A winter escape in Cape Verde

We decided to escape the cool temperatures in the UK for a few days recently with a holiday in Cape Verde. Cape Verde is a group of ten islands off the coast of West Africa, more or less level with Senegal.


The temperatures were around 28C while we were there, although it could be quite windy. We stayed on the main island of Santiago, visiting the capital Praia, Cidade Velha and Tarrafal.


Praia has an interesting small colonial centre up on the Plateau, with one esplanade full of restaurants and musicians. You may come across this mural to one of those who fought for the independence of Cape Verde, Amilcar Cabral. Down by the hotel Praia Atlantico you’ll find a lovely cove to sit and watch the boats come in, with a lighthouse nearby that you can climb.

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Heading inland the landscape changes dramatically, with green hills rising all around. Wild beans and tomatoes grow on the side of the road, and the bananas are tiny and sweet, ready to be traded at markets across the island.


If you have time, take a spectacular hike in the Serra Malagueta; ours was a little steep at the end but the views were worth it!

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Cidade Velha was my favourite place on the island – I’ll be writing a separate post about that so look out for it soon!

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