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The Cape Verde Islands are exciting holidaymakers, especially in the UK and Ireland as they offer travellers a new destination to explore. The Islands have managed to keep a low profile, have been quietly sleeping and avoiding attention which explains why you probably haven't heard of them; and why they haven't featured highly as popular destinations for exotic holidays - until now! The word is out and these islands are beginning to enjoy the arrival of lots of new visitors and they are becoming a sought after holiday destination. The Cape Verde Islands are made up of ten individually exotic islands, nine of which are inhabited and all of which offer the lure of being able to enjoy a little piece of unspoilt paradise. Each island is uniquely different, as they all have different landscapes to explore and enjoy, from spectacular unspoilt beaches to beautiful green foliage and rugged coastlines, the Cape Verde Islands have everything you could dream of in a tropical and exotic destination.
Maio is considered as being the island which is least visited, so if it's complete peace and quiet you long for, this could be your ideal destination. Offering a relaxed and laid back way of life, everything moves at a slower pace here which can be very good for the soul. If you like the sound of this, then your journey to the Cape Verde Islands begins with a flight from the UK which will take approximately six hours, depending where you fly from. Airports currently offering flights to this destination include London Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester and upon arrival in Sal, which is home to the main international airport for these islands, a short domestic flight will transfer you to Maio. Once settled in your accommodation, you will immediately feel at home as everyone here is extremely friendly and welcoming. As Maio is not visited as much as the other islands in the archipelago there are not as many amenities, however, apart from the spectacular beaches, there are some water sports available and if your craft is fishing or bird-watching, then this is definitely the place for you.
Tranquillity is key here with Maio's main attraction being miles of unpolluted soft sandy beaches, it really is a little piece of paradise. For sightseeing, a trip to Ribeira do João should be on your list as here you will discover some fascinating Salt Pits not to mention the Oasis. Maio's capital is Vila do Maio and this little fishing village is well worth a visit, soak up its charm and wander around its pretty flower gardens and explore the fortress. Vila do Maio is also home to the island's main port and here you will find a modern harbour. If you feel you could go further afield, then hire a 4 x 4 or join a jeep tour and visit nearby Morro. Food in Maio is tempting and as well as shellfish, you can try special local dishes such as goat stew or pickled turtle eggs, however, not to be missed are the local cheeses, served with melon or dates.
Maio is famous as being one of the few islands that a rare breed of turtles come to nest and if wildlife is your passion, you may also be interested to know that the local birds in Maio are renowned for living for much longer periods which is possibly due to the vegetation here which is unique. Maio offers visitors a few shops, as well as a bank and there is a car rental outlet so getting around won't be a problem. Nightlife here is much quieter than the other islands, although depending on when you arrive; you may be able to experience one of Maio's festivals including the Festival of Santa Cruz which is celebrated in May and the São João Celebrations which are celebrated in June. With neighbouring islands so close by, there is always the option of taking a day trip to Santiago or Boa Vista.
You can tell that Maio is only going to become more popular and as infrastructure develops and more people find out about this tropical paradise it may not stay this quiet for long, so now is the time to experience life here as the locals do. Peace, tranquillity, idyllic scenery, endless beaches, good food, hiking trails, horse riding, water sports, fishing, bird-watching, exploring and endless sunshine, together with a warm welcome from the locals and gorgeous sunsets to end each perfect day, Maio is waiting for you to become the next visitor to discover and fall in love with this island's charm and mystery.