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Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

Kaapverdische eilanden

A wonderful place to enjoy the sun are the Cape Verde Islands. These islands are tropical and volcanic and lie in the Atlantic Ocean. Only 6.5 hours flight from the Netherlands! Every island is unique and different. If you want to travel to the Cape Verde Islands you can read here 14 things you want to know.

On a trip to the Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

1. Where are the Cape Verde Islands?

The Cape Verde Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. About 1,500 kilometres south of the Canary Islands and about 460 kilometres off the coast of Senegal (West Africa). The Cape Verde Islands are 664 kilometres from Dakar (Senegal), 2,887 kilometres from Faro (Portugal) and 4,851 kilometres from Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Now you know exactly where the islands are!

2. What is the best travel time for the Cape Verde Islands?

The sun always shines on the Cape Verde Islands! Even in winter the temperature barely falls below 25 degrees Celsius. This makes this archipelago an ideal year-round destination for a sun-drenched holiday.

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

3. How long is the flight to the Cape Verde Islands?

A flight from Schiphol Amsterdam to Amilcar Cabral International Airport takes about 6 hours.

4. Public transport on the Cape Verde Islands

It is good to know that there are no trains or buses on the islands. So how do you travel? Go like the locals in the small vans or pick-ups with benches in the loading bay.

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

5. What language do they speak?

The official language on the Cape Verde Islands is Portuguese. However, the population often speaks Creole. This is a unique mix of Portuguese and Afrikaans. In the tourist areas they also speak reasonable French and English.

6. What is the time difference with the Cape Verde Islands?

On the Cape Verde Islands it is 3 hours earlier in summer and 2 hours earlier in winter than in the Netherlands.

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

7. Do I need a world plug?

The mains voltage is generally 220-240 volts. That is why you do not need a world plug.

8. What about water sports on the Cape Verde Islands?

The almost 1,000 km long coastline ensures that there are many opportunities to practice various water sports. The islands of Sao Vicente, Boavista and Sal are ideal for wind and kite surfing. There are also international competitions on these islands, because the conditions are so good. At the various surf schools you can rent equipment and take lessons. Diving is best on Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Sal, Boavista and Santiago. If you want to sail you can go to Sal and Sao Vicente.

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

9. Eating & Drinking on the Cape Verde Islands

Keep in mind that in many restaurants it can take a while before your dish is ready. The exception is if you order the snack of the day. Especially fish lovers will feast on the food, because the fish is fresh and delicious, especially the grilled lobster and tuna. The specialty on the Cape Verde Islands is cachupa! This is a dish with beans, corn, herbs, cassava and sweet potatoes with or without chicken. Definitely recommended! The typical Cape Verdean drink is grogue: rum made from sugar cane.

10. What about vaccinations?

No vaccinations are compulsory for the Cape Verdean islands. However, intakes are recommended: jaundice, hepatitis A and B and Typhoid. But as with any voyage, always check by contacting the GGD. On the islands of Sao Vicente and Santiago there are hospitals and on the island of Sal there is a private clinic. Pharmacies can be found on all islands. Always check in advance that your travel insurance covers the Cape Verde Islands.

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

11. What do you need to take with you when you travel?

  • A vest or sweater: After the sun has set, the temperature cools down considerably. Then you definitely need something with long sleeves!
  • Sunscreen: On the Cape Verde Islands you definitely need sunscreen because of the sharp sun and this is quite expensive to buy on the spot.
  • Anti mosquito cream
  • Flashlight: Every now and then the power goes out and then it’s handy to have a flashlight.  

12. Can you pin on the Cape Verde Islands?

You can use Euros almost anywhere on the islands, even though the national currency is the Escudo. Put your debit card on world coverage! It is also advisable to bring a credit card. In the larger places there are ATMs where you can withdraw cash.

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

13. Which island do you choose?

The Cape Verde Islands consist of ten islands, nine of which are inhabited. The most popular islands are Sal & Boa Vista. Read more about which island to choose here!

14. Which travel documents do you need?

For a trip to the Cape Verde Islands you need a passport which is valid for at least 6 months at departure. Since 1 January 2019 Cape Verde no longer requires a visa, but you pay an Airport Security Tax (TSA). The costs of the TSA are €31,-. You can simply arrange your TSA in advance through the travel agency where you book your holiday. Or you can arrange it yourself online via this website. I bought my TSA at the airport. You can pay in Euro’s, by debit or credit card. My TSA was so arranged and went super easy.

This is my information for when you travel to the Cape Verde Islands, the14 things you want to know! Do you have any additions for when you travel to the Cape Verde Islands and the things you want to know?

Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know

Tip accommodation Cape Verde Islands

I have chosen to stay at Sal in a small apartment complex: Villa ao Mar. A lovely place! The apartment is located directly on the beach, so you are within a few meters on the beach. It is located in a quiet place, yet right in the center and everything you need is within walking distance. Everything is available in the apartment, so you can cook yourself if you want. The beds are lovely and the shower is nice too. The owners are friendly and helpful. The balcony is super large and there are nice sun loungers available!

  • Look here for prices and availability of Villa ao Mar.
Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know
Villa ao Mar
Cape Verde Islands things, Cape Verde Islands: 14 things you want to know
Villa ao Mar

Cape Verde Islands

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