Sal, Cape Verde
Visitors will find some great beaches where a variety of watersports can be found. The area is particularly good for windsurfing and is said to be one of the top 5 places in the world for windsurfing. The colourful towns are also full of life if you prefer to escape the beach for a day.
Sal is a small island enjoying year round sunshine and surrounded by clear, warm waters. The island offers excellent opportunities for watersports, particularly snorkelling and scuba diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing, sailing and sport fishing.
Most of the tourist accommodation is located in Santa Maria and along the 8km long white sand beaches of the south coast.
Things to Do
Quad bike and jeep tours are readily available and ideal for exploring the natural landscapes of the island as well as the towns and villages.
At the small almost deserted village of Pedra de Lume, on the east coast, you can see the remains of the former salt mining equipment and cable car at the foot of the large crater. The crater is filled with a salt lake, which you can access via a tunnel and float effortlessly in the buoyant and mineral rich waters; although you might want to wear something on your feet as the bottom is covered with salt crystals. There is even a cafe inside where you can shower and take lunch.
Natural sights to see include the Buracona lagoon, a cave where the sun plays on the water to create the most luminous blue 'eye' and; the desert plains of Terra Boa, famous for it's sparkling mirage. The salt pans at Santa Maria and at Pedra de Lume are also a good spot for bird-watching.
Santa Maria has some good seafood restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. The local bars offer a great opportunity to soak up the Cape Verdean culture and African soul of the island, with many featuring local live bands and singers.
During the day, you can take a glass bottom boat trip to view the exotic underwater world in the crystal clear waters or go big game fishing for tuna and wahoo.
Out and About
Visit the port town of Palmeira on the west coast and stroll around its palm-lined streets, street markets and colourful shops and cafes. From here you can also take catamaran trips sailing around the south coast.
The capital of Espargos is located in the centre of the island, just outside the airport and, whilst not touristic, it does have supermarkets, restaurants and a few local craft shops.
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