At school, we were taught that this country is called the Cape Verde Islands. But its real name is Cape Verde. In principle, the teachers of geography were not so wrong. From the Portuguese name and is translated - Green Cape. The archipelagic country consists of fifteen islands, among which there are also uninhabited. All of them are in tropical latitudes, quite close to the equator, six hundred kilometers from the west coast of Africa (exactly opposite Senegal). The cool Atlantic Ocean somewhat softens the constant heat. Which island to choose for a holiday? It totally depends on your preferences. For example, if you are fond of diving, the islands of the lee group (Mayu, Fogu, Brava, Santiago), and if you are keen on surfing or kiting, choose Bov Vishta, Sal, San Nicolau, San Vicente or Santo Antau. The fairly large island of Santa Lucia is uninhabited, there one can only come for an excursion.
How to get there
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Russia to the tropical Cape Verde Islands. After all, the country of Cape Verde is located in nine thousand kilometers from Moscow. Therefore, the way is long, about nine hours (without regard to the time of docking). Analyzing the reviews of tourists, we can say that it is most convenient to fly with the TAP company with a transfer in Lisbon. Then you can choose a flight to the islands of Sal or Santiago. It will be required to spend the night in the Hotel Hanover (and, accordingly, it is necessary to have a Schengen visa for this), if you choose Lufthansa. But there are convenient connections in Madrid (Iberia), Paris (Air France) and Frankfurt (Lufthansa). With you you can easily bring two liters of alcohol and 400 pieces of cigarettes. Most tourists staying in the country land at the international airport "Amilcar Cabral", which is located on the island of Sal, while the country's capital is on Santiago.
Movement inside the archipelago
You can say that the locals - the most flying nation in the world, because the main type of communication between the islands is air. So, arriving at Sal, do not rush to leave the well-kept and beautiful airport building. In its open area there is a representation of the local airline Transportes Aereos de Cabo Verde, abbreviated TACV. Small, but comfortable airplanes of this company with an enviable regularity flit from island to island. Cape Verde can also boast a developed maritime transport system: ferries, boats and speed boats connect nearby land areas. Inside a separate island, you can rent a car (the driver must be over 21 years old and have the experience of driving). But the feedback of tourists suggests that there is no special need for this. On the roads actively shuttle bus (local name aluguer), and the taxi is inexpensive. With the driver you can negotiate, and the whole day of riding around the island will cost you only in Є70-80.
At the international airport of Cape Verde, there is a currency exchange office and there are ATMs. Do not immediately change all the dollars and Euros to the local escudo. The course at the airport (as well as in hotels) is understated. In addition, the reverse exchange is not carried out, so you will take the colorful papers with you to Russia as souvenirs. Credit cards are accepted only in large "untwisted" hotels, and even not all payment systems. Judging by the reviews of tourists, only Visa owners did not have problems. It is best to change the currency in banks, but they work on weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00, and only a few are open on Saturdays until noon. Winter tourists may have a feeling that the courtyard is not so hot. Do not be deceived by a refreshing ocean breeze: the equatorial sun easily burns the skin, which is not greased with protective cream. But a sweater or a windbreaker to take with you will not hurt.
Holiday in Cape Verde: reviews of tourists
Experienced travelers who have something to compare, say that this country is a rare combination of European level of service and primitive nature. Here you can relax from obsessive and podnadoevshih things in our civilization (smog, traffic jams, etc.) and at the same time do not feel deprived of its benefits. Huge sandy beaches accept all comers. Sun beds and umbrellas in this earthly paradise are free. The islands of Cape Verde are very popular among French, Spanish, German and Portuguese tourists. But there are few Russians here, which can be counted as a plus. The public is clearly divided into two categories: pensioners and couples with children who want a relaxing holiday, and so-called athletes. The archipelago republic is one of the most recognized centers in the world for diving, windsurfing and sport fishing. There are no noisy discos and buzzing water scooters, as in Antalya, there is not. The only event that gathers crowds of people is Carnival before Lent (usually in February). Colorful processions take place in the capital of the country of Praia and the main city of the island of San Vicente - Mindelu.
The hotel base of the country is quite developed. The only peculiarity is the small presence of well-known chain hotels here. But each complex can boast of its original design. Most of the resorts in Cape Verde consist of hotels that are cottage villages or bungalows on the shore. But there is no lack in noisy "anthills" - huge, consisting of multi-storey buildings of hotel complexes. The lion's share of hotels practices the all inclusive food system . Food, as judged by the reviews, delicious, high-quality cooked, but without any frills - mostly meat and fish on the grill, vegetables, fruits. In hotels, there is evening and daytime animation, including for children. In places with a strong oceanic surf there are swimming pools and with salt water.
Most tourists coming to the country through agencies, rest on the island of Sal, in the east of the archipelago. Thanks to the winds from Africa, there is a desert landscape. The island owes its name to the salt deposit, which is extracted from the crater of an extinct volcano. There is here and its analogue of the Dead Sea - a brine rich in brine on the bottom of the caldera. It is worth going to a sightseeing tour of Salou. It does not cost much, and is often included in the package tour. Also offer to admire the inhabitants of coral reefs and underwater caves, having made a boat trip with a transparent bottom. And you can also watch the laying of eggs with turtles. Other excursions are expensive (150-180 Є), which is understandable - they include air travel. They take such trips all day long. Immediately upon arrival or on the last day you should see the island of Santiago. There is the capital of Cape Verde, Praia. The name of the city translates as "beach", and that says it all. An interesting excursion to the Fogu (the tour includes an ascent to the active volcano) and the "island of flowers" of Brava.
What to bring from Cape Verde
Rest on the islands is so original that you definitely want to take something to remember these wonderful places. Local craftsmen give you a wide choice. Wooden and clay figurines, crafts made of coconut or bovine horn, lamps, palm straw baskets, exquisite tortoise shells, carpets. Traded souvenirs are mostly Senegalese. With them you need to be able to bargain. Your eloquence and mastery of acting (pretend that you are ready to leave the shop) will be rewarded - a wooden carved figure of half a meter in height can be purchased for only 10 euros.