The newly certified international airport of Sao Pedro is a short 15 mins journey from the city of Mindelo.
Mindelo the capital of Sao Vicente is the cultural pulse of the Cape Verdean Islands and is famous for its electric nightlife, Carnival and music festivals. This thriving picturesque city of over 60 000 people gives you the experience of real Cape Verdean life, and it is a joy to explore its colonial past walking around the stunning bay and through the city. You can't help noticing the beautiful architecture inherited from the Portuguese and British influences.
The city is world famous for the national music called 'Morna', and of course Cesaria Evora known as the Barefoot Diva is the most famous export. So live music is a must experience accompanied by local cuisine, such as one of the mouth watering fresh fish dishes.
The main bay known as Porto Grande is the attractive centerpiece of Mindelo, with a brand new marina with a trendy bar and restaurant. Yachts and cruise Liners from all nationalities use it as an ideal stop before they set sail for Caribbean. Sao Vicente is a great base to explore the beautiful Island of Santo Antao which waits in the distance, a short one-hour ferry ride away.
Sao Vicente is famous for its Carnival and the Baia das Gatas music festival which attracts national and International visitors during February and August respectively. If you plan to travel at this time of year you will need to book well in advance as the population of Mindelo swells. The Carnival and music festivals are a great excuse for a long, long party.
The island is undergoing an incredible amount of changes and the master plan is to create an enterprise zone, with large investment in port and fishing industries supported by China and the European Union. There is also private development within the real estate industry with large resorts, signature golf courses and casinos planned. An example of this is the Fortim (fortress) site, situated above the town of Mindelo offering sensational views of Porto Grande, which will be transformed in to a 5 star hotel and resort complex.
Monte Verde, the highest point on Sao Vicente is great to explore by foot and offers breathtaking views of Mindelo, Praia Grande, and beyond. The journey up is a highlight in itself, climbing the mountain you will see breathtaking views. Once you reach the summit you will be able to take some unforgettable pictures.
Mindelo is great fun to explore and you should not only visit the fish market but also the main municipal market. Housed in a grand old colonial building it is a hive of activity as stall holders sell fresh fruit and vegetables.
If you want to try something really different why not have a round of Golf on a caked mud course or play a spot of cricket joining in with the locals who practice on a football pitch with equipment donated by the British Consulate.
At the weekend local people from Mindelo take the opportunity to escape the city and visit Calhau and Baia das Gatas to wind down, go swimming, surfing or to enjoy a nice picnic. The road from Mindelo to Calhau is around 15km and is a pleasant journey with mountains on each side.
Visit Calhau, a small fishing village which on a clear day offers lovely views over the Island of Santa Luzia, which is uninhabited and also an important nature reserve. The only access to Santa Luzia is by fishing boat from Calhau.
You can then take the spectacular new scenic coastal road from Calhau to Baia das Gatas, and take a refreshing swim in the natural lagoon before making your way back from Baia to Mindelo with your batteries fully recharged.