical and dry with temperatures of around 24 ° C all year round. The temperature of the ocean water that bathes the island is between 22 ° C and 25 ° C. The season that goes from November to July is the best as it is dry and windy, while from August to October is the "rainy season" in all you can count about twenty days of rain in the period.

Then in the evening the city is a succession of music and parties and make this island a wonderful place... As Manuel de Novas (24 February 1938-28 September 2009), Cape Verdean writer said, those who do not know Mindelo do not knows Cape Verde...

Daily flights connect Sao Vicente with the international airports of Praia and Sal. Sao Pedro airport is only 15 minutes by taxi from Mindelo. The connection by sea is guaranteed by weekly ferries, with not always reliable timetables, displayed at the maritime station.

It is among the most folkloristic of the archipelago, very popular:
* the Carnival: takes place in Mindelo in February, it is a parade in the style of the Brazilian carnival. It is the most animated of Cape Verde, together with that of the island of San Nicolau
* Festival of Baía das Gatas: takes place in August on the beach of the same name, it offers numerous national and foreign musical groups and many entertainments such as rhythmic dances and horse racing.
* Theater Festival: Mindelact takes place every year in Mindelo in September and offers performances by international and Cape Verdean artists. The shows take place around the city or in the auditorium of the cultural center of Mindelo.

santa luzia - (Santa Luzia: UNINHABITED)

Santa Luzia: (Santa Lucia) is an island of Cape Verde, belonging to the archipelago of Barlavento. It is located between the island of Sao Vicente and that of Sao Nicolau. The highest point is the top of Monte Grande, 395 m.

In the eighteenth century it was inhabited by a small population devoted to agriculture, the desertification later led to its abandonment. Since the 20th century, a weather station has been located.

sÃo nicolau

São Nicolau: Located in the northern part of the archipelago, the island has an area of ​​343 km². Its maximum width in the north / south direction is 25 km and its length in the east / west direction is 50 km.

In the past it has had a very active volcanic activity which has carved its present shape. Like the island of Santo Antão it is very impressive and majestic with a very rugged relief. The highest mountain is that of Monte Gordo of 1304 m in height, the crossing point of two mountain ranges. The valleys are generally narrow and deep with the exception of the Caleijão Valley, which is wide enough for the development of an important agricultural activity.

Its population began in the seventeenth century, after the islands of Santiago and Fogo, mainly because together with Santo Antão they were the islands with the greatest quantity of water and consequently with greater agricultural and livestock breeding potential.

Fertile valleys, ancient ports, high mountains, extinct craters, imposing canyons and black beaches of volcanic origin, form the border of lush agricultural areas. The mountains are appreciated by lovers of extreme sports, while the sea offers numerous possibilities. Traditions are deeply rooted in this island and it is very easy to find some festivals and folk dances in the corners of the island. During the carnival period it offers parades of floats accompanied by unique music and dances. The beaches here aren't much, but obviously they don't deny the tourist a nice dip in the ocean.
The western part is the most welcoming and consequently the most inhabited. The subsoil of the island is very rich in water and not infrequently you can see caravans of people carrying water from the pumps to their homes. Ribeira Brava: It is a very attractive city, with colonial-type houses painted in all colors. From Miradouro em Cachaço, located in what is called "Camino Novo", offers a beautiful view of the valley and the city.

Over the years São Nicolau has been the center of the intellectuals of Cape Verde and is considered the cradle of the literary movement "Claridade" which is a reference for Cape Verdean literature, founded in 1936 by authors such as Baltasar Lopes, Manuel Lopes and Jorge Barbosa.

Preguiça airport, 5 km from Ribeira Brava, receives internal TACV flights: daily from Praia and Sal and four times a week from São Vicente. The port of São Nicolau, located in Tarrafal, receives ferries from Mindelo, Sal and Santiago twice a week.


ilha do sal - (with the addition of notes and advice from the Webmaster who lives in Santa Maria)

Ilha do Sal (or simply Sal) its name means Island of Salt and like many other islands of the archipelago the name Sal became in common use only after the discovery and exploitation of the salt deposits that were transported on the head of women in tortoise shells, replacing the original Ilha Plana (flat island) with which it was baptized when it was discovered in December 1460. Virtually deserted, it was pasture for the flocks belonging to the residents of nearby Boavista; only with the subsequent exploitation of salt did a significant economic activity begin, becoming an exporter until the middle of this century.

The island has a total extension of 216 km² and a population of just over 22,000 units, concentrated for the most part in Santa Maria and Espargos, has a practically flat elevation profile, except for some small hills in the North , remains of ancient volcanoes, stretches for 30 km (north-south direction) and its maximum altitude is 400 meters. Espargos is the capital but its importance is mainly due to its proximity to the Amilcar Cabral international airport, built on an Italian initiative in 1939 to allow an intermediate stopover on flights to South America, which allowed its development. The airport has contributed in a decisive way to revive the economy of the archipelago, after the period of crisis at the beginning of the century, largely due to the abandonment of its ports to the advantage of the Spanish ports of the Canary Islands and Dakar in Senegal. In the last 20 years, modern tourist complexes have been installed in Santa Maria which thanks to the strong and constant wind (from December to May the trade wind blows intensely) have contributed to making it one of the best places in the world for windsurfing and kitesurfing, the Santa Maria bay and the kite beach in Sal are proof of this, while for surfing a visit to Punta Preta is recommended. A tip for those who bring the board, (given by those who practice this sport): bring spare parts as there is no real surf shop here, alternatively you can opt for rental in one of the many structures that are there.
The Amilcar Cabral International Airport (Sal Island) mainly receives flights from Europe and Africa, thanks to daily TAP flights in addition to NEOS and TUIfly charter flights, the island has become the main entry point for tourism in the archipelago. The national airline TACV and BINTER carry out internal flights but despite the entry of this new company the flights have not improved, it often happens that they are canceled and direct flights from Sal to the other islands are reduced to just the flight to Praia, therefore if you have to go to San Vicente you will have to go to Praia with a considerable waste of time.

Santa Maria is the tourist capital of the island and the third town of the archipelago with its 17,000 inhabitants, it mixes the traditional calm of the archipelago with the lively life of the tourist resorts. The country offers a cultural center, located in a restored old Portuguese house and a lively market of African products, especially Senegalese, all in a maze of quiet and calm streets overlooking the sea.

But the real attraction is on this beach of about 14 km of white/golden sand (from Serra Negra to Punta Preta), with a cobalt blue sea and spectacular shades, where the hotels and the best villages are located and where in the months between June and September turtles of the genus Carretta-Carretta come to lay their eggs, in the center the wooden "Pontao", now renovated and illuminated, a meeting point stretching out into the ocean, where the colorful fishing boats from which they unload tuna and wahoo who invariably end up dangling on wheelbarrows by masons driven by kids to be taken to some hotel. Relaxation, sports and entertainment in night clubs are all it offers, to get away from the stress of modern cities. Cars and bikes can be rented without difficulty at hotels and villages, to be able to visit the island in complete freedom, for the lazy there is always the possibility of taking a car with a driver to be carried around. There is no coral reef but the possibility of seeing rare species of fish makes these bottoms very interesting.

To visit the ancient salt pans of Pedra de Lume and the old fishing village. From the village of Pedra de Lume along a dirt road that runs along the old wooden cableway for the transport of salt to a square and which gives the feeling of entering an old western film, you arrive at the entrance to the tunnel dug in the rock in 1804, from here continuing on foot you come out into the ancient crater placed at the same level of the sea, although this is about 1 km away by infiltration the various tanks are filled, still today salt is produced for local uses. It is advisable to take a bath, the water is very hot and regenerating, and you can also experience the sensation of floating at "all costs" since it is 35 times saltier than that of the sea, remember to bring € 1, it will be useful for end of the bath for the shower, maybe get a 10 € massage (January 2011) lying on a bed in front of the showers. An entrance ticket is required to enter the crater.

Palmeira is the port of the island, not very large but functional enough, here you can rent a boat to spend a day at sea.
Going up further north after Palmeira we reach the natural pool of Buracona: it is the part of a siphon dug into the lava and connects to an underwater cave located in depth. Here the sand gives way to rocks of volcanic origin, evidence of ancient eruptions ending in the sea. On the way back to Santa Maria you can stop at Murdeira beach and in Algodoeiro with its Palmizio.

For fishing lovers, here you can practice all kinds of land: light surf casting, during the day or medium-heavy in the evening at dusk, rock fishing and spinning from the rocks to the north of the island as well as of course the various boat trips : trolling, jigging, big game the preys are very respectable and as a fisherman I can guarantee you that there are "scary" fish but as every good fisherman knows, there are many factors that influence a good catch: consistency in the exits, wind , tides and above all the famous "C factor..." If you decide to bring the equipment that is "excellent"... here the fish do not joke. (note by the fisher Webmaster).

Any season is suitable for a stay in Sal, located in an area where a wind generally coming from the north-east prevails and which increases in intensity from November to May / June. Cabo Verde in general enjoys more favorable climatic conditions than those of the neighboring African continent located at the same latitude. The rainy season extends during the months of August, September and October with uncertain rainfall from year to year, from island to island and even from place to place but this does not prevent Cabo Verde from being summer all year round. The climate is tropical dry, the average temperature remains constant between 22 ° C and 28 ° C, even if the best period is from August to October, do not worry about the rain, Sal is one of the least rainy islands (in 2010 in Santa Maria it rained 5/6 times, a lot, while for another 4 or 5 times the drops were not even able to wet the ground). At sea, the temperature fluctuates around 21 ° (February and March) and 25 ° (September and October). The famous hot winds from the east from the African continent arrive, usually between December and March to the delight of kitesurfing and windsurfing enthusiasts.

Fish and seafood, always fresh, grilled and with vegetables, are the main dishes on the menu in restaurants. At the same time, Cape Verdean specialties, rich in seasoning, are an appetizing alternative. The national dish is catchupa, prepared with beans, corn, cassava, sweet potato, pork and herbs accompanied with Vinho Tinto di Fogo. And if you miss a good pizza or an Italian pasta dish, all you have to do is come and visit us, we will try to satisfy you.

boa vista

Boa Vista (which in Portuguese means Good Sight) measures 31 km from north to south, and 29 km from west to east, for a total area of ​​620 km²; it is the third largest island in the archipelago. It is the easternmost of the Barlavento group of islands, and is located 455 km west of the African coast. The territory has undergone a progressive desertification due to the absence of reliefs, the highest point of the island is Monte Estancia (just 387 m) and trees, there are in fact two desert areas: the Deserto de Viana (sandy) and the Deserto de Santo Tirso. On the island flows the Ribeira de Rabil stream eternally dry but subject to large floods during the rainy period.

Boa Vista is one of the least populated islands in Cape Verde. Most of the population lives in the capital Sal Rei, where the cargo and ferry port is located. The international airport is located near Rabil but at the moment it has no lighting ... so after sunset it closes, no more flights !. There are numerous other settlements, the main ones are: Bofareira, Cabeço do Tarafes, Curral Velho - semi-destroyed and uninhabited town, Estancia de Baixo, Fundo das Figueiras, Gata, João Barreiro, João Galego, Norte, Povoação Velha, Rabil - the first capital of island, Santo Tirso many of which with a few dozen inhabitants. Like every island, it speaks a local variant of Cape Verdean Creole.

The economy was once based on agriculture, but the impoverishment of the soil has led to the decline of this activity in favor of the production of salt and dates. A growing role in Boa Vista's economy is played by tourism; the true beauty of the island are the characteristic beaches for their kilometer length of fine white sand, accompanied by an uncontaminated, arid and desert territory, it is also renowned for its population of sea turtles. The sea offers a lot: yellow fin tuna, bluefish, sharks and much more but for the lord of the seas, the Marlin, the spots are very far. Between March and April it is possible to spot the gray whales that pass near the coast during their eternal travel.

Places that deserve to be visited are: Santa Monica beach, 18 km long without any infrastructure that alters the environment, Boa Esperanca beach which offers a wonderful view of an ancient shipwreck, the village of Fundodas Figueiras which is an very lively and colorful island. In Sal Rei on the islet that protects the port there are the ruins of what was once the fort of the Duke of Braganza, you can go there by boat or, if you prefer, to swim, the depth of the sea is no more than 1.5 meters. finally, the Chapel of San Antonio, is located in Povoação Velha, the first human settlement on the island.

Boa Vista can boast of being the birthplace of the first president of Cape Verde Aristides Maria Pereira. In 1990 he passed new multi-party legislation: thus the PAICV ceased to be a single party and in the 1991 elections Pereira was beaten by Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro. He was the first African head of state (1975-1991) of the modern era to cede power following free democratic elections. Another prominent figure on the island is Germano Almeida, an excellent Cape Verdean writer.

In Boa Vista there are schools of different levels, churches and hotels. There is only one paved road, connecting Rabil, the airport and Sal Reil. The rest of the road communications are made up of stone-paved roads and lots of tracks.

The island of Maio was first sighted by European explorers on 1 May 1460. After the birth of the first settlements, it had a period of economic prosperity linked above all to the collection of salt.

Maio is the easternmost of the Sotavento group of islands; it is located south of Boa Vista and east of Santiago. With a length of 31 km from the north end Ponta Cais to the south and a width between 20 and 25 km, it is the smallest of the islands with an area of ​​269 km². The highest point is Monte Penoso (436 m), on the east coast. In the northern part of the island there is a saline plain known as Terra Salgadas. The coast includes several bays, including Galeão and Santana.

It is the ideal place to switch off, to rest, to enjoy unspoiled nature. Like Boa Vista and Sal, it boasts white beaches with crystal clear waters, at the same time it is also the least touristy. In one day it is possible to visit it all, but it is worth stopping and enjoying the hospitality of the inhabitants. Still a virgin from building speculations, it has remained unspoiled and has left room for the turtles and birds that still inhabit it. The acacia woods and palm tree oases are a pleasant diversion when you go inside on easy paths.
If you want to go around the island you have to rent an off-road vehicle to go to the north, there are only dirt tracks, or arrange the visit with an aluguer, which is generally quite cheap.

In addition to the capital Vila di Maio, the settlements include: Alcatraz, Barreiro, Calheta, Figueira da Horta, Figueira Seco, João, Lagoa, Monte Branco, Morro, Morrinho, Pedro Vaz (on the east coast), Pedro Vaz (near the bay of Galeão), Pilão Cão, Porto Cais, Praia Gonçalo, Ribeira Dom João, Santo Antônio.

Vila do Maio is home to an airport but from anywhere in the world you leave, to get there, you have to stop in Praia and continue with an 'internal' flight of the TACV (Cape Verdean line) that makes the Praia / Maio route and vice versa in the days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There are also several schools, churches, hotels and a port that connects the island with Boa Vista and Santiago.


sÃo tiago - (Santiago)

Santiago (Portuguese for "St. James"), or Santiagu in Cape Verdean Creole, is the largest island in the Cape Verde archipelago state. It is the most important agricultural center in the country and is home to over half of the archipelago's total population (about 240,000 people). Santiago is located between the islands of Maio (40 km to the west) and Fogo (50 km to the east), and belongs to the group of Ilhas do Sotavento ("leeward islands"). It was the first island of the archipelago to be colonized. The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, and one of the three international airports, Francisco Mendes, are also located in Santiago. The island is divided into 9 counties: Tarrafal, São Miguel, São Salvador do Mundo, Santa Cruz, São Domingos, Praia, Ribeira Grande de Santiago, São Lourenço dos Órgãos, Santa Catarina.

The island is 75 km long from north to south and 35 km wide from east to west, for a total area of ​​991 km². The highest mountain on the island is Pico da Antónia 1394 m located in the Serra de Malagueta mountain range, it is the most complete island from a landscape point of view. The population has a much more African origin than the other islands and many descendants of slave families still live here. The custom in the way of dressing, dancing and musical experiences confirm this. To the south is what was the first settlement of the island, Cidade Velha founded in 1462 with the name of Riberia Grande, the ancient capital and the first European city in the tropics, while further east is Praia. To the south of the island is a fertile area rich in water and crops of corn, sugar cane, coffee, bananas and mangoes, while to the south-west there is a hostile environment that prevents almost all forms of life. Other economic activities on the island are tourism, fishing and the manufacturing industry. For the "tropical" beaches we have to move to the north of the island.

The city is physically divided into two areas: the old center "Plateau" which deserves a very thorough visit as well as the market of "Sucupira" which is located on the slopes of the Plateau and the peripheral districts: Gamboa, Achada Santo Antonio and Achada grande. miss Cidade Velha, was the first Portuguese city in Africa and the church "Nossa Senhora do Rosario" the oldest church in Cape Verde. A few steps from the square stands the "Pelurinho", the pillory pole, where slaves who came from Africa were chained. On the hill stands the "Fortaleza Real de S. Felipe" today only the perimeter walls remain, from up here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the valley below and the blue ocean. Another city to see is Assomada, an agricultural center of primary importance that with the strongly African "market" has become a tourist destination, is open every day but on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays it comes alive with visitors and merchants from Senegal and from Guinea, here you can buy beautiful colored ceramics. Tarrafal is a respectable tourist destination for its golden beach fringed with palm trees and a sea full of fish which make it a popular destination for fishing sports enthusiasts.


Fogo is located between the islands of Santiago and Brava and is the fourth island in size and has the highest peak, the Pico de Cano, formed by the most recent crater of the volcano, which reaches 2829 m. At the center of the island stands the active volcano, with a caldera 9 km wide, has walls on the western side up to 1 km high which is its most attractive part. In historical times the lava from the volcano reached the east coast of the island. In 1680 a violent eruption occurred which was remembered because it could be admired even from hundreds of kilometers. It was during this eruption that the island took the name Fogo. The last eruption took place in 1995, forming a new crater called Pico Pequeno. A small farming village called Chã das Caldeiras is located at the base of the volcano, and the inhabitants are evacuated during the eruptions. But the main city on the island is São Filipe. The ocean surrounding the island can be 5.3 km deep at a distance of 5 km from the coast. The north-eastern part is grassy and green all year round. The rest of the mountain features dry and arid terrain. Although Fogo receives most of the rainfall compared to the other islands, its streams and streams are dry all year round.

Discovered on 1 May 1460 by a Genoese captain Antonio da Noli, it was first called São Filipe, then more appropriately Fogo. Its colonization was timely due to the need to increase the agricultural development of Santiago. In the nineteenth century there was a migratory process of the poorest social classes to America. Later, many of them returned enriched, changing the social structures of the island. In 1910, with the civil revolution in Portugal, many aristocrats and large landowners who resided on the island returned to their homeland.

The volcano island, the island of wine, coffee, tropical fruits and the black desert. The island's economy is based on fishing and agriculture while tourism is constantly growing. Thanks to the fertile soil and its sources of fresh water, it was immediately inhabited and cultivated, becoming immediately famous for the production of wine. The cultivation of vines on the island was introduced by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and as early as the eighteenth century, export processes of Fogo wine to Brazil have been started. The first cultivation of vines in the Chã das Caldeiras area (1600 meters above sea level) dates back to the period of population of the area in 1917. Starting from 1998, with the support of the Italian and Cape Verdean governments, the Chã das Caldeiras Farmers' Association built a new cellar. From the beginning to today the production has more than doubled with a volume of about 80,000 bottles of wine produced. The lands extend from 800 to 2000 meters. of altitude. Few interventions are necessary: ​​winter pruning and treatment against Oidium or "vine dust".

Here the people are very different from the rest of the archipelago, with a majority of former settlers, for which the mestizos are much more numerous than in the other islands, the fauna is very rich compared to the other islands, here it nests: the shearwaters, the peregrine falcon , the swallows and the petrel. São Felipe is a set of houses perched on the cliff overlooking the port in pure Portuguese style, with typical blue, pink, gray, ocher colors with decorated balconies and verandas. Nossa Senhora do Socorro where a chapel stands there is a truly superb panorama of the ocean and the island of Brava. Cha de Caldeiras is the real attraction of Fogo, an agglomeration of houses built with lava from the volcano in the cone of the volcano itself, a unique lunar landscape in the world. Most of the excursions can be done on foot or by mountain bike.

Worth seeing is the Feast of the Bandeira di San Felipe which takes place in the last week of April, is one of the major events of the archipelago, and the religious feast of the Patroness of the Council of Monasteries which takes place on 13 May.


Brava (in Portuguese means wild), also of volcanic origin, evidence of this is the Fundo Grande crater, is located at the end of the Leeward group of islands and is the smallest and southernmost of the archipelago, according to the data in 2005 the residents were just over 7000, 12 km long and 10 wide has an area of ​​just 67 sq km, the highest mountain 975 m is the Fontainhas. It stands out from the other islands for its mountainous aspect and the coast is markedly indented with various bays: Furna, Ancião, Fajá d'Água and Sorno.

Discovered in 1462, its colonization seems to have taken place in 1680 when, due to the eruption of the volcano on the nearby island of Fogo, the inhabitants moved to Brava. Due to the presence of modestly sized mountains, it is the most humid and hosts a great variety of vegetation, for this reason Cape Verdeans like to call it "the island of flowers", here you can find bougainvillea, hibiscus, jacarandas etc. unobtainable in the other islands.

At the end of the 18th century, the island was used as a reference point for the whalers of New Bedford and Rhode Island. The inhabitants gradually began to join the whalers' crew, but as the living conditions on board were very harsh, the Cape Verdeans began to emigrate to the United States of America.

It is a very quiet island, even too much, absolutely devoid of nightlife. It also lacks sandy beaches completely. Transportation on the island is very irregular and secured by minibuses and pick ups, it is practically impossible to rent a car without a driver here (May 2000). Ideal for those who love to walk and have a direct relationship with nature and the inhabitants.

The island of Brava is the most inaccessible of the entire archipelago. Lacking an active airport, the island can be reached aboard the small M / N "Monte Branco" which shuttles between the islands of Fogo and Brava. Since the journey is irregular on days and times, inquire at the shipping agencies that carry out the service

Not to be missed in addition to New Sintra, a fairytale city with wide streets full of flower beds, the port of Furna a pretty fishing village and the Jalunga Lighthouse not far away, Faja d'Agua, Nossa Senhora do Monte and other enchanting place is the Fonte de Vinagre. The temperature, for most of the year, is pleasantly cool but in the evening a sweatshirt can be useful.

Today the island's economy is based on agriculture and fishing, from agriculture they get: sugar cane, maize, cassava, potatoes and coffee while the sea rich in fish offers jobs to hundreds of fishermen.

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