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Santa Luzia Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Islands have managed to keep a low profile, quietly sleeping and avoiding attention and as a result, they haven't featured highly on the list of exotic destinations until recently. Word has got out and these islands are fast becoming sought after as the ideal holiday destination. The Cape Verde Islands are made up of 10 individually exotic islands, all of which offer a little piece of unspoilt paradise. Each island is uniquely different and has 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 by way of a tropical and exotic destination.

Santa Luzia is the smallest of the islands that make up the archipelago with a surface area of 35Km² and Santa Luzia differs significantly as it is the only island that is permanently uninhabited. This island can only be reached by chartering a local fishing boat from the neighbouring island of São Vicente and it will take two hours to get there with the same journey time back. Santa Luzia is now a protected natural reserve so if you are the type of person who loves adventure, you will be able to immerse yourself exploring this barren island and may discover some of the wildlife that make up its inhabitants. Travelling to the Cape Verde Islands takes approximately 6.5 hours from the UK and departures leave from various airports including London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. To visit Santa Luzia, you will need to base yourself in Calhau on the east coast of São Vicente which is another of the ten Cape Verde Islands, but one which is undergoing development for tourism. As such, this island offers all the facilities you would expect, making it easy to enjoy a fabulous exotic holiday and you will also find lots of things to see and do if you don't intend to travel to Santa Luzia every day.

Santa Luzia is a protected natural reserve and although very small, it stands very high, with its highest point reaching some 395m, known as Topona. The island is drought like, very dry and barren and although on the south and centre coasts it has two beautiful large beaches, which are picture postcard to look at with shimmering sands and crystal clear waters, you will also find important sand dunes, whereas to the north the landscape is very rugged offering a complete contrast. Santa Luzia was inhabited briefly in the 1960s by an agricultural community who used the island to raise cattle, however, desertification led to the island being abandoned and totally uninhabited again by the 1990s. Santa Luzia was also briefly used as a hermitage and in the 20th century, it became home to a meteorology station.

Santa Luzia became a natural reserve in an effort to protect and preserve the processes than occur naturally on a volcanic island and although it has this legal status, it is still visited daily by the fishermen from its neighbouring island of São Vicente. If fishing is one of your passions, then Santa Luzia would probably offer you the ultimate destination to enjoy your craft, you would almost be living the life of Robinson Crusoe, on an abandoned desert island, the only difference would be that you wouldn't be marooned! As a natural reserve, Santa Luzia has many birds and endemic reptiles that manage to survive this arid area and it also has a diversity of sub-aquatic species which can be found in its coastal waters.

Although this island can only be visited by way of day trips, by chartering a local fishing boat, it could prove to be the ideal location for those people who are passionate about fishing, or alternatively, it could be a haven for any intrepid explorers or those of you who are avid bird enthusiasts or marine biologists. With São Vicente as your base, you won't struggle to find things to see or do and of course, all the expected facilities will be on hand to ensure you can unwind and relax and take in the wonderful atmosphere of these unique and unusual islands.

Offering complete tranquillity, you will be able to take your time exploring this unique island and, as it does not have any form of regular public transport you can be assured that you will be able to enjoy complete seclusion – this island couldn't be further from life here as we know it.