We need to talk about... Cape Verde!
Globetrot Club is now to create a series of blog posts about destinations still to be fully discovered by tourists, that deserve your attention. We all know the classic tourism spots, and if you don’t, check out our last blog on the top 10 most visited countries in 2016. If you have been to all of these very popular places for tourism, or if you prefer a more reserved rather than tourist crowded destinations, then keep with us and let us tease you with hidden paradises. Our first destination that we need to talk about is the beautiful archipelago of Cape Verde.
Cape Verde is a small country just off the West African coast, and fully located on an archipelago in the North Atlantic. This paradise archipelago, composed of 10 islands of volcanic origin, was first discovered by the Portuguese, back in the XV century. The capital and biggest city of Cape Verde is Praia, located on the island of Santiago. “Praia” means “beach”, from Portuguese, so you might have an idea of their beach life.
Photo: Fishing is one of the main economic activities in Cape Verde.
Home to Cesaria Evora (quite famous in many countries), Cape Verde is known for its musicality, with many music genres and festivals, like Carnival. Music is in the soul of Cape Verdians, and since this country has been mixing different cultures and peoples for over 500 years, they formed a unique culture, that has its roots in Africa and Europe. Their official language is Portuguese, which is the language they use for education and official affairs. However, each of the populated islands has their own variation of Cape Verdian Creole -- their de facto dialect.
You most certainly have heard or probably even have been to the Canary Islands, in Spain, many times. The Canary Islands receive a lot of tourists, who are attracted by beaches, sun, drinks, amazing food and, very often, proximity to Europe. But why am I just suddenly writing about the sunny Canary Islands? Well, Cape Verde is actually part of the Macaronesia -- a set of islands just off the South European and North African coasts, that comprises the Canary Islands, in Spain, the Madeira Islands and Azores, in Portugal and of course, Cape Verde, which is actually the only sovereign State in Macaronesia.
Photo: Spanish cargo wrecked by the beach in the island of Boa Vista.
So as you can expect, Cape Verde is full of the most beautiful beaches, with many of them being Caribbean-standard beaches. In fact, the island of Sal, north of Cape Verde, is full of resorts, hosting 50% of the total number of tourists in the country. Surprisingly, this small insular country is not only culturally diverse, but geographically too! In Cape Verde you can find deserts, mountains, volcanoes, and even some areas covered by trees. Oh, and if rain isn’t for you, happy days, in Cape Verde it only rains about 10 days a year.
In the south island of Fogo, where you can find the only Cape Verdian volcano in activity, the production of wine is a tradition. The rocky volcanic black soil makes it more than appropriate to grow grapes in the area. But if you want to pay a visit, be prepared to climb steep mountains -- it will be tiring for sure, but very fun.
Photo: View from the hills of Praia, capital and biggest city of Cape Verde.
Cape Verde is also one of most stable countries in the whole Africa, with their democracy considered to be more solid than in countries like France, Portugal and Belgium. According to the UK foreign travel advice website, the country is safe enough for travelling, and even though Cape Verde is the formation point to many devastating hurricanes that hit North America, the whole archipelago never gets hit by any natural disasters. It only rains about 10 days in there, remember?
Tourism in Cape Verde, however, has only been growing recently and as result of this, since 2007 the government has built two international airports on two different islands. Two airports inaugurated in 10 years might not seem much, but let’s consider that it’s only about half million inhabitants in the country. Very welcoming and friendly half million people by the way.
Photo: One of the many resorts in the island of Sal.