Framed by the Atlantic Ocean, some 500 kilometres off the coast of Senegal, the Cape Verde islands are causing quite a stir on the travel scene. Still untouched by the masses, they’ve got plenty going for them – huge swathes of creamy-white beach and year-round sun pretty much guaranteed.
One of the big names in these parts is Sal. The island’s biggest draw is the beach – miles of white sand backed by Sahara-like dunes and chilled-out beach bars. The diving’s great here, too, with caves, shipwrecks and rainbow-bright reefs. Back on dry land, you’ve got the cobbled streets and candy-coloured buildings of Santa Maria to explore.
South of Sal lies Boa Vista. Its lunar landscape has earned it the nickname ‘island of dunes’, and, like Sal, it’s all about the beach here. There are 22 kilometres of ice-white sand, along with waters that make great whale and turtle-spotting territory.
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If you’re not sure where Sal is, you’re not alone. It's one of 10 tiny islands that make up Cape Verde, and as far as tourism is concerned, it’s still early doors for this necklace of rocks in the Atlantic. To give you an idea, they’re 2 hours south of the Canaries, just off the west coast of Africa. Thanks to their history and location, you’ll find an exotic mix of African and Portuguese cultures on each island. And wherever you head, you’re guaranteed untouched beaches – there aren’t many people around here to share them with.
Ask a room full of people to pinpoint Cape Verde on a map, and you might be surprised at how many are left scratching their heads. It’s not an uncommon reaction – these 10 tiny islands floating in the Atlantic have managed to stay blissfully below the radar. For the record, they’re just off the west coast of Africa, which means sunshine’s a given pretty much year-round.