No stress in Cape Verde

Welcome to the sun-drenched shores of Sal, one of ten volcanic islands in Cape Verde. This island paradise, officially known as the Republic of Cabo Verde, is located west of the westernmost point of continental Africa and nestled in the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean. As you step onto the powdery white sands of the beaches on Sal, it doesn’t take long before you get a sense of why the country’s unofficial motto is “no stress”.

Time has a different meaning in Cape Verde.

This former Portuguese crown colony became an independent nation as late as 1975. Tourism started to take off in about 2006 and is increasingly playing a key part in the economic development of the island country, although it took a serious hit during the covid pandemic when the number of tourists dropped significantly.

Charming Santa Maria, Cape Verde

We recently spent a week in the small town of Santa Maria on the southern tip of Sal and enjoyed it a lot. This is a small and colourful town of some 6,200 locals, with a laid back atmosphere. We were happy we chose to stay in a hotel by the beach in Santa Maria instead of opting for one of the many resorts along the west coast of Sal. Everything is within walking distance and in the city centre are a number of bars and cosy restaurants.

Many of the buildings are really colourful and charming and it’s fun to just walk around town and soak up the local culture.

Santa Maria, Cape Verde

The streets of Santa Maria


Santa Maria, Sal

Surfer’s paradise

If it was one thing we knew before hand about Cape Verde it was that this island is a windy place. There is always at least a soft breeze from the sea and during our week here it seemed that the wind on Sal was always coming from the north so being on the south tip meant we had some shelter from the wind from the surrounding buildings.

We didn’t find the wind to be a problem, the sun is incredibly strong here so a cooling wind may be just what you need. Although you did get a feeling that you had been sand blasted after lying on the beach for a while. The beaches near Santa Maria are just incredible,  endless stretches of soft sand, the water is clear and it was really clean everywhere.

beach, Sal, Cape Verde

The waves in the oeacan are quite big so swimming here is a challenge for smaller children, but on the other hand it is great if you want to try out surfing. Our hotel had a really nice pool right by the beach and also a small pier that made swimming much more convenient. If you are planning a trip to Sal, I recommend booking a hotel with a pool just to have an alternative to the waves.

hotel with pool, Sal, Cape Verde

Pin it to Pinterest:

No Stress in Cape Verde

Leave a Reply