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The Cape Verde Islands are the newest destination for UK and Irish holidaymakers and up until now they have managed to keep a low profile, quietly sleeping and avoiding attention. This has resulted in the fact that they are probably not somewhere you have heard of, as they haven't featured highly on the list of exotic destinations - until now! The word is out and these islands are enjoying the arrival of lots of new visitors, 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 unspoilt paradise. Each island is uniquely different, all with different landscapes to explore and enjoy, from spectacular beaches to beautiful green foliage and rugged coastlines, the Cape Verde Islands have everything you could dream of in a tropical and exotic destination.
Sal is believed to be the oldest of the islands, created as a result of a volcanic eruption estimated to have occurred approximately 50 million years ago! Sal offers visitors sunshine galore, as it very rarely experiences rain. There are, of course, gorgeous picture postcard perfect beaches, which are very rarely busy! There is also spectacular scenery to be explored, as Sal has vast desert areas and you could almost imagine it as being an old frontier town! Travel time from the UK is approximately six hours, depending where you fly from, with a choice of airports which include Birmingham, Manchester and London Gatwick. Once there, travelling around the island can be done by quad bike, 4 x 4 vehicles or simply by cycling and all of these modes of transport are available for hire. Once you have landed in Sal, which is home to the main international airport and acts as the airline hub for domestic flights to many of the other islands, you can look forward to a short transfer to your hotel or holiday club. Simply soak up the atmosphere and sunbathe on the glorious soft sands or, if you are feeling more adventurous, there are many water sports to keep you busy, including scuba diving and windsurfing. If you fancy day tripping, you can visit some of the other Cape Verde Islands flying from Sal, or you could visit the neighbouring island of Boa Vista by boat.
You will find there are lots of places to visit and several sightseeing attractions in Sal itself,however and a trip to the salt lake in Pedra de Lume is well worth a visit. At one point, this was the largest salt mine in the world and was the principal commodity of Sal, which is also how Sal was named, as Sal is Portuguese for salt. Salt is still produced today in a few areas of the island. If you would like to learn more about the culture of this island, daily life can be experienced by visiting the lovely port of Palmeira which is home to lobster farms and salt purifying stations. The Capital of Sal is Espargos and this is also a lovely place to visit and take in the atmosphere. Espargos is known for its very charming town square and you may be surprised to find out that its main crop is asparagus which is where it got its name from. Natural creations can be found in Buracona which means 'large hole' and as its name suggests, you will find a very large natural tidal swimming pool here! If fishing is your passion, head to Fiura and you won't be disappointed.
Food here will tempt your taste buds and there are many restaurants and eateries located around the island. The local cuisine is grilled fish or shellfish and often, these dishes are spiced up using traditional local recipes. This type of food is usually served with chickpeas and vegetables. Once night falls and you enjoy the wonderful sunset, it's time to find your happy feet and, energy permitting, head out to enjoy the Cape Verde nightlife. With Cape Veridian music, it's hard to resist the rhythm and you could be dancing the night away in a disco or enjoying the friendly hospitality in one of the local bars.
Sal Island celebrates many important dates throughout the year, so depending on when you visit, you may find that you are able to experience one of its many festivals, such as National Day or the Festival of Music which are both celebrated in September, or their Carnival which is held in February to name only a few. The Cape Verde Islands offer everything, what are you waiting for?