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Located between Portugal and the west coast of Africa, the Cape Verde Islands are quickly becoming the newest holiday hot spot for UK, Irish and European holidaymakers. The Cape Verde Islands consist of ten individually exotic islands, nine of which are inhabited and all of which offer the lure of an unspoilt paradise. The islands have not attracted tourist attention until recently, which explains why they are probably not somewhere you have heard of. Each of these islands offers tourists something uniquely different, all with variation in their appearance, landscapes, amenities and facilities and they are all exciting to explore and enjoy.
Most of the islands have spectacular sandy beaches and beautiful lush green foliage, contrasted with rugged coastlines. In short, the Cape Verde Islands have everything you could dream of in a tropical and exotic destination. Bear in mind that Cape Verde is still a third world developing country and as such, the islands are starting to benefit from the arrival of lots of new visitors and are enjoying the development that this brings, which is adding to their desire as a holiday destination. Infrastructure is improving, however, accessing some of the islands could be trickier than others. Visitors tend not to roam too far away from Sal, which is home to the main international airport although each of the other islands that make up this archipelago have much to offer and are well worth a visit.
Baia de São Pedro is located on the island of São Vicente which is Portuguese for St. Vincent, as it was discovered on St. Vincent's Day. The islands have a strong Portuguese influence, as well as African and Brazilian and as such, you will find lots of pastel coloured houses and shops which are very striking in contrast to the white sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters. São Vicente itself is a popular island and São Pedro, which is in the south western part of the island, is a lovely fishing village with a fantastic beach. Many water sports are available here, such as surfing and wind surfing, as well as swimming.
Getting to São Pedro is now much easier, with direct flights leaving from the UK two or three times a week. Flights leave from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham Airports and on arrival in Sal, which is home to the main international airport for Cape Verde, another short domestic flight takes you to São Pedro which is Cape Verde's third busiest airport and which was only opened in 2009. Getting around the island can be done by foot, or by making use of their taxi service. If you would like to venture further afield and visit some of the island's other towns then you could hire a car as there are a few car rental outlets on the island.
If you can drag yourself away from the wonderful soft sands at São Pedro, then a visit to the capital – Mindelo – is well worth a trip. Mindelo is extremely popular and has lots to see including lovely cobbled squares and English architecture and the nightlife here is very lively and vibrant. To the north east of the island, you will find Baia das Gatas which is famous for swimming in its beautiful natural lagoon. Although quiet during the week, this place comes to life at the weekend and you will find lots of parties going on! If you are able to visit here in August, you might be able to experience their Full Moon Festival which attracts Cape Veridians from all the islands who come to celebrate by way of singing, dancing, water sports, horseracing and lots of eating!
Calhau is another town worth visiting that also comes to life at the weekend, however, to get to Calhau you will pass two extinct volcanoes and be able to see an actual crater which has been well preserved, providing excellent scenery for keen photographers. Taking a day trip to visit some of the other islands in the archipelago is also possible from São Vicente as there is a ferry that leaves Mindelo for Santo Antao every day or if you are able to charter a fishing boat from Calhau, you could visit the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia and explore its rugged scenery and spectacular white beaches.
São Pedro itself is a quiet town and offers holidaymakers tranquillity and beauty. If you just want to get away from it all and enjoy the warmth of the sun's rays whilst you relax and take in the atmosphere that São Pedro has to offer then you will not be disappointed.