Cape Verde is so much more than Sal and Boa Vista, and with a little bit of prior planning you can make the most of your trip to Cape Verde by visiting another Island. Choose from the magnificent mountains and valleys of Santao Antao or the incredible volcanic island of Fogo. Maybe you want to participate in the vibrant and colourful Carnival or the Music festivals in Sao Vicente or see the UNESCO historical site in Santiago. There is so much to see and discover.
Organised Island Itineraries
The first decision is to work out realistically what can be achieved during your stay. A number of travel agents provide numerous packaged tours including accommodation and transfers for example Sal, Sao Vicente, San Antao and then back to Sal or Sal, Santiago, Fogo, Sal. These itineraries have been designed to provide contrasting experiences of beach, culture and scenery and you will certainly get a well-rounded experience of Cape Verde.
The other consideration is time of year. Ideally you will want to avoid the rainy season between late Aug and October especially if you are visiting Santiago and San Antao. The best time to visit these Islands would be from November onwards.
Organised Island Day Trips
If you prefer to have a main base but still want to experience one of the other Islands, you have the choice of an organised day trip. The most popular day trips are Fogo, Santiago and Sao Vicente, look to pay between 140 and 220 Euro depending on which Island you choose to visit. The Island day trips tend to use, private chartered flights so the flight advice below does not apply.
If you prefer to be completely independent and you want to see as many Islands as possible in the shortest space of time, I would recommend Sal, Sao Vicente, Santo Antao and then back to Sal. The flight is less than 1 hour to Sao Vicente and San Antao is a short 1 hour ferry ride away. This itinerary will give you a nice combination of beaches, culture and stunning scenery.
Cabo Verde Fast Ferry
The Cabo Verde Fast Ferry has now been launched and began operations on January 21st 2011. The initial route will connect Brava, Fogo & Santiago. The company is expected to launch a second ferry called 'Liberdadi' in September to connect the Barlavento Islands, Sal, Boa Vista, Sao Vicente etc. The 'Kriola' is 43 metres long with a maximum speed of 20 knots and has the potential to carry 158 passengers plus additional cargo, including vehicles.
Inter Island Flights
- Make sure you book your ticket before departure because flights get booked up quickly, especially around Carnival, and the Music Festivals.
- If you are going independantly make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back to your base for your return flight home, so give yourself at least one or 2 days leeway.
- Flights must be confirmed before departure on both legs of the journey, you can ask the reception of your hotel to contact the airport on your behalf.
- Make sure you arrive at the airport 2 hours before departure, flight departure times can vary quite a lot.
- Ideally make sure you carry only hand language, if the flights are full, baggage could be left behind.