The African Caribbean
Floating 500 kilometres off the coast of Senegal, the Atlantic isles of Cape Verde have been dubbed the African Caribbean. They’re still fairly new to the travel circuit, but with their out-of-this-world beaches and lively surf, they’re quickly making a name for themselves.
Cape Verde’s most popular island is cosmopolitan Sal, which is known for its striking, lunar-like landscape. It’s dotted with colourful, cobbled towns, like Santa Maria on the southern shores, where you’ll find surf shops, traditional restaurants and a pretty square lined with al fresco cafés. The main attraction, though, is the beach, which stretches along the coast for 8 kilometres.
You’ll find plenty more in the way of beaches over on Boa Vista, which translates as ‘beautiful view’. The sands here halo the coastline for 55 kilometres and easily rival those you’d find in the Caribbean. Praia Chave deserves a special mention, thanks to its snow-white swathes and shape-shifting dunes.
Cultural melting pot
Whichever island you opt for, expect a melting pot of cultures. The Portuguese originally discovered Cape Verde, so there’s a mixture of African, Brazilian and Portuguese influences. You’ll see it in the island’s music, fashion and – perhaps most clearly – the food.