The island of Sal in Cape Verde is becoming a huge holiday destination for those looking for crystal clear water, white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see and the heat of African culture.
In it’s infancy as a tourist hotspot, now is the time to travel from Liverpool to Cape Verde and discover it’s true beauty for yourself. In June, our team took a taxi to Manchester Airport and flew to Sal with TUI, for a much needed escape from our busy schedule.
Packing our summer essentials and plenty of bikinis, we flew from Manchester Airport to Sal in Cape Verde in less than 6 hours. Make sure to take at least factor 50 sun protection as the temperatures can exceed 30 degrees during the summer months.
If you’re planning on relaxing on the beach for the majority of your time in Cape Verde, pick up Khaled Hosseini’s new book And the Mountains Echoed, which is an enchanting tale of a brother and sister in Afghanistan. We also packed a travel sized bottle of our favourite Olverum bath oil to soak away our troubles and soothe our inevitable sunburn. I don’t know if you know anything about Olverum bath oil, but it is a beautifully scented plant-based oil than helps to ease muscle pain and reduce stress, so it had to be part of our Cape Verde experience.
When you land in Sal, you’ll notice immediately just how remote and unspoilt this island paradise is. With minimum development, you can truly appreciate the rugged terrain and desert landscape.
Heading to the Melina Dunas resort, we discovered the picture perfect beach, which is home to the island’s most famous restaurant and bar, Bikini Beach. With a constant warm breeze, the 27 degree + temperature in June, was actually very pleasant and before we knew it, our skin began to turn golden brown.
Cape Verde is also becoming a popular destination for beach weddings and honeymoons due to it’s stunning natural beauty. What bride doesn’t want to get married somewhere as close to heaven as this island! Just imagine the wedding pictures. Plus, if you’re interested in capturing your Cape Verde wedding or honeymoon on film, check out local photographer Helder from NG7 Photography, who you can hire for all types of professional photography services while in Cape Verde.
One of the best things to do while in Sal, is to book an island day trip with a local company, as you’re not only guaranteed an incredible day for as little as 25 euros per person, but your money will be helping to support the local people. If you head to the beach from the Melina Dunas Resort and the same beach that Bikini Beach Club sits on, you’ll find the local tourist companies who are all independent and we would recommend booking with. Sitting in the back of a 4X4, we set out to explore Cape Verde.
Our first stop was not for the faint hearted. The cars pulled up to Shark Bay and our guide led us out to the shallows, were the apparently friendly and inquisitive lemon sharks called home. After a couple of minutes of standing still, the sharks noticed our presence and began to swim up towards us. Yes, you do hear the theme tune of Jaws in the back of your mind, but we stood our ground.
Next, we jumped back on the 4X4s and drove to the Salt Mines, in the east. Pedra de Lume, a former salt mine sits in the crater of an extinct volcano which is said to have therapeutic salt water. The consistency of the water means that you will naturally float, so lie back and relax, but whatever you do, don’t try to swim as you’re likely to take in a mouth full of water.
After showering off the salt, we headed back into the desert where our guide pointed out a mirage in the distance. One to tick off the bucket list!
Our last stop was to visit a local school which gave us the opportunity to donate. Feeling humbled we thanked our guides and headed back to the hotel, with more appreciation than ever for the lives that we have. We were later informed that some tourists like to bring toys, school equipment and supplies for the school from the UK, which we think is a brilliant idea and would urge you to do so.
Another trip that you must do while in Cape Verde is the catamaran. From Santa Maria, a busy town on the southern coast, you can spend a few hours spotting flying fish, dolphins and then snorkel with tropical fish as you swim down and see the submerged statue of Christ. After this, the crew will indulge you with traditional music.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday, with a splash of west-African culture, food and spice, we strongly recommend you book a trip to Sal in Cape Verde. It is honestly the very best time to travel from Liverpool to Cape Verde as the island is stunning and unspoilt.
Whether you want to escape a fast-paced city-life for a week in the sun, or you want to explore an exciting island and learn to dive or snorkel, Cape Verde is our number one holiday destination for 2018.