CAPE VERDE – a guide to five amazing islands

Cape Verde – a group of amazing islands scattered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa.

Fishermen bringing in a boat at Tarrafal in the north of Cape Verde's main island Santiago
Fishermen bringing in a boat at Tarrafal in the north of Cape Verde’s main island Santiago

I get asked quite often which was my best trip and which has been my favorite country so far. How can I possibly answer such a question? How can I compare let’s say Italy to Viet Nam?
Well, the pizza is tastier and the language is prettier in Italy.
Then again the Buddhist temples are bigger and the variety at farmers’ markets is more abundant in Viet Nam.
Got the point? How could I ever compare?
Fortunately, I don’t have to.

But if someone pointed a gun to my head and made me choose, I would say Cape Verde. Cape Verde with its beauty, charm, and incredible variety is the secret star on my personal globe.

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Guide to SANTIAGO – Cape Verde’s main island

Cape Verde is often described as Africa light. Actually, it’s true that many places remind you rather of the Canary Islands than of an African country.

Men overlooking the Bay at the city of Praia on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde
Overlooking the Praia Negra in Cape Verde’s capital Praia.

So although Cape Verde’s capital Praia is the most African city of them all, it has a familiar feel to it – with a dash of Caribbean vibes.

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Guide to BRAVA, Cape Verde’s blooming little island

They say that Brava is the most beautiful of the Cape Verde islands.

View of the ocean from the island of Brava, Cape Verde
A very rewarding hike.

Actually, it’s a cute, small jewel in the middle of the ocean encircled by tiny islets. You can hike around the isle in just a couple of hours. There are colorfully painted buildings, surrounded by pretty flowers…and pure serenity. 

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Guide to FOGO, Cape Verde’s most varied island

Which island was my favorite? Argh, do you really make me choose again?

I dislike comparing. I detest better or poorer.

I like different! I like the beauty and the excitement that comes with diversity.

Woman overlooking the sea
On the way to São Jorge.

This said, if again, you point a gun to my head, I’ll say Fogo was my favorite. Fogo, because it is the most varied one. It has beaches and greeneries, but also rocks and lava. It is lovely and bizarre. Full of stories and history – a true inspiration.

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Guide to BOA VISTA, the world’s most attractive heap of sand

Consisting of nothing but deserts and beaches, Boa Vista is like a big heap of sand thrown in the ocean. It is Cape Verde’s second most developed tourist center after the Island of Sal.

Praia do Estoril on the island of Boa Vista, the world's most attractive heap of sand
Indisputably one of the most pristine beaches I’ve ever seen: Praia do Estoril.

The perfect destination for a couple of very lazy days laying on….the sand.

When I was sitting at my computer in rainy Hamburg planning my trip, I thought it was a brilliant idea to stay in Boa Vista for over one week. Beaches! Sun! Ocean! Sand!

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Guide to SAL – from Salt Mine to Ocean Paradise

The island of Sal and the beach of Santa Maria have the reputation of being super-touristy and overcrowded. While they certainly have more tourist infrastructure than other Cape Verdean islands – which tend to have close to none at all – it can be quite comfortable having some perks.

Boys playing soccer on the beach of Santa Maria on the island of Sal, Cape Verde
Some local guys playing soccer, since in Santa Maria the beach is by far not only frequented by tourists.

Would I spend an entire trip to Cape Verde at a hotel on Sal? No! Would I skip the island altogether? Neither – since there are some nice places to visit. And the beach is simply a dream made of sand, anyway.

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