Cape Verde Islands

By | March 21, 2022

The archipelago consists of 10 large and 5 small islands, divided into “leeward” and “windward” groups. The windward group includes Santo Antao, San Vicente, San Nicolau, the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia, Sal and Boa Vista.. In the “lee” – Santiago (Santiago), Brava (Brava), Fogo (Fogo) and Maio (Maio).

C AL – deserted island of temptations

The most popular island among travelers. Most often, tourists stop here, and go on excursions to other islands only for a short time (usually for a day or two). The active development of tourism has changed the face of the island almost beyond recognition: over the past decade, the number of local residents has doubled, first-class hotels have been opened here

BOAVISTA – dune island

The third largest island of the archipelago, the island of beaches and dunes, which stretch here for 55 km. In addition, this is one of the best islands for diving and surfing. The first settlement here is the village of Povoacao Velha, which in Russian means “Old Village”.

The capital of the island is the town of Sal Rey, whose whole life develops only around the harbor. Recently, several first-class tourist complexes have been built on the island, so there should be no problems with accommodation here. The island is famous for its unique scenic views of deserts, oases, dunes and beaches. For example, the Viana desert, Santa Monica beach, the old Morro Negro lighthouse and the old ceramic factory. Recently, off-road and ATV safaris and desert motocross have become fashionable entertainment on the island.

Great beaches are Santa Monica, Curralinho, and further south Lacação and Curral Velho (which are a bit difficult to access).

SAN VINCENTE – the island of poets and musicians

A charming resort island of volcanic origin, which has become world famous as the birthplace of the great singer Cesaria Evora. The National Craft Center is open here – a place where the traditional textile craft was restored, as well as the manufacture of jewelry from shells and stones.

The capital is Mindelo; major cities: Baia das Gatas, São Pedro, Callao. The best beach is in San Pedro.


The only uninhabited island of Cape Verde is only 5 km wide and 13 km long. There is very little vegetation on the island, the main attraction is clean beaches and dunes, as well as excellent diving. The highest point on Santa Lucia is Monte Grande (395 m above sea level).

The lack of water made it impossible to settle the island with permanent residents, despite this, since the 19th century, fishermen and shepherds have lived here – only about 20 people. It is known that back in the 60s of the 20th century a family of shepherds lived here. However, since 1990, the state declared the island absolutely uninhabited and assigned it the status of a reserve.

SANTIAGO – the most African island

One of the most attractive islands in the archipelago, famous for its beautiful nature and comfortable climate. Mountains covered with eucalyptus groves and plantations of tropical plants, rocks and canyons make up the unique landscape of the island. Not far from the capital is the medieval Portuguese fortress of St. Philip – the first buildings of Europeans in Cape Verde. Ship cannons raised from the bottom of the ocean adorn the fortress walls.


A picturesque island located in the northern part of Cape Verde, 50 km long and 25 km wide. In the distant past, powerful volcanic activity was observed on the island, which gave San Nicolau a mountainous terrain. The highest point of the island is Mount Monte Gordo (Monte Gordo, 1304 m).

The capital is the city of Ribeira Brava. The major city is Tarrafal.

SANTO ANTAU – a heavenly place for trekking

The second largest island of Cape Verde of volcanic origin, preserved on its territory the remains of the past, such as the famous Cova craters. Here, ancient customs still exist, most clearly visible in traditional hospitality. For example, locals are very fond of treating tourists to traditional grog vodka.

The capital of the island is Ribeira Grande. The best beach is Praia Formosa.


The smallest island of Cape Verde, due to the variety of rare flowering plants, it is often called the “Island of Flowers”. The best beach of Brava is located near the port of Fajã d’Água. The island is located in the western part of the Cape Verdian archipelago, 20 km from Fogo. Geologically, Brava is a continuation of Fogo Island. The depth of the sea in the channel that separates the two islands is only a few hundred meters, while the bottom of the sea around the rest of the island is about 4 km deep. To the north of the island lie two small uninhabited islets.


A quiet secluded island located in the extreme eastern part of the Cape Verdian necklace group of islands, at a distance of 25 km from Santiago Island. This oldest island in the archipelago is 24 km long and only 16 km wide. In addition, Mayu is an ancient dormant volcano that has not woken up for thousands of years. The highest point of the island is Monte Penoso (436 m).

There are hotels only in the capital Vila do Maio, in Morro and a few other villages.

FOGU – volcano island

Fogo Volcano Island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1460. The last eruption here was in 1995, because of which the inhabitants of the town of Cha das Caldeiras had to leave their homes for as much as 6 months.

Cape Verde Islands