5 Reasons You Must Visit Sal, Cape Verde
Cape Verde is one of those holiday destinations that is still "up and coming". Tourists have only been visiting these gorgeous islands for the last 10 years, so they are still relatively untouched.
Situated off the West Coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde constitutes 10 beautiful islands. Islands of Sal and Boa Vista are so easily accessible from the UK with flights every week from Birmingham Airport and Gatwick Airport via TUI. The flight is roughly 5 and a half hours which is an easy flight into a lot warmer lands.
This post will give you 5 reasons why you must add Sal Island in Cape Verde to your travel bucket list (once it's safe to do so - at time of writing we are currently under Covid-19 Lockdown).
1) Warm Weather All Year Round
As Sal is located so close to the equator, the weather rarely drops below 22 degrees centigrade all year round, with peak weather being well over 30 degrees during the summer months. I visited in January and the lowest day temperature was 24 degrees and the highest 28. What a brilliant way to get over your January blues.
2) Visit Cape Verde's Version of the Dead Sea
Sal got it's name from the word salt, for which the island is well-known for. The Salt planes in Sal not only provide an economy for the island, in the form of exporting salt, but, it is now a tourist attraction which is well worth a visit. The water in the salt planes is twenty times more dense than the ocean, which means as soon as you lay in the water you will float - even if you don't want to! It is such a unique experience and the water is even said to have healing benefits for the skin. Definitely add this to your "things to do" list when in Sal.
3) See a Mirage in the Desert
Because Sal island, unlike many of the other islands in Cape Verde, is mostly desert, you can have a unique opportunity to see a mirage. Desert mirages occur because the light from the sun bends to move through less dense air, which is warmer. In the desert, the air is warmer on the surface of the sand and it cools as it rises causing the light to reflect downwards producing a water-like image below the horizon. It is a really cool experience and a must see when your in Sal. The locals call it their "party trick".
4) Visit Santa Maria Pier
For those of you who are reading this look for an authentic experience whilst travelling, you must take a visit to Santa Maria Pier. The pier is home to all the fish trade for the island and here you can see the locals bringing in their catch of the day to be prepared for sale within a few hours. Between the hours of 9am and 1pm, you can meet the families of the fishermen who help to prepare the fresh fish to go straight into the hotels and market. The locals don't mind tourists having a look and speaking to them, but don't get in their way too much as this is how they make a living. There is a bit of a warning here though - if you are squeemish, vegan, or just don't like the thought of getting fish guts all over your flip flops then this may not be the experience for you!
5) Great Hotels and Friendly Staff
There aren't many hotels to choose from on Sal island (although more than Boa Vista, by all accounts) but we experienced two hotels in Sal, both 5* and both absolutely gorgeous. As tourism is relatively new in Sal, the hotels are also fairly new with new hotels being built currently. We stayed in the Blue for Two Cabo Verde in Ponta Preta, and also visited the Hilton Hotel in Santa Maria too. Both hotels were fabulous from every standpoint - the food, the staff, the rooms and definitely the price.
If you are looking for a well-priced all inclusive resort in Cape Verde, I can thoroughly recommend Tui Blue for Two Cabo Verde (Adults only) hotel for a small resort with everything you could need. The beach is on your doorstep and although the sea can be rough at times, it is a lovely beach to spot the kite surfers if nothing else!
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